Midwinter House Maintenance

It’s the middle of winter and your poor old house has been working very hard to keep you warm and dry in this miserable season. So on this week-o-love why not show your house a little TLC with some midwinter maintenance?

odinwinterbackyard

Now I know you’re looking at me funny thinking “I did all that winterizing sh$t in the fall yo” . Good for you! But your house still may be suffering from all this snow, the recent thaw, and all the other fun stuff that goes along with it.

Here’s a small list of items to take a look at this weekend around your house.

  • Make sure snow is not piled against your house. In fact, ensure all snow banks are far away from your house. The last thing you want is that snow melting and trying to make its way into your house. Water is a sneaky little bastard, and will find any way it can to get into your house and wreak havoc.
  • Make sure your downspouts are clear and flowing. Also check your eaves troughs for icicles and ice damns. These can cause a lot of problems. If you are experiencing these issues, try to figure out why. Is your attic losing a lot of heat causing the snow on your roof to melt? You may need more attic insulation. Is your downspout in the shade and your roof in the sun? Often this can cause the snow on the roof to melt but your downspout in the cool shade to freeze. If this is the case, consider investing in a heat trace system for your gutters and downspouts.
  • Take a look at your roof and if you see any lifted shingles or missing flashing, call in a roofer ASAP.
  • Do you have backyard or garage drains? Make sure they are flowing properly, a frozen drain can cause a lot of flooding.
  • Is you backyard a lake? Ours is! Our grading was done improperly and causes water to flood our pathway. Nothing we can do now, but a new path and grading is on the list for spring.
Welcome to Lake Toronto. I would be weary of swimming, that red bundle of trouble has been known to pee in the pool

Welcome to Lake Toronto. I would be weary of swimming, that red bundle of trouble has been known to pee in the pool (and dont eat that yellow snow either)

  • How’s your furnace doing? Is it time to change the filter? Even if it isn’t go do a quick inspection of your furnace and take a look at the filter. Your furnace has been working extra hard this winter and its filter may be fuller than it should. If that’s the case replace your filter anyways as your furnace will work more energy efficiently.
  • Check your windows and skylights for condensation. Especially with the temperatures changing and the humidity fluctuating your house can get too humid and condensation can form on the windows which can lead to mold. If you do have some condensation make sure you pull your curtains back and let some sun hit the windows. Also remember to leave all the interior doors of your house open to better increase airflow.
See that condensation on the window? UGH thats a breeding ground for mold. Yuck!

See that condensation on the window? UGH that’s a breeding ground for mold. Yuck!

  • During and after showering ensure your bathroom exhaust fan is on. Consider getting a fan with a timer so you can set the fan to stay on a half hour after you leave the bathroom.
Our Bathroom Timer. (Although I would advise getting one that has a 30 minute setting, the 15 minute setting just isnt long enough. And who needs 2 minutes of fan? You gonna run into the bathroom, fart, set the timer and leave?!)

Our Bathroom Fan Timer. (Although I would advise getting one that has a 30 minute setting, the 15 minute setting just isn’t long enough. And who needs 2 minutes of fan? You gonna run into the bathroom, fart, set the timer and leave?!)

  • When cooking (especially when boiling water or reducing sauces) make sure your vent hood is on full blast to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
  • Do the animal check. Make sure no big (or little) furry friends have decided to camp anywhere in or near your house. Check the flashing near your roof and under decks or porches. Check your garage for signs of life, and do the smell test in your attic and basement (by smell test I mean see if it smells like animal pee/poop)

See that wasn’t too bad! Your house (and your wallet) will thank you for it in the spring.

El Granto has been on a winter maintenance bonanza in our house this week. Hell I even found him WD-40’n all the hinges in the house the other day. Really. He was wielding that can with the little straw like a gun de-squeeking everything in sight…

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