10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Winter is coming, which means it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your home to avoid
any costly repairs down the road.

  1. Check your gutters. Ice can cause major damage to your roof and home. Prevent ice
    dams by clearing out all debris from your gutters or have a professional install gutter
  2. Protect against frozen pipes. Any pipes that touch an exterior wall should be properly
    insulated. If pipes are located under cabinets or in storage rooms where there isn’t a lot
    of air circulation, you can open the doors to help warm air surround the pipes.
  3. Caulk your cracks. Holes and openings around windows, doors, air conditioners or mail
    chutes can let cold air seep into your home. Think about upgrading your weather
    stripping and seals for additional heat loss prevention.
  4. Minimize falls, trips and slips. Keep deicer handy for your driveway, sidewalks and steps.
    If you have a pet, think about pet-friendly options sold at most pet supply stores. Always
    read the directions before applying deicer to surfaces and wear protective gear like eye
    protection and gloves.
  5. Prevent frozen pipes. It’s really important to know where your water shutoff valves are
    located. You can check out our blog (link) if you need tips on trying to find them. If you
    have outdoor spigots, it’s important to turn the water supply off before temperatures start
    to drop below freezing, you should also drain the spigots to ensure there isn’t any
    remaining water that could freeze and potentially burst the pipes.
  6. Cozy is best. Keep your thermostat at at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit to make sure your
    home is well insulated. Investing in a programmable thermostat can also help keep the
    air in your home warm, without raising your energy bills.
  7. Check your systems. Make sure your furnace, boiler, HVAC and chimneys are serviced
    and in working order.
  8. Prevent disasters. Home fires are really common in the colder months, so make sure
    your smoke detectors are in working order and replace batteries as needed. It’s also a
    good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors to ensure the safety of your family in the
    case of a gas leak.
  9. Yardwork. By keeping your trees trimmed and removing dead branches, this can prevent
    damage during winter storms from branches falling on your home, property (cars, boats,
    etc.) or even yourself and others.
  10. House the hose. If you do have outdoor water sources that have hoses hooked up, it’s
    important to not only drain the water from the spigot, but also the hose itself. If you leave
    water in the hose and it freezes, it can cause cracks and damage. You can also buy a
    spigot insulator to help your pipes from freezing from most home improvement stores.

If you’re going to be away from your home for an extended period of time, remember to turn
your water completely off. You may also want to consider having your plumbing system drained
to keep pipes from freezing. It’s also a good idea to have a trusted friend or neighbor check in
on your property, so if a problem does occur, you know about it in a timely manner, to minimize
the potential damage.