How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

By December 11, 2018Food for thought
Front exterior of a home that is covered in snow.

10 Steps to Prepare Your Home for Winter Months Ahead

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s easy to forget about home maintenance. We created an easy checklist for you to use so that Winter doesn’t catch you off-guard. Here are 10 items to check off your list to prepare your home for winter:

Exterior Checklist to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Drain outdoor hoses and cover faucets. Freezing and busted pipes are never good.

Clean and store outdoor furniture. Clean your patio furniture, grill, even your pool pump; and cover everything to protect them from ice, snow and wind damage. 

Plants being covered by a tarp during winterCover your plants. If you live in a very cold climate with heavy snowfall, you make want to cover your delicate shrubs and terra cotta planters with burlap. Martha Stewart has a lifelong love of flowers thus she is has a great article on her tips to protect your plants and flowers outside the home during the winter months.

Clean gutters. Leaves and debris from falling Fall foliage can pile up in your gutters. Snow and ice can add too much weight, causing them to detach from your house. Clean them yourself or hire a handyman. 

Man using a chainsaw to cut down a large tree limb.

Trim limbs away from structures. Snow, ice and wind can cause overgrown trees to prevent limbs from breaking and causing damage to the top of structures. Check the roof of your home but also any outbuildings like a pool house or garden shed. This pruning guide from Almanac is a great guide if you are new to pruning.

Interior Checklist to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Set ceiling fan blades for winter. Most newer model fans have a switch that can reverse the fan blades to pull up cold air and push warm air down. This can help circulate the warm air as well.

Replace the batteries in the smoke detector. Heaters and fireplaces are the number one cause of home fires during the winter months. Make sure you change the batteries and test the smoke detector.

Man spraying pest control chemicals in the backyard of a home.

Schedule pest control. When the temperature drops, outside pests like to find a warm place just like we do. They may try to sneak into your home. Prevent this by scheduling a pest control service to treat your home before it gets too cold. Many of the major pest control companies offer free estimates.

Insulate your home. Take some caulk and foam sealer and go on a tour around your house. Seal up any small cracks with caulk and large gaps with foam sealer. Take note of the large gaps and add them to the Spring Repair List. Pay close attention to areas like windows, doors, and vents. You can also purchase weatherstripping to seal around the outside doors.

Insulate the attic and crawl space. This is the most expensive item on this list but it will make a big impact not just in the Winter but all year round. You can hire a professional or you can do it yourself. This Old House has a great webpage dedicated to helping you learn more about insulating your attic. They recommend houses in warmer climates should have R-38 and colder climates should have R-49 installed in the attic. Insulating the crawl space will also prevent your floors from being frigid as well.

Ready to sell your home?  There are several benefits to listing a home for sale around the holidays. Read our tips to sell your home this holiday season.

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