Prepare Your Home For Winter With These 11 Useful Tips

brown house covered with snow near trees during daytime
Brrrrrrrr…. it’s starting to get cold outside! The Holidays are upon us and the winter months are quickly approaching. As the days get shorter and the temperatures begin to drop it’s a great time to ensure your home is ready for winter. The colder months can cause major issues to your home if you are not properly prepared. Take time to review our list below to make sure your house is ready for the freezing temperatures this winter!

Check for Drafts before the Winter Months

prepping for the winter

Check around your windows and doors for drafts or areas where heat can escape from your home. A great way to check for drafts is to hold your hand about an inch away from the window frames and see if you can feel a draft on a colder day. Another tip is to use a candle or tissue paper around the window and note if the flame or tissue paper moves in the opposite direction.

If you are unsure where to start when it comes to checking for drafts, it might be a great time to schedule a home energy audit with Ellingwood Pro home inspections. Our certified home inspector will help you check your home for inefficiencies allowing you to come up with a game plan on what to work on first. If windows and doors have drafts be sure to add caulk or extra protection to prevent warm air from escaping.

Clean Your Gutters

Clean Your Gutters in the Winter

Make sure you take time to clean your gutters. During the fall they can easily fill up with leaves. It’s important to make sure your gutters are clear so they can drain properly. You want any melted snow or rain to drain out of your gutters redirecting water away from the house.

Redirect Downspouts

Take time to make sure downspouts from gutters are facing away from your home. During the winter months the gutters will drain tons of water from rain, ice and snow. You want to make sure any water coming from the downspouts don’t just sit at the base of the house causing damage to the foundation. Make sure you add extensions to downspouts to help with proper drainage away from the house.

Turn off Exterior Faucets

Sprinkler Head

If you have not already done so, now is the time to turn off exterior faucets and clean up any garden hoses. You do not want to keep the water turned on to your outside faucets as when the temperatures begin to freeze it can cause freezing pipes and even for the pipes to burst.

Drain Sprinkler System Pipes Before the Winter 

Don’t forget about your sprinkler system. Make sure you take the time to drain your sprinkler system pipes or have them blown out by a professional to ensure they do not have any water sitting in them. Any leftover water in the pipes can freeze causing them to burst and damage the sprinkler system.

Find a Place to Store your Lawn Mower in The Winter 

Front Porch in the Winter

Clear out a space to store your lawnmower. A great place to store your mower is somewhere dry and protected from the elements. A garage or a shed is an ideal location to store your lawnmower during the winter months.

If you have no other choice but to store a lawnmower outside, make sure you try to keep it elevated and covered with a tarp to protect it from the harsh winter elements. After the last time mowing the lawn be sure to store it properly so it stays in great condition over the winter and it is ready for the spring.

Check Outdoor Lights Before the Winter 

Take time to ensure all your outdoor lights are working. It is getting darker earlier and replacing lights can be more difficult in the colder months. Make sure you take advantage of the warmer days before the temperatures get too cold outside to replace any outdoor light fixtures that are no longer working. You may also want to check your light bulbs to make sure they are bright and provide enough light or walkways and entrances.

Check Your Heating System 

Be sure to check your furnace and schedule a tune-up if needed. Change out the filter to make sure your heating system is efficient. A furnace is what heats a home so it is very important that it is running properly before it is cold.

Reverse Ceiling Fans

Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans should turn clockwise in the winter months. This creates an updraft and circulates warm air around the room. This little trick can help recirculate the warm air in the room and is fairly easy.

Check The Roof Before the Snow Hits in the Winter 

Take a look at your roof and fix any damage before the winter. As the snow begins to pile on the roof you want to ensure it is in top shape to withstand the elements. If you are unsure if your roof needs work or are damaged, call in a professional for an expert opinion.

Check Over and Restock Winter Essentials

Shoveling Winter Snow

Make sure you are prepared for the snow before the first snowstorm. Replace any old and broken shovels with new ones, test your snowblower to make sure it still runs and doesn’t need any work, and stock up on salt and ice melt. As the temperatures begin to drop the snow and ice will begin and you do not want to be stuck with a non-working snow blower or a broken shovel.

The winter months are full of so many different elements that can cause issues with your home if you are not properly prepared for them. Hopefully, this blog gives you some tips to help prepare you for the upcoming winter months. Stay safe and stay warm!


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