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    A brand-new home provides so many benefits, among them the peace of mind that comes from having a home warranty. No matter if you’ve been in your home for five years or five months, it is an investment you want to protect, and savvy homeowners know winter home maintenance is key.

    So when you take a break from Colorado’s wintertime outdoor adventure, be sure your new home is ready for the colder months.

    A winter home maintenance checklist for your home

    Are you fortunate to live in a beautiful new home in a thriving community? Keep it running like new with these nine items that should be on every family’s winter home maintenance checklist:

    #1 Flip the switch on your ceiling fans

    If you haven’t already, now is a great time to flip the switch on all your ceiling fans. When the blades rotate in a clockwise direction, they force warm air down to circulate throughout the room. This is beneficial in any room but is particularly so in rooms with high ceilings (think great room).

    #2 Test the alarms and detectors

    While you’ve got the ladder out, go ahead and test the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Experts recommend this be done monthly, and the winter months — when the heat is on and the windows are closed — are especially important. Check the batteries and swap out for fresh ones where needed.

    #3 Flush out your hot water heater

    Over time, sediment may find its way into your hot water heater. It is recommended that the heater be flushed at least annually to prevent sediment buildup and ultimately to prolong the life of the fixture. When done, wrap the heater with an insulation blanket to conserve energy and defray heating costs.

    #4 Assess your gutters & windows

    When new homes at Sterling Ranch are in tip-top shape, the windows are clear and allow homeowners to view the community and the majestic mountains just beyond. If you find that your windows are weepy, foggy or drafty, it means there is a problem (likely an air leak) that should be taken care of sooner rather than later. Likewise, gutters that line your eaves should generally go unnoticed. But if you detect a display of icicles, pretty as they may be, this is a bad sign and means it’s time to have them checked out.

    #5 Inspect the roof

    Following the winds and hail of Colorado’s warmer months, take the time to inspect the shingles on your home’s roof to ensure all are accounted for and are in good condition before the snow arrives.

    #6 Protect your floors (and you!) with mats

    Winter is a time of wetness in Colorado: soggy gloves from building a snowman or tossing snowballs at the neighborhood pocket park, slush on boots and wet paws from Fido’s romp in the snow-blanketed backyard. Keep your floors dry and safe with mats placed at all entryways — inside and outside.

    #7 Stock up and be prepared

    Do you have a snow shovel? Is there gas in your snow blower? Do you have salt for your walkways? Stock up and be prepared so that when the snow accumulates, you’ll be ready.

    #8 Prevent a freeze

    Frozen pipes are a nuisance; burst pipes are a problem. The good news? Both can be prevented. Insulate pipes in unheated areas of your home, and consider investing in a freeze alarm that will warn you if interior temperatures fall below 45 degrees so you can take extra precautions.

    #9 Protect against the elements

    Before the flakes begin to fall, invest in some waterproof covers to protect your patio furniture from the elements. Also be sure to bring in any gardening supplies (such as terracotta pots) to prevent them from cracking in the cold.

    Enjoy a low-maintenance new home at Sterling Ranch

    At Sterling Ranch, we enjoy Colorado’s spectacular year-round climate. Homeowners here benefit from the lighter maintenance needs of new homes, allowing them time to find joy in an active lifestyle. Are you ready to be a part of an active, involved community? We invite you to visit us today and see for yourself what makes Sterling Ranch so special. (Can’t make it in person? Check out our immersive Tour of Homes!)