Winter will be here before you know it. And while we’re all focused on filling our closets with cozy sweaters, warm parkas and waterproof boots, it’s easy to forget about home sweet home. Your house is going to face the winter elements, too. So, make sure you prepare your home for the cold months ahead, too. And to help you do that, we’ve put together this quick and easy checklist.
1. Clean the Gutters
Over the summer and fall months, dead leaves can gather and collect in your gutters. This can cause problems when your home sees heavy rainfall. That’s because when water doesn’t have a clear path to follow, it makes its own.
This can mean overflowing gutters that can leak into your basement walls. And no one wants indoor flooding, water damage and mold building up over the winter time.
2. Caulk and Seal Your Windows and Entry Ways
Old or low quality windows and doors can make winter more cold and difficult. The lose seals allow hot air to escape while letting in all that cold air. To prevent this, take a weekend to caulk the edges of your windows and doors. This will keep cold drafts at bay, as well as keeping your heating bill low.
3. Check Your Furnace
It’s easy to forget about our furnace when it’s warm and sunny outside. And more often than not, when you go to use your furnace for the first time, it either doesn’t work, or doesn’t work as efficiently as it should.
Even worse, when the first winter storm hits, you might find yourself with a broken furnace.
To prevent any complications and to keep you and your family safe and warm, have a technician come to inspect your furnace to make sure it’s in good working order before the snow arrives.
4. Vacuum the Heating Vents
Dust, pollens and other allergens can collect in your heating vents, and when you turn your furnace on for the first time, you and your family might end up breathing in an entire year of dust. To keep your air fresh and clean, vacuum the heating vents before your first turn the heating on.
5. Prep the Pipes
A frozen pipe is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. And while a plumber can fix it, why wait for a bursting pipe to take care of your plumbing system? If you’re not sure how to go about insulating and prepping your pipes, enroll a trusted plumber to help you prepare and prevent any damages.
6. Replace Screens Doors with Glass Panes
It’s a joy to be able to open up your windows and doors and let the warm breezes blow through your home. But now that winter’s upon us, it’s time to say goodbye to those screen doors and replace them with glass panes.
There is a silver lining though: now, you can hang your door decorations and Christmas wreaths and know that they’ll be well protected.
7. Stock up on Salt and Shovels
Even if you hire a plowing service, it’s always a good idea to have your own reliable shovel and bag of salt to clear your walkways, porches and driveways. Just in case! Check to see if last year’s shovel is still intact and can withstand another winter. And while you’re at it, make sure that you have at least one ice scraper and brush for your car.
8. Clean Your Wood Burning Stove or Fireplace
If you use a wood burning stove or fireplace at home, make sure to clean both the fireplace and the chimney before you light your first fire. That’s because you may have a buildup of soot from last year and this can block the necessary air flow.
What’s more, during the spring and summer, birds may make nests inside the chimney. So, it’s important to make sure these little avian friends are shooed away and kept safe.
9. Arrange Your Coat and Boot Station
During the winter time, you’ll probably come into your house with a big coat and wet boots on.
The last thing you want to do is track snow and water through your house, so set up a coat and boot station in a convenient spot where you can leave everything to dry without ending up with puddles throughout the rest of your home.
10. Insulate the Attic and Upstairs Bedroom
Heat rises but that doesn’t mean your heating bill needs to. To keep you from paying astronomical bills during the winter months, insulate your attic and upstairs bedrooms to keep the hot air from escaping into the great outdoors.
Not only will this keep your home warmer, but it will also prevent dangerous icicle formations from causing potential damage to your roofs, gutters, landscaping, etc.
11. Have Your Roof Inspected
If you live in an older home, chances are your roof has seen its fair share of stormy weather. Therefore, loose and / or missing shingles, as well as leaks can become a problem during the winter. A local inspector can appraise your roof and let you know if any repairs are in order. It’s always better to take care of this before it’s too late.
12. Replace Lawn Mower with Your Snow Blower
Just as its time to replace your summer wardrobe with your fall and winter clothing, it’s also time to swap out summer tools with wintery ones. Clean up your lawn mowers and weed wackers and bring out your snow blower. Check to make sure it’s all set and ready to clear your driveway and walkways.
13. Replace Bedding
When it’s time to snuggle up for a long winter’s nap, there’s no better way to do it than with your coziest bedding. Now’s a great time to put your lighter bedding away for when spring returns, and to invest in a warm, down comforter and flannel sheets.
There’s no way to stop winter from coming, but with these 13 home preparation tips, you can move through this chilly season in a safe and comfortable home.