Preparing Your Home for Winter

house in winter

The boat is out of the water and bubble wrapped.  The lawn furniture put away. The garden harvested and void of anything living and green.   All tasks completed for the next season of white fluff, shovels, and parkas!  Unfortunately, preparing your home for winter requires some attention as well.  As a homeowner for thirty plus years I have discovered that the list of “things to do” before winter settles in is a bit longer then the boat, garden and lawn furniture, but in the end, well worth the effort in caring for your home.  Use this handy checklist to help prepare your home for winter.

  • Check for cracks in foundation and caulk around the areas where siding meets masonry, where pipes or wires enter the house, and around windows and doors to prevent heat from escaping.
  • Check for any leaks around windows and door.  Apply weather stripping and caulk to eliminate/cut down on drafts.
  • Check and inspect all your snow equipment to ensure it is in good running condition.
  • Inspect exterior walls to see if any paint is peeling or blistering. 
  • Inspect the roof for missing or loose singles and repair them before the first snowfall.  Clean out the gutters and downspouts by flushing with water.  Clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice damage. 
  • Inspect your pool cover and replace if you notice damage.
  • Inspect your garage doors and make sure the seal between your garage door and the ground is tight to prevent drafts and to keep small animals out.
  • Inspect your driveway for cracks.  Clean out and repair any damage with driveway filler, then coat with a sealer.
  • Have your heating system checked by a licensed heating contractor.  Change filters if needed.
  • Organize shovels, snow blowers and other gear so you have easy access to them.
  • Drain garden hoses and store inside.  Shut off outdoor water valves as any water left in exterior pipes and faucets can freeze and expand, breaking the pipes.
  • Fertilize the lawn with a high phosphorous mix for healthy grass in the spring.
  • Check the supports, stairs, and railings on porches and decks.  Make sure the handrails can support someone slipping on snow and ice.
  • Clean outdoor furniture and make any needed repairs.
  • Cover or store outdoor furniture and barbeques in a protected area.
  • Empty soil from planters.  Dirt left in clay pots will freeze and crack the pots if left outside.