Winter Home Maintenance Checklist
Hopefully, you followed our advice and conducted some routine fall home maintenance on your home this year. While it might feel like you just spent a weekend completing tasks to help keep your house functioning properly, we have another round of maintenance tips for you with the upcoming winter season.
If you live in a new-construction house built by Bill Clark Homes, North Carolina’s premier home builder, then it might feel a bit like overkill. Although our homes are built to a higher standard of quality and craftsmanship than other homes in our area, preventative maintenance keeps families safe and the homes we build in tip-top shape. And if you don’t currently live in a Bill Clark home, then these maintenance tips will matter even more to you and your home.
Clean the dryer and lint vents
Causing over 15,000 house fires every year, dryers and dryer vents are an often overlooked source of danger in your home. Take the time to remove built-up lint from the dryer and clean or replace the lint filter (usually found at the front of the dryer). Not only does this help prevent fires, it also improves your household energy efficiency. Lint vents are found at the back of most dryers and should be cleaned ahead of every winter, if not more often. Remove the vent with a screwdriver, or per manufacturer’s instructions, and gently brush the vent through with a dryer vent duct brush. Once reconnected, experts suggest turning on your dryer for about 15 minutes to force air through and blow out any remaining lint.
Test your home's sump pump
As the last line of defense against condensation buildup, flooding and excess water, it’s imperative that your sump pump is in proper working order before the onset of colder winter weather. To test, locate the exit pipe of your sump pump (which can be found in your home’s basement or crawl space) and check it for dirt and debris. Remove any clogs and make sure that water is being directed away from your home’s foundation.
With a dual cord pump, both cords should be unplugged—if you hear a humming sound when you plug in the pump cord, everything is working as it should. With a single cord pump, pour 20 liters of water into the pump pit until the float rises up. If working properly, you’ll hear the pump turn on. If anything seems awry, contact a sump pump repair service near you.
Check your electrical system
The below-freezing night your electrical system fails should not be the first time you think about checking it this year. Make sure to schedule an electrical maintenance tune-up with a trusted area technician (or by yourself, if you’re up to it) before the temperatures begin to drop more consistently. If you plan to tackle this step on your own, make sure you hit the following:
- Check the main service panel for sparking
- Inspect breaker wires for bad insulation and discoloration
- Test power flow through electrical circuits with a multimeter
- Look at extension cords and wall sockets for signs of wear and tear
- Test your ground fault circuit interrupter with a multimeter
If there are issues with any of the above, hire a reputable electrician. Bill Clark Homes can refer you to an expert in your community.
Prepare for winter storms
Although North Carolina’s mild climate is what attracts so many residents to the state, winter storms are still a possibility—especially when you live near the mountains. Dedicate a space in your home (whether it’s in a linen closet, basement or another area that makes sense for your family) to store the essential items you’ll need in the event of a winter storm that knocks out power or prevents you from leaving your home. Suggested items include flashlights or lanterns with spare batteries, solar- or battery-operated radio, non-perishable food items and blankets.
If you have a generator, ensure that it’s working properly and make any snow shovels and outdoor gear like coats and gloves easily accessible. Having everything together in one spot takes away one added stress of an intense storm or freeze.
Invest in a high-quality home
While it’s important to conduct routine home maintenance on houses of all ages, the stakes are a lot lower when you’ve seen your house be built from the ground up. By knowing your builder and their process, you can rest assured that your home is built to last even the harshest of winters and the extreme heat of summer.
Bill Clark Homes aims to provide peace of mind that is so valuable to homeowners, especially ones who have experienced less-than-ideal inconveniences in their older or poorly-built homes. To learn more about our company or to find your ideal home in Greenville, New Bern or Wilmington, contact us today.