Winter Home Maintenance: Oklahoma City

WINTER HOME MAINTENANCE:
OKLAHOMA CITY

With Oklahoma Winters, you never know what you’re going to get. It could be pretty temperate, we could have ice storms, it could be freezing cold with a wind chill that leaves you breathless and wishing for long johns…or is that not what they are called anymore (base layers). No matter how the winter looks, there are still some essential tasks home owners should complete to ensure their homes are prepared for the season. 

1. Inspect Roof and Gutters: Your gutter system is crucial for draining water away from your home. If clogged by sticks, leaves, dirt, or other debris, they can overflow and cause water and snow to build up around your home. Regularly inspect and clean your gutters to avoid potential water damage.

2. HVAC Inspection: Schedule a professional inspection for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Ensuring that your HVAC is in top-notch condition will not only keep your home warm but also improve energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

3. Store Outdoor Items: Clean and store outdoor furniture, garden tools, and other items susceptible to winter weather. Proper storage will extend the life of your belongings and save you from having to replace them in the spring.

4. Lawn & Garden: Winter ice storms can snap branches off your trees. Trim your trees and cut off any weak branches beforehand to prevent potential damage. Additionally, cover delicate plants with burlap or other protective materials to shield them from harsh winter conditions. It is also a great time to re-mulch your flower beds to give more protection to their roots. Did you know you can winterize your sprinkler system? Local irrigation companies will come out and flush the water out of your system, so you don’t have to worry about underground pipes bursting. 

5. Check Your House for Leaks and Drafts: Inspect windows and doors for drafts and leaks. Applying weatherstripping, caulking, or adding insulation where needed will help keep your home warm and reduce energy costs.

6. Plumbing Insulation: Protect your pipes from freezing by insulating them, especially those in unheated areas of your home. Burst pipes can lead to extensive water damage, so take preventive measures to avoid costly repairs. Make sure to unhook your outdoor hoses and place insulated faucet covers for extra protection.  

7. Check Chimney: If you have a fireplace, schedule a chimney inspection and cleaning. Creosote buildup can pose a fire hazard, and ensuring proper ventilation is crucial for both safety and efficiency.

8. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Test and replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Winter heating systems can increase the risk of carbon monoxide leaks, so it’s crucial to have functioning detectors.

9. Snow/Ice Removal: While we typically don’t get a ton of snow here, but early in the season is a great time to grab some salt/ice melt to have on hand. Before it’s supposed to ice or snow, place on walkways and driveways so you and your family can avoid slipping and sliding. 

10. Winter Emergency Kit: It’s always good to prepare an emergency kit if not to have in your home, at least to have in your car. Keep it simple but have blankets, flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food, and water. This is especially important if you live in an older neighborhood where powerlines are all above ground. Ice storms can often be unforgiving and leave residents without power for multiple days.

Winter in Oklahoma can be unpredictable, but by taking these proactive measures, you’ll be better equipped to handle whatever the season throws your way. Stay warm and cozy throughout the winter months by preparing your home for the challenges that may come.

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