With a few more months of winter left on the calendar, savvy homeowners need to think about timing home maintenance projects to protect their investment through cold weather.  Follow this handy checklist to make sure you’ve prioritized the right jobs over the next few weeks. That way, you can enjoy the cozy warmth of your home while winter does its thing outside. 

Eliminate Ice, As Soon As Possible

Ice is dangerous to people and pets, but it also poses a hazard to your property. It can damage concrete, roofing, and more if it sticks around for a while. Accumulating ice can also endanger trees and landscaping. Never attempt to clear ice off of power lines, of course, but it’s a good idea to clear dangling icicles as soon as you can. 

Look Out for Moisture and Leaks

Leaks might seem more of a springtime annoyance but in fact, the sharply changing temperatures of winter can actually increase the risk of moisture intrusion and leaks. Visually inspect your home’s visible pipes and look out for signs of moisture and leaks in attics, basements, and around windows. 

Clean Out Your Fireplace If You Haven’t Already

Whether you plan to use your wood-burning fireplace to add to your home’s warmth during the winter months or not, it’s a good idea to clean out the fireplace and chimney annually. Also have your chimney care pro check out your chimney flashing on the roof for any signs that it needs repair. 

Trim Back Trees and Bushes

Winterizing your property’s trees and bushes will help avoid bigger damage in the event of ice and wind storms. Trim back your trees so that there’s nothing blocking any part of your HVAC system. 

Change Heating Filters

Most home HVAC filters should be changed at least every three months. If you have a large number of people living in your home, use a wood-burning fireplace often, or if you have large pets who shed, you might want to change the filter more frequently. 

Protect Your Pipes

Pipes can freeze and rupture in subfreezing temperatures. The best time to prevent that from happening is before the cold weather hits. Wrap up any exposed pipes with heat tape, and add insulation to pipes in the attic or crawl space. If a sudden drop to single-digit temperatures occurs, especially following several days of below-freezing temperatures, let your faucets drip warm water overnight to keep the water flowing. 

Keep Your Home Safe From Winter’s Chill 

Winter can bring a wide variety of weather events that might threaten the protection your home offers against the outside chill. Good maintenance is even more important if you’re planning to sell your home soon. Focus on shoring up your home’s insulation and ventilation, especially given the higher use of heating from HVAC systems and gas or wooden fireplaces, so you and your family can stay comfy and cozy all winter long. 

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