The joys of watching the snowfall, sitting by a toasty fire, holidays … these are just a few of our favorite things about winter! But we have to admit, there also are a few things about winter that we just don’t love … and dealing with mishaps from not winterizing the house is a big one!
It is likely that the next few months will bring harsh winter winds, below-freezing temperatures, and blowing snow. But don’t worry, a well-winterized home can stand up to the elements to ensure you stay warm and cozy and out of the cold.
Not sure how best to winterproof your home? Review our checklist to ensure your home is ready for winter and everything that comes with it.
- Clean out leaves and other debris from your gutters to prevent water backing up and freezing when it gets really cold.
- Unhook garden hoses and store them rolled up in the garage, basement, or shed to maintain their shape & integrity.
- Drain water from faucets and cover the faucets with hose bib covers to prevent them from freezing.
- If your home has an interior valve, shut it off, turn on the outside faucet, and drain the remaining water.
Tidy Up the Outdoors:
- Keep walkways, patios, and decks free of leaves, especially if it snows. Leaves under the snow can become very slippery and make the snow harder to shovel.
- Cover or move outdoor furniture inside for storage after cleaning it off.
- As long as the weather allows, continue to mow the leaves into your yard to add valuable organic matter to the lawn. Rake when they overwhelm the space!
- Cut back perennials that require it, pull annuals, and move mulch onto plants to insulate them.
- Take soil out of pots that stay outdoors so the soil doesn’t freeze & expand which can crack the pots. If you can, move pots to the basement or garage.
- Prune any suspect tree limbs as soon as the tree is dormant to prevent them from falling on the house if there is ice.
- Run your mower until all the gas is gone. Leftover gas can cause a varnish buildup in the carburetor and make it difficult to start the mower in the spring.
Annual Check-Ups You Don’t Want to Skip:
- If you have a chimney, regardless of whether it is for gas or a wood-burning fireplace, it is essential to have it checked on a regular basis. Note, wood-burning fireplaces should be checked each year.
- Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace the batteries.
- Check fire extinguishers to ensure they are current by checking to see that the pressure gauge needle is still in the green area. If it’s not that means that they are out-of-date and it is time for a new one.
- Put fresh batteries in flashlights in case of power loss.
- Get your yearly furnace check-up.
- Reverse your ceiling fans so that they run clockwise. This blows the heated air down into the room.
- Is your snowblower ready for its job? Don’t wait until it snows to find out.
Whether you love cold weather or not, winter is on the way. Winterproof your home with these items now and you’ll be set for whatever winter blows our way. Stay warm!