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Winterizing a House: 10 Steps to Get Your House Ready for Winter

Friday, November 4, 2022   /   by Laura Larson

Winterizing a House: 10 Steps to Get Your House Ready for Winter

Winter is coming, which means chilly days, gloomy evenings, snowflakes, and staying warm inside your house. However, the winter months can seriously damage your home. Your lovely plants may be damaged by gusting winds. Your roof may experience stress during a snow or ice storm. Additionally, a few days of freezing rain can seriously affect blocked downspouts and gutters.

However, you can take a few safety measures in autumn to winterize your house before the first frost appears. Here are simply 10 measures you can do to get your house ready for the winter.

1. Examine your roof.
Winter weather can be very hard on your roof, especially if your house is older. For instance, strong winds, torrential rain, or snowfall can be taxing, and an abundance of leaves or other debris may block the gutters and lead to a buildup on the roof. It is simpler and more affordable to take preventative measures now rather than waiting until anything goes wrong in the colder months. A damaged roof can reduce the value of your property.

Before the winter weather arrives, arrange for a roof inspection so an expert may assess your roof's condition carefully and offer recommendations. Request that the inspector looks for any loose or missing shingles, clogged gutters, or potential mold and decay sources.

2. Gutter cleaning
Autumnal months are characterized by falling leaves, however, these leaves can cause problems for gutters in a home. The rain has nowhere to go as leaves, dead branches, and other debris build up in the gutters. Walls, soffits, and fascias of a house, as well as siding and basements, can all be harmed by clogged gutters.

There are two options for resolving this issue: either climb a ladder and remove the debris yourself or carefully enlist the help of neighborhood experts. You can be ready for the harsh winter weather by cleaning your gutters right away. Gutter guards, which protect your gutters and aid in collecting debris to make cleanup quicker, are another option.

3. Sanitize the chimney
You ought to get your chimney evaluated at the same time as your roof. Particularly if you intend to use the fireplace as a part of your heating system, this should be done at least once a year. Uneven heating caused by a clogged or damaged chimney can raise your utility costs. However, a potential fire threat is its major worry.

You can clean the chimney yourself if you're on a limited budget or like doing home improvement projects. To inspect and clean your chimney and fireplace, it is simpler and safer to call a chimney sweep or cleaning service. They will locate and remove any creosote accumulation, which if not regularly cleaned, can result in fires.

4) Get the pipes ready.
You will need to take extra precautions to winterize your property if you reside in a region with severe winter weather, such as Minneapolis, Minnesota, or Boston, Massachusetts. Drain and store garden hoses in advance of the first frost. Make sure the exterior drain valve is left open so that any water that remains can properly drain. To avoid pipes freezing, you should shut off any interior valves that deliver water to outside faucets. The strain from ruptured frozen pipes might cause your home to flood.

Avoid using antifreeze in any of these lines since it is bad for the environment and might injure people, animals, and pets.

5. Inspect for air leaks.
Leaks in your walls, doors, or windows can significantly raise your energy costs. Additionally, it may make the indoors feel even colder if you live in a cold climate. Fortunately, it's simple to examine your entire house for leaks and fix them to stop warm air from leaving.

Look for any gaps where cold air could enter your home in the window and door frames. These places should have cold drafts, which can assist you identify what has to be sealed. Any potential entrance from your house to the outside, including vents, phone lines, and phone booths, might cause heat loss.

6) Change the temperature
Naturally, you want to maintain warm air inside your house during the winter to keep it from getting too cold. However, your utility costs will increase when your inside temperature rises. Therefore, setting your thermostat to at least 65 degrees is a good idea. Any temperature below 50 degrees may result in frozen pipes.

Using a programmable thermostat, you may regulate the temperature of your home or have the heating turn on if it drops below a specified level. You can place a low-temperature sensor in your unfinished basement if you don't use it or in your vacant vacation home if you are winterizing it.

7) Inspect your heating system.
It's a good idea to have your heating system tested before winter arrives, especially before your neighborhood HVAC provider is fully booked for the year. They will inspect and clean your heating and ventilation system, which will assist in keeping your home warm and avoid frozen or burst pipes.

Have your water heater inspected to make sure it's in good operating order before any cold snaps arrive as another approach to winterize your house? As a component of your plumbing system, the water heater aids in heating the water in your house. The water in the tank and pipes can freeze if they are not properly maintained. Before winter arrives, think about having your neighborhood plumber inspect the water heater.

8) Insulate your attic.
Making sure your attic is well insulated, if you have one, will keep your home warm and help avoid ice dams. Make sure to inspect the insulation and check for leaks in any attic vents. To gain a better picture of the insulation's condition, you can also hire an expert to inspect it. To ensure that you have enough time to address any potential difficulties, it is better to complete this task before the first cold snap.

9) Keep driveways, paths, and walkways clean.
Increased amounts of rain, snow, and ice can be especially hazardous for driveways and sidewalks. When winterizing your property, it's crucial to keep these areas free and check any steps or railings for damage. To keep these areas free all season long, you might want to keep a deicing solution like salt, sand, or pellets on hand.

10) Trim the lawn
The entire yard should be prepared for cold weather, even if many flowers require the winter's chill to bloom in the spring. No matter if you're dealing with dry, chilly weather, snow, or freezing temperatures, the changing seasons will have an effect on your landscape.
If you reside in a colder region, think about taking more delicate plants indoors and removing any annuals you may have planted. In order to prevent the grass from being choked by fallen leaves, store any outdoor furniture you may have and remove any clutter. In order to prevent rust or damage before the spring, put all of your gardening tools away in storage for the rest of the year.