Winter cleaning and maintenance

Across the US, winter is approaching. If you live in a region that has harsh winters, with snow, ice, heavy frosts, and plummeting temperatures, this means it’s time to make sure your home is safe and ready for the long winter months.

What you don’t want is to ignore all the warnings and not take action, and end up with severe damage to your house—especially as this can mean making a huge and rather expensive claim on your home insurance.

Let’s look at some steps that you can take to make sure your home is protected from the harsh elements in the winter.

Insulate Your Pipes

A burst pipe is one of the most common issues in winter, and this disaster also can cause untold amounts of damage.

When temperatures drop below freezing, the water running through the pipe freezes. When water solidifies, it expands in size, and this can cause the pipe to burst.

Spend some time lagging your pipes. This involves wrapping them in some foam insulation to protect them. Make sure your water is running through them as well, as this reduces the risk of them bursting.

Even when you leave on vacation and don’t need your home and water heated quite as much, you should never turn the heat in your home below 55–60 degrees Fahrenheit. As an extra precaution, you can also leave the water running from faucets at just a drip to ensure water is moving through the pipes and not sitting still.

Check Your Water Heater

On the topic of plumbing, it’s a good idea to check your water heater before the harsh weather sets in. While water heaters have a decent lifespan, lasting on average eight to fifteen years, the last thing that you want in the middle of the winter is for it to stop working suddenly.

Hot water is an absolute essential in the cold months, and it can be much more challenging to arrange replacements or repairs when many other people are in the same boat. Making sure it is working and everything seems in order beforehand may save you the stress of searching for water heater repairs in Santa Barbara.

Clear Your Gutters

Check your gutters to keep them clean from any debris and dirt, especially if large snowfalls are likely. If the gutters are clogged, the melting snow will not escape and will ultimately damage the roof. Any leaks can also cause damage to the structure of the property.

Prepare Your Trees and Landscaping

Storms during the winter months are normal, but they can cause branches or trees to break down and crash into your house, causing significant damage. It is much easier to inspect and cut down any dead limbs or branches that have grown close to your house. By doing this, you can mitigate the risk and save your home from being damaged during the winter.

Protect the door locks

Did you know that the lock on your door can freeze when the temperature drops during the winter?

There is a quick and easy trick to deal with this problem and make sure your home is ready for any dramatic temperature drops: get a powdered graphite lubricant from any hardware store and spray it into all of your house’s door locks. This will keep the pins lubricated within the lock and prevents them from sticking and trapping you inside—or outside—your home. 

The winter elements can be harsh. Making sure that you take steps to protect your home before the cold weather sets in can save you heartache and money further down the line.