Steps to Get Your Home Winterized

As we are nearing winter, it is time to start working on ‘Winterizing’ your home.  We have composed a list of several ideas to help get you started:

Clear the Chimney – There are local chimney sweep sevices you can contact before you start using your fireplace in the winter. The National Fire Protection Association recommends chimneys should be swept once a year to remove dangerous soot and debris that builds up.  It helps reduce the chance for chimney fires and encourages a hot, clean burning fire.  

Clean the sprinkler system – Sprinkler systems should be cleaned preferably before the first freeze of the season.  As water freezes, it expands and can damage the pipes and heads of the system.  

Test Heating System & Change Air Filters – Contact an HVAC professional and have them come out and inspect your furnace. During a regular maintenance inspection, the technician may also clean the furnace, change the furnace filters, check for leaks and unhealthy gases and ensure everything for the system is operational.  

Install Weather Stripping on Windows & Doors – Check the weather stripping on your doors and windows and replace as necessary.  This will prevent cold drafts and moisture from entering the home and help save on energy bills.

Roof Inspection – Having your roof inspected before winter arrives can prevent leaks and moisture gaining access into your attic.  Early detection and preventative maintenance can keep the roof performing efficiently.

Check Gutters – Gutters tend to get clogged with leaves and twigs in the fall unless they have gutter screen or guards to protect them.  Clogged gutters slow the drainage of rainwater and can increase the chance for ice damming on the eaves of the roof when the temperatures drop below freezing.  The water will start to melt under the ice/snow and can work its way behind the gutters causing damage to the wood soffit that rests behind.

Exposed Pipes – To help prevent pipes from freezing, protect them by wrapping them with pipe sleeves or pipe tape that can be picked up from the local home improvement store.  

Protect Outdoor Faucets – Remove water hoses and drain residual water.  Turn the water off at the shutoff valve. Go outside and open the faucet.  Some water will drain out of each faucet. Return to the inside shutoff valve and remove the bleeder cap to drain remaining water out of the pipe. It is best to hold a bucket under the bleeder to catch any water.  Replace the bleeder cap and close the outside faucets.  Insulate each faucet with a hose bib cover.  

While a lot of these items can be DIY, we always recommend contacting a professional.