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Winter Chores to Keep Your Home in Top Shape


By the time winter comes around, hopefully, you'll have already done most of your chores. After all, winter certainly isn't the ideal season to be landscaping or painting the house. That being said, if you can put down your cocoa and make time for a few chores, your home will thank you for it. Use the items below as a checklist to ensure your house stays in great shape until the spring.

Exterior Winter Chores List for Homeowners

1. Keep your driveway clean.

As snow and rain build up, the weight, moisture, and cold are perfect conditions to damage your driveway. It's not uncommon to see cracks in the pavement in the spring due to harsh winter conditions eating away at the concrete or tile. One solution is to shovel your driveway and walkways consistently. Although anybody who's shoveled sidewalks before knows it can be an exhausting project. Another option is to purchase ice melt to sprinkle over the surfaces. Look for chemical-free and salt-free brands that won't damage your driveway or home. And buy pet-safe brands that won't harm your animals or sea life once the melted ice drains away.

2. Seal crawl spaces and attics.

You're not the only one who wants to cozy up indoors when the weather is cold and wet. In the winter, all sorts of creatures will be looking for warm homes to make a nest in. That makes crawl spaces and attics prime real estate. To avoid new furry friends and the subsequent damage to your home, it's smart to seal off any areas they have access to. Walk around the perimeter of the house and check for any holes in the siding. Inside, you can install mesh grates over exhaust pipes or other openings and seal up holes in the floorboards or walls.

3. Check drainage pipes.

If you didn't already insulate or drain outdoor pipes in the fall, now is the time to do it. Even if you already took care of it, it's still a good idea to check the pipes periodically to make sure there aren't any leaks.

4. Winterize outdoor appliances and equipment.

This is also a good idea to do early if you can. Make a list of any appliances or equipment that are outside and exposed to the elements. Then decide where to store and protect them. For example, clean your outdoor furnace and tie a tarp over it. Also, move landscaping tools to a safe, dry location like a shed or basement.

Interior Winter Chores List for Homeowners

5. Replace the filters and check water levels on your heating systems.

Your heating systems will be working in overdrive throughout the cold season. That means they'll collect lint, dirt, and other debris more quickly than usual. On top of that, you're likely spending more time indoors in the winter months. So, it's essential to make sure the air quality in your home is healthy. Replace the filters on your heating systems at the beginning of the season. Check filters often to remove any built-up lint. That will allow your heater to work seamlessly. And it can also extend its life.

It's also a good idea to check on your water boiler. While it shouldn't need too much maintenance, make a note to check the water levels and make sure it doesn't develop any cracks or leaks.

6. Check your heating and air system.

Besides cleaning out the filters when needed, it's wise to have an HVAC company do an annual check-up. It's vital if you want to keep the temperature in your home comfortable. Plus, you can avoid costly emergency repairs due to neglect.

7. Deep clean your home.

Since you're spending more time indoors anyway, it's an excellent opportunity to clean the house from top to bottom. Wash the carpets, dust behind furniture and cabinets, and give grouted areas a good scrub. You can also clean out all the drains, remove built-up calcium from showerheads, and repair caulking around baths and showers. Bonus points if you deep clean the fridge as well!

8. Check the area behind and under your refrigerator.

The compressor can get covered with dirt, dust, and debris. A clean compressor keeps your fridge running longer and is more energy-efficient. A quick cleaning can avoid costly repairs or the need for a replacement.

We hope you've found these winter tips helpful. And remember to contact the mortgage professionals at PenFed when you're considering refinancing or purchasing a new home.

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After your application, we’ll help you:

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1Rates are updated daily at 10:15am EST. The advertised rates and points are subject to change. The information provided is based on discount point, which equals percent of the loan amount, and assumes the purpose of the loan is to purchase a property with a 30-year, conforming, fixed-rate loan. Loan amount of $400,000; loan-to-value ratio of 75%; credit score of 760; and DTI of 18% or less. The property is an existing single-family home and will be used as a primary residence. The advertised rates are based on certain assumptions and loan scenarios, and the rate you may receive will depend on your individual circumstances, including your credit history, loan amount, down payment, and our internal credit criteria. Other rates, points, and terms may be available. All loans are subject to credit and property approval.