It’s been said that Maine has but two seasons: Winter and Getting Ready For Winter.
Now that the leaves are turning color and the night air is a bit crisper, it’s that time again for homeowners to prep for the oncoming snow and ensure a more satisfying Spring.
Here are some tips to help get your home ready for winter:
Check windows and doors for air seal leaks
Inspect your windows and doors for cracks and air leaks that could be coming from the window sills and door frames. Pick up a couple tubes of exterior caulking and fill in gaps around pipes and basement windows to create a tighter seal.
Clean out your gutters
Inspect your gutters for leaves, sticks and debris that can clog drainage and cause ice dams. Replace any gutters or downspouts that look worn, warped or damaged. Your downspouts should extend at least five feet away from your home’s foundation to help prevent future problems.
Inspect your roof
You don’t have to get on the roof to inspect it. Be safe and inspect it from the group. Using a ladder and binoculars, you can seek out loose or missing shingles or holes that may appear in the roof. If you see bunches of moss, it could signal of some rot or decay that may need to be reviewed in greater detail.
Have your furnace as well as any heating and air conditioning cleaned
If you haven’t already, schedule an appointment to have your heating and AC components cleaned and maintained. A good tune up for the heating season is an easy way to reduce mishaps come the middle of the Maine winter heating season.
Clean your water heater
Any buildup that occurs in your water heater can reduce its performance and cause maintenance issues over time. Draining the water heater is a good way to clear out any sediment that may have built up and prep it for the heavier use Maine’s winter season brings.
Check your fireplace
If your home uses wood, pellets or gas fireplaces in the winter, a visual inspection is a good idea. Review pipes and connections as well as test the devices out early to ensure you find any issues that may exist before you need it most. Scheduling a chimney cleaning will help prevent against creosote buildup that can cause safety issues during the heating season.
Drain and protect your hose
Be sure to drain your hose completely and disconnect it from the spigot. Storing inside or under cover can also help prevent it from cracking over the winter.
Clean the mower and test out the snow blower
Adding fuel stabilizer to your mower’s tank can help it from degrading and keep your gas ready for spring use when it’s needed again. Now is also the time to bring the snow blower out, change the oil and test the electric start, pull start and any broken pins that may be present. That first storm is not the best time to find out it needs a little work.