Hailing from the midwest where winter was well cold, snowy, and long, I often ask myself if there really is a winter in Charleston, but alas, it seems that we do get the occasional frost and the absolutely random inch of snow that shuts down the city. All joking aside, there are still some essential items as winter approaches the holy city, that homeowners should take to ensure their homes are prepared for the season. Here’s a comprehensive list to winter home maintenance tailored to the lowcountry life.
1. Inspect Roof & Gutters: We are a sucker for Charleston’s foliage, but this also means that roofs and gutters take an extra beating, and after the leaves that have been shed in fall, these areas should be inspected. It’s essential to ensure that any debris and leaves are cleared so that it doesn’t lead to water damage later on. Also, while you are on the roof, ensure that all shingles are properly attached so that you don’t get an unexpected roof leak. We think this is best done by the professionals in the industry, so we don’t end up pulling a Clark Griswald (Christmas Vacation)
2. HVAC Inspection: Now is a great time to ensure that your HVAC system is up and running smoothly. We recommend scheduling a routine maintenance checkup with a reputable HVAC company, you’ll thank us should the temperatures dip lower than expected. Also, don’t forget to replace your air filters to keep indoor air clean and fresh as it is recirculated during these drier months. Also, we love the addition of some key plants that also filter indoor air and improve air quality. We’ve just added snake plants to our home space. Lastly, in order to save on your electric bills and help the environment installing a smart thermostat might make sense as we head into the colder months.
3. Store Outdoor Items: With summer gone for a while, we recommend covering and/ or storing all furniture, grills, and yard decor, in order to preserve your items and forgo unnecessary wear and tear. This is another reason we love a screened in porch which protects our items from the elements but allows for letting nature inside. And while you are at it, make sure to give any decks and stairs a once over. Make sure to clear debris, give them a sweep, and fix any broken/ rotted boards.
4. Lawn Maintenance:
-Re-mulch: Now is also a good time after all the leaves have fallen to freshen up any pine straw mulch.
-Trim: Make sure to trim branches and ensure all are far enough away from the home and roof.
-Fertilize: Many recommend using a winterizing fertilizer to enhance your greenery come spring.
-Prune: Prune plants now to avoid shocking them when the hotter months arrive. They’ll thank you!
5. Check Window and Doors: Be sure to take a look at caulking and weatherstripping around window and doors, and ensure that all seals are intact. This can help keep the warmth in, your energy bills down, and reduce the amount of insects that sometimes make it indoors to roost. If you do suspect that pests have taken up shelter without paying rent, reach out to a pest company to assess the situation and process a formal eviction.
6. Plumbing Inspection: Ensure that all pipes that are exposed are insulated properly. Also, make sure to disconnect any exterior hoses and turn off outside water. Contrary to popular belief it does freeze here and Charleston, and we personally can attest to frozen pipes under elevated construction causing leaks.
7. Check Chimney: Now is the time to assess the chimney and fireplace and ensure proper operation. Also, confirm that no animals have built nests and the like. Again, a professional is probably best for this job.
8. Declutter Storage: With extra time indoors, we think it’s a great idea to get a jumpstart on cleaning out those closets. One tip we love is after all the holiday decor is up, assessing what is still left in those holiday bins. If those items didn’t make it out this year chances are they won’t next and you can live without them. Burnt out tree light strands, misc. garland, broken ornaments, they all can go. Once you tackle this list of essential winter maintenance tasks, you’ll be ready to enjoy a cozy winter in the low country. As you settle into winter in the holy city, you’ll be ready for a season of festive events and strong local community.
And if you’re considering a move to Charleston, or looking for that dream home, feel free to reach out for guidance and assistance. We’re here to help find the perfect home that compliments the lifestyle you’re looking for in this charming Southern city.
Source: Kelly Kostecki, Realtor ©