When you own your own home, a little upkeep and some elbow grease with a home maintenance checklist goes a long way.
It might still be 60’s and low 70’s during the days, but at night we’re getting close to freezing. And if you live in the higher elevations of the Valley, you may get below freezing. But, there are a few items on “the usual” winter home maintenance checklist that we don’t necessarily need in Las Vegas so I’ve pared down the list and added a few items just for us desert dwellers.
Winter Home Maintenance Checklist for the Greater Las Vegas Valley
✓ Check your pipes. Make sure exterior water faucets and if exposed, the water pipes, are insulated. Remove and drain garden hoses and store them in the garage or shed. Turn off outdoor water supply. Once the water supply is off, turn on the faucet and let the water drain. Insulate the faucet with a foam cover.
✓ If you have open-top gutters, a non-windy yet sunny winter day is a good time to get on a ladder to check them for leaves and dirt.
✓ While you’re up on that ladder, take time to look up at the parts of your roof you can see easily. If you notice any missing shingles or tiles, or any torn shingles or broken tiles, have a roofing professional inspect as well.
✓ Check for drafts around windows and doors. New weatherstripping around windows and doors, and new caulk for windows is an easy DIY solution and is bonus for your energy conservation.
✓ Service the HVAC (and change your air filters). Even if you haven’t turned on your heat yet, having a clean and freely operating heating system will be a comfort when the time comes.
✓ If you have a wood-burning fireplace, please have it cleaned and inspected before lighting it up.
✓ Walk around the outside of your home looking for cracks in your foundation. It’s not unusual for a home to settle on its foundation as time goes by and some cracks are inevitable. Rule of thumb – vertical and diagonal cracks less than 1/8 inch wide are usually common and can be filled with a DIY project. Any crack wider than 1/8 of an inch, any crack you find concerning, or a crack that runs horizontally should be inspected by a structural professional.
✓ Replace cracked and missing caulking around vents – inside and outside – and outdoor faucets.
✓ Remove window screens. Rinse the dirt off, inspect and repair, if needed, and store in the garage or shed for the winter. The screenless windows will allow more sunshine in.
✓ Inspect your smoke detectors and replace the batteries if you forgot to do so with the time change. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends
…every smoke alarm be replaced after 10 years and that regular batteries be replaced every six months.
✓ If you have gas appliances or gas heating, ensure that one of your smoke detectors is also a carbon monoxide detector.
Happy, happy Winter! May you be warm, cozy, safe, & healthy in your home.