Winter is a joyful time with pristine snow-covered landscapes and the heartwarming excitement of the nearing holidays. On the other hand, it is also known for bitterly cold weather, strained heating systems, the possibility of frozen pipes, slippery sidewalks, and various other challenges to cope with. This is why it’s important for homeowners to be thorough when going through a complete home winterization checklist.
This guide covers the major things that you need to check, have fixed, or set up in your home so that you are fully prepared for the winter season.
1. Cleaning the Eavestrough
As the autumn season comes to a close, you may find that your home’s gutters have collected leaves, twigs, and other debris. These solid particles can act as a small dam that traps water in your home’s gutters. This stagnant water can eventually freeze once winter approaches, and before you know it, a buildup of frozen water has accumulated in and around the gutters.
The weight of frozen water and snow buildup on gutters can cause them to sag. If left unremedied, the gutters brackets can give in and the whole gutter can collapse. So first on our home winterization checklist: inspect and clean your gutters before winter starts.
2. Store Your Outdoor Furniture, Equipment, and Appliances
The dropping temperatures and the onslaught of snow and ice can cause damage to outdoor furniture, outdoor equipment, and your grill. Therefore, it is advisable to store these items safely.
If you’re tired of doing this every year for your patio furniture, consider getting an enclosed patio (or sunroom) before winter sets in. This will make a huge difference, not only for your furniture but also for the residents of your home.
3. Bring In Potted Plants
Before temperatures dip anywhere below 8 C, make sure that your prized potted plants are already indoors. Put your plants somewhere where they can get the amount of sunlight they need and where they are properly warmed.
4. Have Winter-Ready Windows & Doors
Doors and windows are a source of ventilation for the home. However, in winter, they need to be shut in order to keep the heat indoors. Ensuring this will not only keep your home comfortable but will also help keep the energy costs low.
Inspect the window and door frames for signs of damage and have these repaired. Make sure that all doors and windows are also properly weather-stripped, and if your single-pane window needs fresh caulking, make sure to take care of this before winter as well. You may also consider getting a double-pane window so that you have better insulation and so that you won’t need to recaulk anymore.
If you’re considering getting door or window replacements this time of year, check out our guide of the pros and cons of door and window replacements in the winter. We also curated a checklist for DIY ways you can prepare your windows for winter for your convenience!
5. Ready Your Snow Tools and Anti-Freezing Agents
It is recommended to stock up on essential snow tools such as a shovel, ice scraper, and the like. You can also stock up on salt or other anti-freezing agents to keep your sidewalks and walkways safe and ice-free.
Furthermore, make sure to keep your tools accessible. If a snowstorm hits and forms a thick blanket of snow, it’s better to have your snow shovel with you instead of needing to go to the shed to fetch it.
6. Shut Off and Drain Outdoor Water
The pipes that are most likely to freeze are those that are in direct contact with the elements. If water is left in outdoor pipes, these are the most likely to freeze and burst when temperatures drop.
This is why it’s important to shut off the water supply to your outdoor faucets and hose bibs. Furthermore, after shutting off the outdoor water supply, drain the water from the outdoor pipes by opening the faucets and letting the water empty out. The hose should be emptied as well.
7. Consider Getting Pipe Insulation
It’s not just outdoor pipes that can freeze and burst during the coldest time of the year. Pipes in uninsulated places such as the garage and the attic can also freeze and spring a leak. If you have any vulnerable pipes in your home that seem to freeze every year, consider getting your pipes insulated.
Though pipe insulation does not generate heat for your pipes, it allows the water in the pipe to retain its heat from the heater for a longer period of time. So, if you have pipes that freeze every season pipe insulation could be the fix you need.
8. Make Sure Your Fireplace is Ready to Go
Your fireplace is going to be working extra hard this winter. Therefore, it’s important to have your fireplace cleaned. Contact a chimney sweep to make sure that your chimney doesn’t have any fire hazards such as animal nests or a buildup of the flammable compound, creosote.
9. Ready the Roof
Your roof will be taking the brunt of accumulated snow during winter. Therefore, it’s important to ensure its integrity. Try to get any damages, missing shingles, and so on fixed before the snow starts to fall. Make sure to inspect for any signs of leakage from your roof and call the experts if you spot them. Lastly, get a roof rake so that you can clear away blankets of snow from your roof.
10. Stock Up On Important Supplies
Last but not least on our home winterization checklist is to stock up on essentials and stay informed of any bad storms. By keeping a weather radio handy, you can always be in the know of what’s about to happen. Before you get wind of any harsh blizzards, make sure that you are well stocked with extra blankets, water, food, pet food, and other essentials in case of a snow-in!
Reliable Storm Doors and Windows That You Can Count On
And that wraps up our guide! We’ve sure covered a lot of ground in this home winterization checklist that will help you have the best winter experience possible.
If you’re worried about leaking windows or doors with poor insulation, it’s time to experience winter in a new way. The exterior doors, storm doors, and windows here at Clera Windows + Doors are designed to be reliable, durable, energy-saving, and easy to maintain. On top of all that, they are stylish pieces that will beautify your home for the holidays.
If you’re ready to have windows and doors that can gracefully withstand winter, help you save on heating costs, and stay sturdy for years to come, then check out our collection. You can also contact us today for a FREE in-home consultation.