A Midwest winter can be harsh, and the ice and snow can lead to big homeowner headaches if the proper precautions aren’t taken during the milder months of the year. Here are a few things that you should do to prepare your home for winter if you live in or near the Twin Cities:
1.) Check for cracks in the foundation. Cracks in your foundation can grow as the ground (and the water in it) freezes and expands during the season. Hairline cracks can appear where they weren’t before, and minor cracks can become major ones that lead to basement leaks. Have any noticeable cracks inspected and repaired before the season starts to avoid problems down the road.
2.) Pay attention to landscaping. Look for overgrown branches near your home and trim them back, also take notice of any electrical wires on your property. Central Ohio is no stranger to windy winter days, and a broken branch can cause a lot of complications.
3.) Have a professional inspect your chimney. Before you light up your first fire of the season, make sure that you have a professional chimney inspector come inspect your chimney and fireplace to make sure that they’re safe for you to use. Uninspected chimneys can result in massive fires that could put you and your family’s lives at risk, so play it safe and have it inspected and cleaned every year.
4.) Have your heating system inspected. You don’t want to wait until you need your heating system to find out that it’s on the fritz. Have it inspected and repaired in the fall so that it works well throughout winter.
5.) Flush out sprinkler systems, and turn off exterior faucets. Make sure that all of the water in any of your exterior pipes has been removed. Undrained water in pipes will freeze when the temperature drops, which leads to burst pipes and water damage. Have your sprinkler systems flushed and make sure that all of your exterior faucets have had their hoses removed and are completely shut off to prevent having to make repairs in the spring.
6.) Add or replace weather-stripping. Check the frames of your doors and windows to see if you have any leaks. If so, add or replace the weather-stripping to prevent heat loss throughout the season. Not only is heat loss uncomfortable, but it can cost you money if left unchecked.
7.) Replace your air filters. You should do this when needed, but it’s a good idea to check at the start of each season. If your filter is dirty, replace it, as you’ll be spending more time indoors without the option to open the windows to let fresh air in the same way you would during the warmer months of the year.
The best way to prepare your home for winter is to make sure that it’s in the best possible condition before the season starts. Repair any problems ahead of time, because if you don’t, small issues can become big ones during a time of the year when it might be harder to repair them. Do a fall audit to ensure that everything is in good working order, and fix anything that is not.
If you have been thinking about selling your property, this list is even more important to do now so that there won't be surprise issues when you sell your property. Contact me today for a free no obligation market analysis of your property, so you know all your options.