With winter at our doorstep and the holiday season fast approaching we know that you’ll have plenty to worry about, let’s not make your new home one of them. So, to make this winter a bit easier, here are a few tips from our warranty team to keep your new home in shape for the changing seasons.
Prep Exterior Faucets
With the weather dropping below freezing at night you’ll want to ensure that you turn off the water to your exterior hose bibs to protect them against the winter cold. To do so, go to the basement and turn the shut off valves perpendicular to the valve, then go outside and slightly open the valve and leave it open until spring. This will relieve the pressure and your pipes should not freeze.
Clean Your Gutters
No one likes this job, we know, but it’s time to finally clean out the leaves and debris out of your gutters. Whether you decide to hire a cleaning service or do it yourself, if so be sure to be careful, it is a necessary step in getting your home ready for winter. Cleaning your gutters will assist water drainage and help it to not freeze up, which can create potentially damaging ice dams.
Maintain Your Windows
The windows of a home can be one of the largest contributors to heat loss, which is why we use ENERGY STAR certified windows by Pella, but even the best building materials need a little help along to way. To ensure the best seal possible during the cold months, clean out the tracks of your windows and engage the locks to ensure it closes completely. This simple little tip will eliminate the amount of cold air drafts your home experiences and help keep you warm this winter.
Tools to Clear Snow
It should go without saying for any home buyer in Minnesota, but if you haven’t bought a good shovel do so now. Yes, you may have a great new snow blower that you’ve been itching to use, but there is no replacement for a good shovel. It will help you maintain the entrances to your home and make your life a bit easier when those blizzards come. On that note, while you’re out, make sure you pick up a roof rake too. You’ll need one to clear the snow load off of your roof to protect against ice dams and now is the best time to get one, as they are sure to be in stock and at reasonable prices.
Protect Your Floors
The last thing you want is to ruin those gorgeous floors of your new home, so do yourself a favor and take some easy steps to prolong the look and life of your flooring. The best thing you can do to protect your floors is to simply place a mat on the inside and outside of all entry points of your home. With all the snow, water, salt and sand we collect on our boots and shoes during the winter, a mat at your front door or mudroom is the best way to collect that mess and keep your floors clean. In addition, routine sweeping and cleaning of your floors will help you stay ahead of the mess the winter brings and ensure your floor is clear of any debris which may damage it.
Get Your Furnace Ready
When the temperature starts to drop your furnace is going to be put to work, so how about giving it a hand? For those who have not do so recently, a furnace cleaning is great way to ensure optimal performance as well as prolong its life. It’s also a good time to take a look at your filter and replace it as needed. Another note, while your going through the home, when is the last time you replaced the batteries in your smoke detectors? Now would be a great time to go through and replace those as well.