Winter cleaning is not just a job for the professionals. You can take on small tasks such as dusting and de-cluttering. If you decide to give your home a deep clean during winter, be sure to practice safety at all times.
Clean gutters and downspouts.
Leaves, twigs, dirt, and other debris accumulate on your roof during the dry season. It is important that gutters and downspouts are cleared when ice starts to form in the winter. Clogged waterways can lead to ice dams, pushing water to the eaves and into walls.
Check all chimneys and flues.
Prevent fire hazards by inspecting flue piping regularly. Hire a qualified technician to remove blockages and ensure that filters are in good working condition.
Clean the chimney.
It’s easier to outsource this task to a professional. But with the right DIY tools, you can try cleaning the chimney yourself. Cover all surfaces with a cloth to prevent dust and debris from damaging furniture.
Check all water pipes.
Disconnect garden hoses from the water line to prevent in-house pipes from freezing. All family members must know the location of the main water supply valve as well as fixture valves. In case a frozen pipe bursts, turn the water off right away to prevent flooding.
Check electrical fixtures.
Look for bird nests on your exterior electrical fixtures and remove them. Bird nests on electrical fixtures may cause a fire.
Check the fuel tank.
If you have gas-powered lawn equipment, run them until the tank is empty. Flammable liquid as well as oily rags that are stored in the garage can ignite spontaneously.
Clean the air ducts.
Indoor air changes when you close the windows during winter. Clean your air ducts so they won’t circulate mold, dust, and other contaminants inside your home.
Check all lighting fixtures.
Winter months are much darker and may require additional lighting. Make sure entryways are well lit not just at night but all throughout the day.
Prepare your entryways for winter.
Structure entryways are high traffic areas that should always be free of debris and clutter. Place a rubber or wooden mat outside for wiping mud and snow off your feet. Place an absorbent mat inside to soak up remaining moisture. This should keep your walkways clean and dry during the winter.
Clean the furnace.
We highly recommended that homeowners have their furnace serviced by a professional before the start of winter. Apart from that, you should also change the filter once a month to keep it clean and dust-free.
Replace air filters.
Filters are a crucial part of your ventilation system as they remove dust particles from the air. They help you breathe easier and keep dust off your furniture and floors. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, HVAC filters must be replaced every three months. Clean the covers by soaking them in a warm soap solution.
Check all smoke and gas detectors.
Most devices have a test button so you can check if they are working. Dust the covers regularly and replace the batteries every year.
Test receptacle outlets.
Ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are installed to protect people from electrical shock. Once a month, push the colored test buttons located on top of these receptacle outlets. If they do not trip or reset, call a qualified electrician to replace the outlet. GFCI receptacle outlets are important in preventing electrocution in wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and gardens.
Check holiday decor connections.
Make sure all holiday decorations have tight electrical connections to prevent fire. Do not use extension cords or place wires under the carpet. Unplug them when not in use.
Degrease the oven.
If your oven has a self-cleaning function, activate it to remove grease and burnt food. Do note that some ovens are known to emit smoke and trigger fire alarms. It is best to wait for the entire cleaning cycle to finish before you leave the house.
Clean tiles and grout.
Winter cleaning is difficult especially if the tiled floor is near an exit door. Bathrooms with closed windows are also prone to increased moisture and humidity. You might want to call a professional cleaner to restore your tiles, grout lines, and countertops.
Clean floors and carpet.
Your floors often take a beating during winter with people carrying snow and mud from outside. Sweep the floor and vacuum carpets regularly to prevent dirt buildup. Consider also steam cleaning carpets, couches, and chair cushions. Carpets with hard stains and pet odors require deep cleaning from a professional.
General winter cleaning
- Clean vents regularly. Dirt and dust that accumulate in exhaust fan fixtures may cause a fire.
- Empty the dryer vents to prevent lint buildup. Lint that accumulates in the exhaust duct can be a major fire hazard during dry winter months.
- Remove grease from the kitchen exhaust hood and air filter to prevent stove top fires from spreading.
- Check the dishwasher, refrigerator, and washing machine for water leaks along the hoses.
- Wash pillows, comforters, blankets, mattress covers, and other beddings.
- Clean chandeliers, light bulbs, and lamp shades. Replace broken bulbs.
- Scrub the insides of windows to let in more light.
- Call a professional for winter cleaning of upholstery.
- Clean out the basement and attic.
- Clean and reorganize the kitchen pantry.
- Get rid of the clutter room by room.
Leave Complicated Winter Cleaning to Experts
It’s tempting to bundle up and roll under a blanket during freezing temperatures. But for some, it is the best time to do some winter cleaning and prepare for spring.
Start the year right by creating a list of things to do. If the task is too big for you to handle, call Prestige Property Services for a quote. Prestige has been providing cleaning services for properties of all sizes throughout Orange County and Los Angeles.