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Home Maintenance
If winter is just around the corner, prevention and proper care now will make the winter months a little more bearable. The following tips will help you be prepared to take on any storm that Old Man Winter sends your way. The days grow shorter and cooler as winter approaches, so it's a good idea to take care of the outside of your home first!

Outdoor checklist

  • Inspect and repair gutters and downspouts. Clear away any blockages like leaves and branches.
  • Replace any missing or damaged shingles.
  • Make sure the chimney is sealed and install a chimney cap to prevent animals and birds from entering.
  • Install weatherstripping.
  • Locate and repair cracked glass and broken seals on storm windows.
  • Repair deteriorated finish or paint on siding, caulk splitting seams in wood siding, or replace any missing mortar if your home is made of brick or stone.
  • Trim trees and shrubs away from the house.
  • Repair cracks in the driveway or sidewalk.
  • Apply an extra coating of waterproofing to decks.

Interior checklist

  • Insulate the attic properly and make sure it's ventilated to prevent the creation of ice dams on the roof.
  • Insulate pipes exposed to the cold.
  • Have the furnace, radiators, and valves serviced.
  • Lubricate all pumps, fans, and motors.
  • Test the sump pump.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector if you don't already have one.
  • Make sure all smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and humidifiers are properly functioning.
  • Check to see that water drains away from the house during a rainstorm.

Periodic routine check-ups can go a long way toward keeping your home up and running throughout the year.

  • Service heating system and air-conditioning system.
  • Replace filters in heating and air-conditioning system.
  • Check for leaks in plumbing.
  • Drain and replace water in water heater.
  • Test pressure valve on water heater.
  • Trip main on electrical panel.
  • Check ground fault interrupters.
  • Inspect all electrical cords.
  • Inspect walls for cracks.
  • Inspect basement for moisture and rotten wood.
  • Check caulking around windows and doors.
  • Check attic for water damage, birds, and rodents.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Check roof for damaged shingles.
  • Inspect exterior paint for cracking and wear.
  • Lubricate hinges, locks, and moving door hardware.



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*21st Century is not affiliated with Homesite Insurance. The 21st Century Homeowners Insurance Program is underwritten by member companies of the Homesite Insurance group, a leading provider of homeowners, renters and condominium insurance. Member companies include: Homesite Insurance Company, Homesite Indemnity Company, Homesite Insurance Company of California, Homesite Insurance Company of Florida, Homesite Insurance Company of Illinois, Homesite Insurance Company of the Midwest, Homesite Insurance Company of New York, Homesite Insurance Company of Pennsylvania, and Homesite Lloyd's of Texas.
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