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Home Maintenance Tips for Pittsburgh Winters

Winter house - Home maintenance tips for Pittsburgh Winters

Pittsburgh Winters can be cold and dreary. We want our homes to be the respite from the dreariness that sometimes creeps in. Properly maintaining your home will protect you from unpleasant emergency repairs.

As we begin to experience winter setting into our region, now is a good time to tend to any delayed maintenance that will help you through the winter months.

Begin outside before it is too cold to get outdoors. Home maintenance areas of concern are:

  1. Roof – Examine your roof for any missing or damaged shingles. Also check the flashing to make sure it is not damaged. Melting snow and ice can leak into your home. A quick tip is to check inside your attic for any water stains that might indicate a roof leak.
  2. Gutters – Be sure you gutters and roof are clear of any debris or leaves that can cause water or snow to accumulate in the gutter and possibly damage gutters. 
  3. Trees – Your trees should be trimmed so as not to overhang on your house, driveway, or fence. Frozen branches frequently snap and can damage your home, car, or fences.
  4. Outdoor water lines – Winterize any outdoor water lines or water features in your yard. Spigots, sprinkler systems, pools, ponds and other water lines can freeze and leak in the cold if not properly prepared for the winter weather.
  5. Sidewalks – It is obvious that keeping the sidewalk free of snow and ice is a safety issue for anyone using them. Check with your municipality to see if they have any regulations about clearing snow. Many of these regulations are time-sensitive based on when the snow stops falling. 
  6. Driveways – Not only can a snow covered driveway be dangerous to walk on, it can damage your car. If the snow is piled up and you park in the driveway, the moisture can begin to rust the vehicle. Cracks in the driveway can expand as water accumulates and freezes. 

Now you can move inside to handle some additional home maintenance items that will help keep you cozy this winter.

  1. Window & Doors – You may need to caulk or weatherstrip gaps in windows and doors to prevent the cold air from entering. It is estimated you can lose up to 25%-30% of residential heating and cooling through windows. 
  2. Heating System – Having your furnace checked at the manufacturer’s recommendation is important to ensure your system is working optimally. Gas furnaces can emit carbon monoxide that can be deadly.
  3. Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors – You can purchase one unit that monitors both smoke & CO. The detector should be tested every 6 months and replace the battery. Some people make this a practice during daylight savings time changes as an easy way to remember. If you have not tested your unit, do it now.
  4. Fireplace – Whether you have a wood burning or gas fireplace, you need to have it annually inspected. If you have a wood burning fireplace, make certain the wood you are burning is dried correctly and appropriate for burning indoors.
  5. Thermostat – Installing a programmable thermostat can save you in energy expenses. You can set the temperature to coincide when you are home or away as well as lower it in the evening when you are snuggled under your blankets. Program the thermostat to raise the temperature before you wake up or return home.

Don’t forget to stock up on supplies you may need to get through the winter including a good snow shovel, ice melter, flashlights, and a backup battery charger. You should also keep on hand some non-perishable pantry items like water, canned meat, canned vegetables, canned fruit, peanut butter, crackers, cereals, and juices.

Now that you are set for a Pittsburgh winter you can enjoy the comforts of home without expensive emergency repairs.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, contact The SAYHAY Team at 412-755-3600 for a free consultation.

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