Winter Home Maintenance
Winter Home Maintenance

Winter Home Maintenance (12 Tips)

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Home Safety & Maintenance

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 @ 2:51pm

EASY Things For Your Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

Why is it important to do your seasonal home maintenance checks? Well, if you take care of your home, it will take care of you. Staying on top of your home’s maintenance means fewer expensive repairs down the road.

Here is Your Winter Home Maintenance Tip Sheet:

1. Change Your Furnace Filter

Change furnace filters once a month during the winter season. Once every 3 months is the minimum.

Furnace Filter

Setting a reminder to change your filter at the beginning of the month helps to remember for the winter.

2. Extra Insulation

Attic spaces must be properly sealed, ventilated, and insulated with a minimum of 12-15 inches of blown-in insulation. Otherwise, you risk heat loss and ice damming.

3. Look Out For Ice Damming

Call a professional roofer if you see ice forming on your roof. If eavestroughs are clogged they might recommend using a non-corrosive deicer, like a calcium chloride flake (looks like snow). Once everything has melted eavestroughs can be cleared and cleaned.

Snow plowing

If there’s snow, don’t be a lazy oaf and shovel your driveway

4. Stock Up On Deicers

Remove snow from driveways, walkways, and sidewalks and follow up with sand and/or gravel. Be generous!

5. Keep on Top of Snow Removal

Shovel snow away from the perimeter of your home’s foundation to prevent basement leaks. Also make sure fire hydrants, gas metres, dryer vents, exhaust lines and fresh air intakes aren’t covered by snow either.

RELATED: How To Deal With a Leaky Basement.

6. Protect Your Brick

Remove snow from any brick around your home to prevent flaking and spalling. That includes windowsills.

RELATED: Repointing Your Brick Wall – A Helpful Guide

Mike Holmes Brick

7. Protect Your Wood

Removing snow from any wood structures, such as porches, decks, and columns helps prolong the life of the wood and maintain its overall appearance.

10 tasks to do on your winter home maintenance checklist - mike holmes - mike holmes - snowy walkway

8. Winterize Your Pipes

Pipes that go below insulation or through cold zones, such as crawlspaces, the garage or along an exterior wall (not insulated) must be wrapped. This helps prevent frozen pipes or burst pipe.

9. Shut Down Exterior Plumbing Lines

Most homes have two exterior plumbing lines and/or hose bibs: One in the garage and one in the backyard. Make sure both are shut down for winter.

10. Plug-In Safely

Make sure you’re plugging into GFCI-protected circuits and avoid overloaded circuits by keeping an eye on how much load you are plugging in. Homes should be protected with a 15-amp circuit, which delivers 1800 watts of power. Inspect power bars and extension cords. If they’re frayed or slightly damaged throw them out and get new ones.

11. Make Sure Your Heating System Is Ready

Depending on the type of heating system you have, there are a few home maintenance things you should do before the temperatures really start to dip. Keep on top of those to avoid surprises! Your furnace and fireplace should be inspected every single year.

If you have a heat pump or a boiler, you should schedule maintenance with an HVAC professional at least once a year. However, ideally, a heat pump should be tuned up twice a year in the spring and fall to maintain appropriate performance and energy efficiency.

Bosch Ductless Heat Pump System

A heat pump should be tuned up twice a year to maintain appropriate performance and energy efficiency.

Photo featuring Bosch heat pump

RELATED: Easy DIY Fireplace Maintenance Tips

10 tasks to do on your winter home maintenance checklist - mike holmes - mike holmes window caulking

Poor caulking can lead to drafts, which means you could lose up to 30% of your home’s heat!

12. Clean Your Chimney

If you have a chimney, it will need cleaning. A clean, well-maintained chimney will save you money and prevent trouble


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