A Checklist for Winterizing Your Home

Every fall millions of individuals prepare to hunker in for the colder months of winter. In doing so, many forget that the home needs to be just as secure and maintained for those colder months as we do. We often get questions about tips, ideas, and ways to make sure your home is properly winterized prior to the first real chills of the season. We have put together a checklist that will help everyone get started on seasonal maintenance.

Foundation and Structural

□     Ensure foundation walls, steps, and retaining walls are structurally sound

□     Check for cracks in walk ways, patios, driveways, and garage floors

□     Clean chimney and check vents

Roofing

□     Ensure roof is sound, no damage or missing shingles

□     Examine underside of roof for any potential signs of moisture including stains, leaks, dampness, and condensation

Exterior

□     Replace screen doors with winter storm doors

□     Examine and replace any missing caulk around window and doors

□     Consider weather-stripping doors that lead to cold and outside areas

□     Examine any wooden window frames for signs of rot or decay. Replace any applicable item that is damaged. Consider painting if needed.

Interior

□     Remove and store screens from windows

□     Check bathroom tile joints, tub grout, and caulking

□     Reverse your ceiling fans to push heat down

□     Remove any window AC units

Electrical

□     Check visible wires and cables for any damage

□     Examine all electrical outlets for potential hazards such as frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs

□     Test all GFI’s

□     Check all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

Heating and Cooling

□     Change or clean furnace and AC filters monthly

□     Service your furnace and heat pump

□     Clean whole house humidifier and replace any necessary parts

Insulation and Ventilation

□     Check attic for proper insulation

□     Ensure attic louvers and vents are open

Lawn, Garden, and Decking

□     Trim overgrown bushes, and tree limbs in case of heavy ice

□     Aerate lawn, reseed and apply appropriate fertilizer for better growth in spring

□     Clean leaves, and other debris from between wooden boards to prevent mold and mildew growth

□     Ensure all outdoor lighting is working

□     Store or cover all patio furniture

□     Remove annual plants, prune all shrubs and perennials

□     Review homeowner’s insurance to ensure it is current

Water Control

□     Clean gutters, leaders, strainers, window wells and drains

□     Direct  downspouts downhill and away from the foundation

□     Shut off exterior faucets, drain water from all pipes, valves and sprinkler heads

□     Detach any garden hoses and cover to prevent water damage

Maintenance Equipment

□     Stow and winterize all motorized yard equipment

□     Test  all snow removal equipment to make sure it is operable, make them easily accessible

□     Stock your shovel, salt, deicer and any other necessary materials

Waste Disposal

□     Consider cleaning septic tank if not serviced within last 2 years

Environmental

□     Check all vents, louvers, and chimneys for birds nest, squirrels or insect infestations

 

 

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