winter house with scarf and hat

Tips to Prepare Your Home For Winter

Tuesday Nov 07th, 2023


As the winter season approaches and the air grows crisp, it's time to start thinking about preparing your house for the season. Once winter blows in, homeowners have to get serious. It is important to consider the fact that the winter season means spending a lot more time indoors. Roofs must shed rain and snow, windows and doors must reject the cold, and the heating system must keep rooms comfortable. If any of these components don't hold up, you might be faced with scrambling around in the wet, cold, and dark to fix them.

By handling these important yet reasonably easy tasks, you can avoid considerable grief later.

1. Inspect the roof
If possible, go up onto the roof to check its condition. Look for cracked or missing shingles, bald spots on shingles, missing or damaged flashing, and other conditions that might allow leaks. Replace any roof shingles that are missing or damaged. You can also seal minor cracks or tears with roofing cement or do the minor repairs yourself. 

2. Check the gutters
While you're on the ladder, look into the gutters. If they are clogged with leaves and debris, clean them. Gutters prevent basement and foundation flooding and water damage to siding, windows, and doors. When clogged with leaves and debris, they will fill with rainwater and overflow. 

3. Look at the siding
Check the siding for cracks or damage. You can seal up any leaky spots with a clear caulking compound. But, if close inspection of the paint reveals problems such as blistering, peeling, wrinkling, or chalking, either touch them up or call a painting contractor.

4. Investigate weather stripping
Also, look to see if windows and doors are effectively sealed with weather stripping. Weather stripping will prevent drafts and winter heat loss. If the weather stripping is damaged, it's usually easiest and most effective to entirely replace it rather than to repair it.

5. Check your heating system
Have your heating system checked by a licensed heating/air-conditioning professional. Most furnace manufacturers recommend at least annual inspections. 

6. Sweep the chimney
Have your chimneys inspected by a chimney service and, if necessary, cleaned. Cleaning is generally recommended at least once a year for an active fireplace. 

7. Trim the trees
Trim trees away from the house. Have dead trees and branches removed by professional tree trimmers, or do it yourself.                                    

8. Check the smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector
Buy extra smoke detector batteries and change them when daylight savings ends. Also, test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work and buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.

9. Store plenty of salt
Make sure you are stocked with rock salt, snow shovels, and any other items you will need during the winter. 

10. Drain and shut off outdoor water faucets remove and store garden hoses,

11. Examine the basement floor and walls for cracks or leaks; seal as needed.

If you plan to reside elsewhere during the winter months, you may want to partially shut down your home. In addition to the tips above, consider the following:

  • Leave the temperature at its lowest setting, usually between 5 to 7 degree Celsius or install a low-heat thermostat to maintain the air temperature at approximately 5 degrees Celsius
  • Turn off and drain the water heater; leave a reminder to refill before restarting.
  • Keep the electricity on so lights will continue functioning (put them on timers).
  • Unplug the microwave, clothes dryer, televisions (not on timers), and other appliances not in use.
  • To avoid large repair bills and the hassle associated with breakdowns, take the time now to develop an action plan for the coming months. You'll feel secure in your warm home or while you're away from home.

The fall season is a good time for you to start thinking about preparing your home for winter. As temperatures begin to drop, your home will require maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape through the winter. By following the easy steps above, you will ensure to have a warm and comfortable winter at the peace of your home!

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