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How to Prepare Your Home for Winter in Maryland

Winter is coming! Are you prepared?

If not, don’t worry. We have put together a list of fall home maintenance tips to help get your home ready for the cold weather. After all, not only is your home a place you want to enjoying living in now, but an investment you want to take care of for the long term. Keep reading for more information on how to prepare your home for winter in Maryland.

Aerate, Seed, and Fertilize Lawn

Aeration helps to improve drainage and reduce compaction, while seeding can help fill in bare spots and improve the overall health of your lawn. Fertilization provides essential nutrients that help grass to grow thick and green. When all three of these activities are done together, they can create a lawn that is both beautiful and healthy. Fall is the perfect time to get your lawn ready for the winter months ahead. By taking care of it now, you can ensure that it will be looking its best come springtime.

Prune Back Plants and Shrubs

As the season changes and plants begin to go dormant, it’s important to give them a little TLC in preparation for the winter months. One key activity is pruning back overgrown plants and shrubs. This helps to encourage new growth in the spring and also reduces the risk of damage from heavy snow and ice. It’s best to prune back plants just before they enter their dormant period, which is typically in late fall. However, if you wait until after the first frost, that’s also fine. Just be sure to use sharp, clean pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant. With a little bit of care, your plants and shrubs will be ready to thrive come springtime.

Drain Hoses and Turn Off Outdoor Water

One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for winter is to drain hoses and turn off outdoor water. If water freezes, it can damage your pipes. Turning off outdoor water will prevent damage and any leaks that may occur if the pipes were to freeze. To drain hoses, simply remove them from the spigots and allow them to drain completely. Once they are dry, store them in a protected area such as a garage or shed. Turning off outdoor water is usually as simple as turning a knob or valve. If you are not sure where the shut-off valve is located, ask your local plumber or hardware store for help.

Inspect Roof for Loose or Missing Shingles

One of the most important parts of any home is the roof. The roof protects the structure and contents of the house from the elements, so it is crucial to make sure that it is in good condition. Leaks can cause serious damage to a home, so it is important to inspect your roof regularly and repair any loose or missing shingles as soon as possible. While inspecting your roof, be sure to check for cracked or curling shingles, leaks around chimneys or skylights, and any other signs of damage. If you find any problems with your roof, be sure to call a qualified roofing contractor to have the repairs made as soon as possible.

Clean Out Gutters

As the leaves fall and winter approaches, it’s important to take care of your gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to ice damming, which can damage your roof and cause leaks. In addition, clogged gutters can also attract pests, who will use the debris as a source of food and shelter. As a result, it’s important to clean out your gutters on a regular basis or install gutter guards to keep debris out. Either way, taking care of your gutters is an essential part of home maintenance.

Seal Windows and Doors

Drafts can be a real nuisance. Not only do they make it difficult to keep your home comfortable, but they can also drive up your energy bills. One of the best ways to reduce drafts is to seal your windows and doors. Weather-stripping and caulking are two simple and effective ways to keep drafts from entering your home. By sealing up any gaps, you can enjoy a warmer, more comfortable home while also saving money on your energy bills.

Repair Driveway Cracks

Driveway cracks are unsightly and can also lead to more serious problems if they are not repaired. Water can seep into the cracks and freeze, widening them and causing further damage. In the winter, snow and ice can also cause cracks to widen. As a result, it is important to repair any cracks in your driveway as soon as possible. Simply clean out the cracks and then fill them with an asphalt sealant or concrete patch. By taking care of your driveway, you can help to prevent costly repairs down the road.

Have Furnace Serviced

As the temperatures start to drop, it’s important to make sure your furnace is in good working condition. After all, you rely on it to keep your home warm and comfortable all winter long. While most people think of furnaces as being very reliable, they can actually be quite dangerous. A simple annual tune-up can help to prevent fires by keeping your furnace clean and well-maintained. In addition, a serviced furnace will be more efficient, meaning you’ll save money on your energy bills all winter long.

Change Air Filters

Many homeowners forget about their air filters, but changing them on a regular basis is an important part of maintenance. HVAC systems have to work harder when the air filter is dirty, which can lead to higher energy bills and decreased efficiency. In some cases, a dirty air filter can even damage the HVAC system. To avoid these problems, it is best to change the air filter at least once every three months. Some types of filters need to be changed more often, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Sweep Chimney and Fireplace

Every year, dangerous fires start in homes because of unclean chimneys and fireplaces. In order to prevent these fires, it is essential to sweep the chimney and fireplace on a regular basis. Unfortunately, many people forget to do this simple task, putting themselves and their families at risk. Every year, hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries occur as a result of residential fires. A large percentage of these fires could be prevented with regular chimney and fireplace maintenance.

Clean Dryer Vent and Lint Trap

Many people don’t realize the importance of a clean dryer vent. Not only does it make your dryer work more efficiently, but it also helps to prevent fires. Lint is highly flammable, and a build-up of lint in your dryer vent can pose a serious fire hazard. That’s why it’s important to regularly clean your dryer vent and lint trap. The best way to do this is to disconnect your dryer from the power source and then vacuum the vent and lint trap with a brush attachment.

Test Smoke and CO2 Detectors

It is important to test your smoke and CO2 detectors regularly to ensure they are working properly. The best way to do this is to change the batteries at least once a year and replace the detectors every five years. If you have never tested your alarms before, it is a good idea to change the batteries first to make sure they are working correctly. Once you have done that, you can press the test button on the alarm to see if it sounds. If it does not sound, it may be time to replace the detector.

Fall is a great time to get your home ready for winter. By completing some simple maintenance tasks now, you can protect your investment and avoid costly repairs later on. Right click to save or tap and hold to download a copy of my Fall Home Maintenance Checklist.

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