Winter Home Preparation Tips

It seems like fall is taking its sweet time to get here, and the heat and humidity is lingering longer than usual. However, before you know it, winter will be here in full force! One downside of warm fall days is it’s easy to put off winter preparation chores, because it seems winter will never arrive!

To help you avoid falling into that trap, here are a few tips to get your home ready for winter.

Heating System Checkup. Now is the time for a fall heating system checkup and maintenance visit. Whether you have a heat pump, gas furnace, boiler or geo-thermal system, it’s a good idea to make sure the hot air flows, well before you need it. If you’ve put off routine maintenance or repairs, now is a good time to cross that off your to-do list.

Roof Inspection. Winter is tough on roofs, and even more so if you’re missing shingles or have an aging roof. Take a look at your roof from the ground – binoculars can help – and look for torn or missing shingles, missing flashing around chimneys and other signs that your roof may not be ready for winter. If repairs are needed, be sure to get several comparable estimates from a licensed and insured contractor.

Gutter Cleanup. It’s a bit early for leaves in the gutter, but once the leaves have fallen, make a point to remove them from your gutters as soon as possible. Your gutters are designed to move water away from your home and foundation, and when they are clogged the risk of water damage increases. If you clean them yourself be sure to practice ladder safety, or hire a reputable contractor to clean them for you (again, licensed and insured).

Cracks and Crevices. If you have cracks in your driveway or sidewalks, be sure to seal them before a winter freeze-thaw cycle makes them worse.

Plumbing. Last but not least – if your pipes have frozen in the past, be sure to prepare them now by wrapping exposed pipes with foam sleeves or other insulating materials. It’s also a good idea to know where your main water shutoff valve is just in case, and take a moment to verify it works correctly, before you need it!

Fall is for fun, but a little time spent now on home preparation will make your winter even more stress-free!