If there are any home and window repair and maintenance tasks you’ve been putting off, now is the time to do them! A little maintenance goes a long way—and can even help you avoid major repairs down the road.
We put together a list of all the things you should do, so your home is in tip-top shape before winter hits. Here is your window and home maintenance checklist, all in one place.
#1 Get your heating system ready.
Nothing is worse than losing your heat in the dead of winter, so make sure your heating system is ready to handle the low temps. Depending on the type of heating system in your home, you may need to clean it (boiler or gas) or clear the pipes (high efficiency).
#2 Replace smoke detector batteries.
Your smoke detectors should be functional year-round, of course—but especially in the winter, when heating can cause home fires. Make sure your detectors are working and installed throughout your home (ideally, in every room).
#3 Keep pipes from freezing.
Don’t let water freeze in your pipes: it can cause them to burst! Keep your thermostat above 55 degrees, insulate around pipes near windows and doors, and shut off any outdoor water valves.
#4 Prepare for storms.
Get an emergency kit together in case winter storms cause you to lose power. Include bottled water, canned and non-perishable food, flashlights, first aid supplies, and batteries.
#5 Clean and inspect your windows.
Give your windows a good cleaning, inside and out. While you do this, inspect them for damage. For example, do your windows open and close easily? Do they lock properly? Do they have peeling paint, broken glass, or any signs or moisture or mildew? Is the wood frame soft or rotting? (Tap the wood with a screwdriver to find out.)
Make a list of any repairs that need to be made. (If you need windows repaired, Jack’s Glass is here to help.)
#6 Check for drafts around windows.
Drafty windows can make your heating bill skyrocket. Make sure to check for air leaks in all of your windows. If you find any drafts, replace the window’s caulk and weatherstripping. (Learn more about drafty windows here.)
#7 Clear out window weep holes.
If you have sliding or vinyl windows, check the weep holes. These are the holes on the exterior bottom of the frame that drain any trapped rainwater. If they’re plugged by dirt and debris, this can cause water leaks in your home.
You can clear a window weep hole by poking it with a wire hanger or spraying it with compressed air.
#8 Check your roof.
Check your roof for any loose or missing shingles that could let in snow and water, and replace them as necessary.
#9 Clear out your gutters.
Get rid of all leaves, sticks, and other debris cluttering up your gutters so that rain and snow can drain. Also make sure your downspout is pointed away from your home’s foundation.
#10 Cut back tree limbs.
Winter storms can send tree limbs right through your windows, so now is a good time to cut them back. Trim any dead tree limbs as well as any limbs that are within a few feet of your home’s exterior. (If you need to remove large limbs, call an arborist.)
#11 Reverse ceiling fans.
Little-known fact: your ceiling fans should rotate clockwise in the winter. This helps push heated air down—making your rooms more comfortable and potentially saving you money on heating!
#12 Consider heavy drapes.
If you have blinds or light and airy curtains up, consider switching them out for heavy drapes for the fall and winter. Lined curtains help reduce drafts and trap cold air coming through the window, so that your rooms stay comfortable. (Get more information on how window accessories can help with energy efficiency here.)
#13 Cover or remove air conditioners.
If you have window air conditioning units, now is the time to remove them. Or, if you have an outside unit, make sure to cover it with a sheet of plywood (weighed down with bricks) to protect it from snow and debris.
#14 Clean your fireplace and get more wood.
It’s a good idea to get your chimney and fireplace cleaned yearly. (Debris stuck in your chimney can be a fire hazard.) Also, make sure to stock up on wood.
#15 Remove window and door screens.
You won’t need these in the winter! Remove your window and door screens, and store them safely until spring.
#16 Think about storm windows and doors.
Storm windows and doors protect your primary windows/doors during bad weather and prevent heat loss. Consider installing these before winter. (For more information about storm windows, see this post.)
#17 Store outdoor furniture.
If you have outdoor furniture, cover it with a tarp or (better yet) store it in a shed or garage to protect it from the elements.
#18 Check stairs and railings.
Make sure the stairs and railings leading to your front door, patio, or deck are sturdy and stable. You’ll want a steady railing when winter ice hits!
#19 Prepare for snow removal.
Make sure your shovels or snow blower are in good shape. Also, stock up on salt and sand before the first snow.
Call Us Today
Ongoing maintenance will help extend the life of your windows, and the rest of your home, too. We hope this checklist helps you get everything done!
If you need help with window repair or replacement this fall, don’t hesitate to call Jack’s Glass.
Our local, family-owned and -operated business has been helping Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky homeowners with their commercial glass, auto glass, glass shower and window needs for more than 70 years. Contact us today at our Elsmere, Covington, or Dry Ridge locations.