Following a home maintenance checklist is a great way to ensure that your home is in tip-top condition, especially in the upcoming winter season. Preventive maintenance is vital to keep our homes safe and avoid dealing with unexpected repairs.
As the last traces of summer heat are slowly disappearing, now is the time to tackle some simple chores in preparation for the seasonal change. Therefore, it is essential to keep a maintenance checklist to make it easier for you to know what needs to be inspected, such as your garden, attic, garage, basement, and the like.
Check your gutters, water and piping systems, vents, and electrical systems to ensure that everything is working fine before the winter season starts.
Reverse the ceiling fans
Ceiling fans help in circulating cool air and cut energy costs during the summer. But, during the winter, they also help in keeping your homes warm.
By adjusting the direction of your ceiling fan, it can help with your home’s interior climate.
The ceiling fan direction should be clockwise during the winter season. The fan should run at the lowest setting to pull cool air up toward the ceiling, which displaces the warm air collected near the top.
The clockwise movement of the ceiling fan causes the warmer air trapped at the top to go down hence making the room feel comfortable.
A low-speed setting prevents any drafty “wind chill,” which keeps the airflow consistent. To check if you have reversed your fan correctly, stand under the fan and check air is not blowing downwards.
Check Your Gutters and Drainage
Cleaning and last-minute guttering inspection are essential to prevent the accumulation of leaves and prevent them from restricting water dissipation. Clogged drainage and gutters will not only be inconvenient but may lead to more costly repairs if not properly maintained.
To clean out your gutters, remove leaves, twigs, and other debris blocks from the drainage system. Flush the gutters with water and check if some holes or joints are loose.
However, if your gutter and drainage system is severely clogged, don’t hesitate to look for a gutter cleaning service in your area. They will help ensure that your drainage and gutters are cleaned and de-clogged properly and safely with the correct access systems for higher access requirements.
Check Your Electrical System
Another vital part of your checklist is your home’s electrical system. Every year, electrical fires cause substantial damage and property loss across Australia, and many of these could be prevented.
Older homes are prone to having electrical damage. To be fully prepared this coming winter, engage a licenced electrical contractor to check out your electrical systems and test your, life saving, residual current devices (RCDs)
Look for warning signs of electrical issues. Burnt smells, premature lamp failure, tripping circuits, flickering lights etc are all warning signs that there may be something more serious at issue.
Only use experienced and licenced personnel when you hire an expert electrician. Electricity kills and you must never attempt to DIY electrical works.
Deep Clean the Kitchen
Cleaning the kitchen is another part of the home that needs to be maintained. When preparing for the winter season, it is best to check out every nook and cranny of your kitchen.
- Clean your oven using baking soda and water to remove oil and grease.
- Clean your greasy gas oven tops so they will properly work when cooking.
- Degrease the range hood and filters so smoke can exhaust out properly.
- Scrub tile grout on your kitchen tabletop.
- Wash and clean kitchen walls to remove oil from surfaces and backsplashes.
- Clean your refrigerator, remove spoiled food, fruits, and veggies.
- Clean the light fixtures in your kitchen.
- Wash the garbage can and recycling bin.
- Clean other small kitchen appliances.
Clean Your Dryer Vents
In back of many dryer units is a short 4-inch diameter exhaust. Keeping your dryer vents well-maintained is essential as the dryer will likely get more usage in the winter months. A clean dryer vent can keep your dryer running efficiently, saving time and money.
To clean your dryer vents:
- Remove the screen and clean the lint buildup by hand.
- Rub using a nylon brush, hot water, or liquid detergent to remove any buildup.
- Rinse using hot water and allow to dry completely.
- You may use a vacuum cleaner crevice tool or hair dryer to clean the inside and outside of it for trapped lint.
- Clean the exterior, buttons, and knobs using a microfibre cloth and gentle cleaning spray.
Test Your Sump Pump
You should also pay particular attention to your sump pump. The sump pump is designed to remove water collected in the sump basin and release it away from your home.
It is usually located in your basement or crawlspace, which in cold areas is prone to freezing. If ice builds in the basin, water cannot flow freely and will ultimately be frozen. When this happens, it will be hard for the pump to remove water.
Once the pump does not remove the water, it will overheat, hence break down and cause more expense due to replacement or repairs. So, make sure that you test your sump pump before the winter arrives.
Disconnect any extension hoses attached to your sump pump’s discharge pipe so that water will not freeze. Protect the motor by looking for other forms of drainage in your home.
It will prevent it from turning on and off frequently, limiting the pump’s risk of working on frozen pipes.
Seal Leaky Doors and Windows
A home that has air leaks around the windows and doors is uncomfortable, especially during winter. No one wants to experience a draft because the gaps will also make your heating system work harder.
Using a weatherstrip is a cost-effective way to manage air leaks on your windows and door. It will also minimize any unpleasant drafts and keep your home warm and comfy.
However, weatherstrip can deteriorate through the years, so it is essential to check them regularly and replace them once worn out.
Check for missing sealant around the windows and doors. You may consider putting draft-stoppers at the bottom of the doors so cold air will not enter your home as well.
Weatherproof Exterior Pipes
Undoubtedly, every home in Australia’s alpine regions knows that the winter season is not to be neglected. Taking extra precautionary measures is essential when it comes to your pipes and plumbing as well.
Having your pipes freeze during the winter can be inconvenient and expensive to rectify, so taking the proper maintenance will help you save money and prevent future severe damage.
To prepare your exterior pipes, remove any attached hoses and drain any residual water. Turn off water at the shut-off valve to avoid water from freezing.
Another way to mitigate the risk of frozen pipes is to insulate them. Ensure that there is greater insulation in pipes that are more prone to getting frozen.
You may use pipe sleeves or install heat tapes to provide protection on your pipes. Seal up cracks and holes on damaged insulation to prevent further damage.
The best advice for this will come from your local plumber. HIREtrades can help you connect with local plumbers and receive free quotes for your works.
Be sure that before the winter season comes, your plants are pruned well. Keep the branches and limbs at least 1 metre from your home so the moisture will not drip on the roofs and gutters.
Some grasses and perennial flowers should be cut back to make them look nice and tidy. It will also assist in mitigating their risk of acquiring plant diseases. Clean up your yard to keep pests from making winter nests.
Be sure that you get rid of dead weeds, branches or other invasive plants to complete your garden winterization. You may want to find an arborist if you want to keep your garden beautiful and healthy.
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