As winter approaches, your home is susceptible to more hazardous conditions. This includes pipes freezing, damage from the cold weather, and high heating costs. If the home is not prepared properly, the value of the home can decrease due to wear and tear. Staying up-to-date with winter maintenance activities will keep it as good as new.

Here is a checklist of things to do to keep your home safe and maintained in the cold winter months:

  • Check the roof. Watch for damage from ice and remove icicles.
  • Avoid frozen pipes. Keep cabinet doors open for the heat to reach pipes, such as below sink areas. A slow dripping faucet can help pipes that are vulnerable to extreme weather, such as pipes that run through an unheated or unprotected space.
  • Prevent leaks. Check the basement area for leaks and water, especially during a winter thaw.
  • Test the electrical system. Check all ground-fault circuit interrupters to make sure they are working properly and offer shock protection. These outlets can cut off power to an electrical device; they should be tested especially after an electrical storm.
  • If you are going out of town, prepare the home. Keep the heat turned on, even if you are leaving for an extended period of time.
  • Keep heating costs down. Clean and check or replace furnace air filters every month. Install storm windows or use plastic-film sheets from a hardware store on windows for the winter season.
  • Prepare for an emergency. Check the pressure gauge on all fire extinguishers and replace if necessary. Also, make sure to have a 72-hour kit on hand in the case of blackouts or snowstorms.

A home that is ready for winter will remain in good condition, keep costs down, and allow you to enjoy a cozy winter without worry.