The week of Valentine’s Day is about celebrating your love for those you cherish most, family and dear friends at the top of the list. The home of your dreams should also be on that list, as the sanctuary for celebrating the bounty we have in family and friends. Today’s luxury custom built homes are planned and executed with a great deal of thought and care to every detail, and during the punishing Wisconsin winters, love and attention is important to their maintenance, to ensure their longevity and beauty.

Unlike the standard Valentine protocol of flowers and chocolate, the way to your home’s heart is giving loving attention to its core operations and utilities and being sensitive to climate driven protocols. The following are a few winter care tips that will ensure your custom-built home is lovingly cared for during these dark and icy months:

  1. Eliminate Drafts: finding and eliminating drafts in your home can easily decrease your energy bill by 10%. Windows, doors, chimneys, attics, basements and even electrical outlets should all be examined to identify any potential drafts.
  2. Clean and Monitor Heating Systems: before the winter heating season, have your furnace or boiler checked by a licensed technician. During the winter season, have fuel tanks filled and monitor their level throughout the winter.
  3. Ensure Proper Insulation: now is the time that homeowners will notice inadequate insulation. Caulking around windows and weather stripping around doors will protect from drafts and save on heating costs. Also, ensure adequate insulation in the attic to prevent hazardous ice dams; excessive heat escaping into the attic will cause ice and snow to melt on the roof, causing an ice dam when it refreezes, resulting in interior water damage or even a roof collapse.
  4. Monitor Pipes and water flow: freezing temperatures can be damaging to a home’s water piping. It is important to check for leaks and ensure that pipes exposed in unheated areas are protected to withstand a cold snap; extra precautions should be taken when leaving the home unoccupied for a few days, such as shutting off the water.
  5. Clean the Fireplace: Well loved homes should have fires burning throughout the winter, keeping it clean from creosote buildup, and checking regularly for any cracks or damage ensures the safety and health of your family and home.
  6. Be aware of other basic safety measures that should be regularly monitored in the winter. Examples include: smoke and carbon monoxide alarms; proper exterior lighting bulbs and wiring suitable for extreme climates; tree maintenance near home to avoid damage from falling branches; well-maintained steps and hand rails for safety in snow and ice.

Show your custom-built home just how much you love it this winter by making sure it is well taken care of, and it will always be there for you.