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Winter Home Maintenance Tips for First-Time Homeowners

Jan 30, 2023


Winter Home Maintenance Tips for First-Time Homeowners


Buying a home for the first time is a major accomplishment and one you should take pride in! But if you've never owned a home, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed as you realize the amount of work that goes into maintaining it. Paying attention to these winter home maintenance tips will help make sure your first winter in your new home is safe and cozy.

When You Move In

Before you dive into your winter home maintenance list, make sure you've completed the items on our "moving into a new home" checklist. Cleaning, childproofing, and changing locks, for example, will make sure your transition to a new home is smooth.

As Winter Approaches

Moving into a new home in the fall means you'll have several maintenance tasks to complete to prepare your home for winter.

Furnace and Fireplace Inspections

Have your furnace and other HVAC units inspected by a heating and cooling professional. These trained technicians will clean your units, repair or replace any worn parts, and answer any questions about your system, including how and how frequently to change your furnace filters!

If your home has a fireplace, make sure to have it inspected as well. Gas fireplaces should be checked regularly, especially the vent-free kind, to make sure they aren't giving off carbon monoxide. For wood-burning fireplaces, regular chimney inspections and flue cleanings are important to make sure smoke vents correctly and doesn't pose a fire hazard.

Clean Your Air Ducts             

Another step in ensuring your HVAC system works efficiently is cleaning your ducts. It's a good idea to do it shortly after you move into a new home just to make sure it's been done, since it's a task many homeowners overlook!

Air duct cleaning usually involves a professional company coming to your home and using a high-power vacuum to clear out your ducts and dryer vent. Clearing the dryer vent helps prevent fires. And air duct cleaning will remove dirt, dust, and allergens to improve the quality of your home's air, which will keep your family healthier this winter.

Stain and Seal Your Wood Deck

Annual staining and sealing of your wood deck is the best way to prevent moisture from rotting the wood and making portions of your deck unstable and unsafe. Take advantage of a mild fall day to sweep all the debris off your deck and move inside (or cover) any deck furniture.

Then, head to your local hardware store to purchase the products you need. Some products will combine the stain, seal, and UV protector into one product. Others will require a two-step process of staining and then sealing a couple of days later.

If this task seems overwhelming, remember that many companies that build decks can refer you to someone who can tackle this project for you. Whether you hire someone or DIY it, you'll be able to enjoy your deck for years to come if you maintain it properly.

Roof and Gutters

Inspect your roof for any loose shingles and clear your gutters of any debris. These steps will help ensure that water from melting snow and ice drains completely, so you can avoid leaks that can cause water damage or, worse, put your home at risk for mold.

Check Other Areas for Moisture

Make sure you check in your basement and attic or crawlspace for any interior signs of leaks, such as puddles of water, stains, or mold growth. If any of these appear, you'll want to check your foundation for cracks and your roof and siding for any compromised spots. If you live in an area where storms can bring hail, there could be roof or siding damage you don't know about. And foundation cracks are common in older homes where the ground has settled over time.

Winterize Your Home

Keep your home energy efficient this winter. Insulate the pipes to prevent freezing. Add caulking or weatherstripping around doors and windows where heat can escape.

Don't forget, too, to test and change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. And since you're in a new home, make sure you know your escape paths in the event of a fire emergency.

Look Ahead to Spring

Spring will bring another round of maintenance tasks that are new to a first-time homeowner. For now, remember to change those smoke detector batteries in six months. You'll also want to have your air conditioner inspected and cleaned, so schedule that service when the technician comes out this fall.

Start thinking about your yard maintenance needs. Will trees and bushes need trimming? Who will cut your grass? Will you need to have any planting or landscaping done? Thinking about these items now, during the dormant season, will mean you're prepared when the first buds of spring appear.

If you're looking to move into a new home this season, our professional agents at Orizon Real Estate can help. Contact us today at 260-248-8961.