Going through tasks and procedures to get your house weatherproof and prepared for the winter even before the first snow falls is crucial for maintaining its perfect functioning and long lasting reliability. By completing this simple list, you’ll keep your home's components efficient and secure, even saving money on energy bills. Most importantly, it will help ensuring safety and comfort so your family can enjoy only the best side of winter.
Roof, Drains and Gutters
- Clean the fall leaves and debris in order to avoid clogged gutters that lead to leaks and other problems. Start this process early so it can be maintained easier without having it build up for many days. If your house has more than one story, hiring a professional is advisable and safer.
- Make sure downspouts are extended away from the house about 5 feet, preventing flooding and water damage from snow.
- Check downspouts and gutters for the correct fastening, avoiding any sagging. The heavy weight of snow may push the gutters away from the house.
- Clean the courtyard and pool drains to avoid potential blockages.
- Cover all openings and vents to keep insects, birds, rodents and other animals away.
- Examine the walls, chimneys, skylights, vent pipes, and any other place that may have faulty seal joints that would allow for water to pass. Use roofing cement and caulking gun to cover the needed spots.
- Replace missing or damaged shingles, roof or sidings, preventing leaks and ensuring safety during snowstorms.
Doors and Windows:
- Install storm windows and doors, protecting your home from drafts, storms, and unnecessary energy use.
- Examine windows for any sign of damage, like cracks or gaps, and decay on wooden frames. Replace or get new ones, if necessary.
- Maintain the warmth by caulking any place around windows or doors that present drafts.
- Repair the weatherstripping around windows and door frames to also prevent the heat from escaping.
Garden, Deck, and Lawn
- Clean and cover the patio furniture that you won’t storage in a garage with a heavy tarp.
- Shut off outdoor faucets, draining the water from pipes, valves, sprinkler heads to avoid pipe bursts.
- Remove attached hoses and store them to preserve their shape.
- Trim any overgrown branches near the house or electrical wires.
- Apply a special winter fertilizer to the lawn after reseeding it, keeping it healthy and strong for spring.
- Guarantee that rain and snow will drain away from the house, not causing any problems with the foundation. Dirt grades need to slope away from it.
- Bring inside all the terracotta, clay and other fragile material pots. Don’t forget to clean the soil from planters too.
- Store flower bulbs in a bag or box with peat moss in a dry and cool place, after digging them up and labeling.
- Examine decks for decay, insect damage, or splintering, common signs of needing repair.
- Clean up the dirt, leaves, pine needles and debris between the boards of wooden decks, to avoid mold and mildew.
- Check all the outdoor lighting and install stronger lights if needed, to avoid any accidents on icy walks or impaired vision during snow falls and storms.
- Inspect handrails and steps on the stairs for safety.
Tools and Machinery
- Spray all seasonal tools with a lightweight oil, preventing rust.
- Clean off grass, mud and any other residues from your lawn mower.
- Have a good supply of ice melt or sand for walkways, driveways, and steps.
- Get your ice chopper sharpened and snow shovels in perfect working condition.
- Change the oil in your snow blower and replace the spark plug, leaving it ready to use.
- Make sure to have shovels and snow blowers accessible near by.
Heating, Air Conditioning and Ventilating
- Clean all the humidifiers and replace evaporator pads.
- Replace or clean air filters in your furnace.
- To save money on heating, switch from older thermostats to programmable ones.
- Examine the firebox and flue system to guarantee that everything is clean and without cracks, as these may cause fire hazards.
- Install foam-insulating sheets behind switch plates or outlets to reduce the airflow outdoor.
- Switch fans to clockwise or reverse position, causing it to blow warm air down and improve energy and comfort.
- Check the pressure relief valve on the heater tank and clean it with water for complete removal of dirt and sediments.
- Apply a sealant to fix any leaks or exposed ducts in crawl spaces, attics, and basements.
- Inspect carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms.
- Send a Chimney Balloon into the flue to air seal fireplaces if there’s a draft or the damper is damaged.
Done with the list, you can now have peace of mind and a warm comfortable home for this next season.