Well, many of us got our first taste of snow this week. Home Maintenance never stops – even in the winter! While it may seem like the perfect time to not go outside, your home will need occasional maintenance. This maintenance will help save you money in the long run, especially if you get hammered with the worst winter has to offer. Bundle up, and head out to check the following items off your list!
Gutters and Drainage. Cleaning out the gutters can be the worst, but it is essential in any season with large amounts of precipitation. Your gutters can fill with ice in the winter which can lead to damage when the ice thaws and expands. This expansion will put a strain on your gutters.
Check Window Wells. Window wells are a great way to let some natural light into your basement. However, if not properly maintained can cause moisture to seep into your basement. Make sure the well is properly cleaned, and the window liner is sealed. This is especially important when expecting a large snowfall.
Clean your Dryer Vent. Dryers cause 15,00 fires a year and tend to get the most use in the winter. To reduce your fire risk, clean off your lint filter with every drying cycle. You can also clean the lint vent located on the back of most dryers. Once cleaning the dryer, let it run for about 15 minutes to flush all remaining lint from the machine.
Bleed your Radiators. If you have radiators, be sure to bleed them each winter. This is a simple process for anyone. Simply, turn on all your radiators to their max setting. Then turn them off and let them cool. Go to each radiator, turn it off, and open the bleed valve. Put a tray under the valve and let out the air. The tray will catch the water (this is normal). Then close the valve and repeat for all radiators.
Avoid Ice Dams. Ice dams build up on the edge of your roof in the winter. They prevent melting snow from draining. This melted snow can get under your shingles and into your home. Adding insulation and increasing ventilation will keep your whole roof the same temperature. You can also manually knock off these ice dams using a telescopic rake.
Prep before Blizzards. Winter can bring freezing rain, sleet, and blizzards. Any of these can cause a mess of issues. Make sure your generator is working. Keep a stash of lanterns and flashlights if you lose power. If you get poor cell phone reception, keep a battery powered radio around to keep up to date with news and weather. Put your heavy snow gear all in one place for ease of access when you have to shovel. After the storm passes, knock off any snow on tree limbs that could pose a threat to your home.
Use these tips to keep your home in tip-top condition. If anything else needs to be done in the winter, call a service professional to help you repair any items that might need immediate repair like pipes, windows, or doors. If you suffer any major damage during the winter, don’t forget your homeowner’s insurance policy was made just for these events.
Be sure to give us a call at 215-885-2200 if you have any questions about homeowners insurance. Your protection and peace of mind is our only business!