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With the official start of winter quickly approaching, it is always best to complete home maintenance tasks to protect your investment during the cold weather months. As a home inspector here in Northeast Ohio, I am aware of seasonal nuances that we must be aware of. Most of the tasks that I recommend are projects that homeowners can complete on their own, however if you ever have questions or are unsure about a project, contact a professional for assistance.

  • Replace or clean furnace filters and have your furnace serviced.

  • Clean your gutters (if you haven’t already) or contact a gutter clearing company to flush them.

  • If you have a sink, tub or shower that is not used frequently, be sure to run water through the lines to keep water in the trap and prevent bacteria from forming. Some homeowners prefer to flush the lines with a cleaner or an enzyme solution.

  • Test faucets for dripping and replace washers. 

  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas.

  • Shut off all exterior faucets, disconnect hoses and drain water from the lines.

  • Vacuum (or remove and clean) bathroom exhaust fan grills to ensure proper ventilation.

  • Check your dryer exhaust for lint buildups. Vacuum lint filters and ensure that the exhaust leading out of the house is clear of debris and properly functioning. If snow or ice builds up around the exterior exhaust, be sure to clear that away to avoid heat buildup- this is a leading cause of fires.

  • Vacuum smoke detectors and change batteries, if you have not yet done so this fall.

  • Inspect holiday lighting for frayed cords and extensions that seem to be overheating. Replace or repair anything that is questionable.

  • Inspect your fireplace (for debris and cracks) and have it cleaned by a chimney sweep.

  • Consult your hot water tank’s manual for any instructions on controlling sediment accumulation. Some hot water tanks clean-out valves need to be drained.

  • Clean radiator grills on refrigerators and freezers.

  • Reverse ceiling fan directions to force warm air down into the room.

  • Examine windows and doors for excess moisture and frost accumulation. This is a problem that you should address in the springtime.

  • Caulk around window trim and door edges to create a tight seal.

  • Test your sump pump to ensure proper drainage.

  • Be sure to regularly check your roof’s exterior during the winter months for icicles, as well as the interior for ice dams. If you have an ice dam problem, it is best to consult a roofer to mitigate the issue before structural damage can occur.

As always, home maintenance can prevent costly repairs, increase your property value, extend the life of appliances and fixtures and most importantly ensure your safety. For expert property maintenance inspections in Northeast Ohio, contact Integrity Home Evaluation Services.


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