Although we at Ehlinger love taking care of what’s outside your home—lawn service and snow removal is our livelihood—we want the inside of your home to be safe, cozy, and well cared for this winter. As we settle into our Minnesota winter, now is a good time to give thought to some of the important winter home maintenance tasks that you may have forgotten.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Heating Equipment
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fires started by home heating equipment and carbon monoxide poisoning both increase during the winter months. Vehicles and generators running in an attached garage can cause dangerous levels of CO, and you should always make sure there is ample ventilation. If you’re going to start your car to let it warm up, back it out of the driveway so the fumes don’t build up in your garage and seep into your home.
Never use your oven to heat your home, and be sure to turn off portable space heaters when you leave the room. (That includes the one you have hidden under your desk at work.)
Stock up on Winter Supplies
Stock up your home and your car with winter-ready supplies. For your home, make sure you have a good snow shovel, snow blower, and salt to rid your walkways of dangerous ice. Or, try one of these tips for keeping your walkways free of ice. If you have no desire to repair or purchase a snow-blower, let us do the snow removal for you. (We offer one price for the whole season, so you’re covered automatically, no matter how many times it snows!)
For the car, think about what you might need in the event of a sudden winter storm in your path or being stranded on the side of the road. Blankets, flares, water, salt, and a small shovel can be incredibly handy in the right moment. Having a spare battery for your phone is another good idea.
We all love a roaring fire, especially in these temps. But there are several to-dos surrounding that blaze to keep your home safe. First, get a fire screen that is well-reviewed if you have pets or children in the house or as guests. Many a tiny hand has been burned on fireplace glass! Hearth guards are also available to cushion those dangerous edges.
To upkeep your fireplace, remove ashes regularly, and get your chimney inspected and cleaned once a year by professionals.
Protect Your Pipes
Often on the exterior walls of a home, pipes are susceptible to freezing in cold temperatures. If you’re leaving town, don’t turn your heat off completely because the pipes (and water within) may freeze and cause damage. When the temperature gets extremely cold, let the water drip a bit through the night to keep something flowing through the pipes. Pipe insulation is available at hardware stores and can give you pipe peace of mind.
Watch for Ice Dams
Melting and refreezing water on your roof can cause ice dams, meaning big problems forming under your shingles, in your gutters, and in drainpipes, blocking water from draining off your roof. The problem actually begins in your attic, with heat seeping through the roof and melting ice and snow, only to refreeze in an ice dam. Contact a professional to investigate and address this issue.
If we take a moment to step outside your house to meet winter face-to-face, Ehlinger Lawn Service will be there to help you safely and effortlessly tackle snowfalls. Gain tips on how to shovel safely and find out more about our snow removal program, which provides snow blowing off your driveway whenever snow reaches more than 1 inch.
So enjoy this winter, be safe, and stay warm!