Winter Preparation Checklist for Your Home
Sometime between carving the Thanksgiving turkey and decorating for the Christmas Holidays, we recommend you do an exterior check on your home and make sure your house is prepared for winter. Once holiday season rolls around, and the cold weather sets it, you’ll be glad you’ve taken care of these Nine Important Items on your winter prep checklist.
1. Inspect your Roof
Take a look at your roof, are there any missing or damaged shingles that need to be replaced? Do you have debris, trash, or other objects on your roof? Have any questionable areas looked at by a professional, have damage repaired, and clean your roof of any debris. This will help ensure cold weather and freezing temperatures don’t cause damage to your roof.
2. Clean out your gutters
I know this chore is dreaded by many, but ensuring your gutters are cleaned out and moving water away from your roof and home is important. Clogged gutters contribute to the formation of ice dams which can cause damage to the structural integrity of your home. Stagnant water can also become a breeding ground for pests like mosquitos. As much as you may despise cleaning gutters, even the CDC recommends you stay on top of this chore. If you really don’t want to clean gutters every year, look into gutter adding gutter protection.
3. Inspect your chimney
Take a look at your chimney and make sure you don’t see any visible signs of damage: cracks, rot, missing bricks/stone. If you do, contact a professional before using your fireplace. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends yearly inspections by a licensed professional, you can see their other recommendations here.
4. Check for drafts around windows and doors
Some drafts can be stopped by caulking, others may be caused from a more sever issues, such as cracking or warping which may require calling in a repair company, or doing a full replacement.
5. Check the weather-stripping on your windows and doors
Over time, some weather-stripping will become damaged and need to be replaced. If it’s not covered under your window or door warranty, you can find replacement weather stripping at any home improvement store. If you’re experiencing drafts, caulking issues, and weather stripping problems around your doors and windows, age and deterioration may be a large factor. Consider replacing those draining areas with energy efficient windows and doors.
6. Put away your outdoor furniture
Plastic, wood, or metal – now is the time to clean, inspect, and store your furniture for winter. Exposure to freezing temperatures, ice, and snow may cause any furniture left outside to become damaged and unusable for next year.
7. Store your potted plants
Clay and stone pots could crack in the cold temperature, but more importantly, any plants that could survive the winter underground are exposed to drier and colder soil in a pot. Store your potted plants indoors away from wind and snow.
8. Disconnect and drain your outside water valves and put away your water hoses
Don’t get caught off guard with busted water hoses and valves. Water expands when it freezes and can cause damage to houses, exterior spigots and valves, and irrigation systems.
9. Cover exposed pipes
Remember last year when you woke up in February with no water – you promised yourself you’d fix that issue before ‘next year’….well, it’s next year. Cover exposed pipe in your garage, basement, or crawlspace and you’re less likely to have frozen (and then busted) pipes this winter.
There are many other things around your house, inside and out, you can do to prepare for winter, but this checklist will help you on your way to a more comfortable and energy efficient winter. As with any home improvement project, we recommend calling in a licensed professional, especially for areas that may be unsafe to check yourself, such as the roof or chimney. If in doubt, get a second opinion from a trusted, reliable company.
If you need to hire someone to help you prepare for winter, but aren’t sure how to go about it, contact our team at Thebco to guide you through your home improvement project.