While it is an annual occurrence, winterizing your home is probably one of the many things you have permanently left on your to-do list to rot. If you’re anything like me, a good time does not equate to caulking window panes or replacing warmers so your piping doesn’t literally explode. But, alas, if you want the place to stay standing until next year, here is a list of 12 things you can do to get your home prepared for winter.
1. Caulk and Weatherstrip your doors and windows.
Caulking creates a seal for any gaps that are letting cold air into your home, especially around your windowpanes and doors. Remember when you decide to caulk, that you first remove the original caulking and paint to establish a good setting for the new caulk. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to caulk your windows.
Especially here in Minnesota, heat taping your pipes to prevent their freezing throughout the winter is very common. Essentially, you are wrapping electrical wire around your pipes that emit constant warmth and prevent freezing and bursting during the winter. It is very important you check this regularly, because they can deteriorate rather fast.
3. Make sure you move furniture off of any heating vents.
Your heat vents won’t do a heck of a lot when they’re covered up! Do some rearranging of your furniture to allow proper airflow.
5. Replace any Screen Doors or Windows with Storm Doors or Windows respectfully.
This is more optional if your actual doorway is already fairly insulated, but the extra insulation from a storm window or door can definitely help with keeping heat in your home. If you own a combination screen and storm door, those normally come with an extra piece of glass that you can pop back in during the winter instead of the screen portion.
6. Trim tree branches that might fall during the winter and damage your property.
This is pretty straightforward, just be careful up there! Branches that hang low over your home are inclined to collect ice and snow and eventually break under the weight. Be sure to nip these buds in the bud before they damage your property.
7. Cover outdoor furniture and drain your pool.
Again, self explanatory. Cover up your patio furniture with canvas or bring in small lawn furniture. Make sure there isn’t any water left in your pool or its surrounding pipes and heater before it freezes over!
8. Shut off any exterior faucets.
Some homes have a separate valve for just the exterior faucets, but some do not. Here’s a link to how you can turn off your exterior faucets.
9. Store away air conditioners or seal them up!
Get help if you need it when carrying them to storage, or you can seal the outsides of the Air Conditioner like I found here.
10. Make sure no shingles are warped or need replacing.
Check your roof for loose or cracked shingles that might promote leaks. If you’re unsure, it’s always a safer bet to hire a roofing contractor to scope it out for you.
11. Clean debris out of your gutters and move downspouts so that the water flows away from your home.
Cleaning out your gutters can reduce the chance you will get an ice dam. This is when water freezes on your roof and then slowly leaks into your home instead of down and off your roof. You could also install gutter heat tape, which I imagine is much like pipe heat tape, and would allow for water to melt and flow down the downspouts.
Making sure to place those downspouts further from your home is important, as the ice and water may damage the foundation of your home if it emerges from the downspouts too closely.
12. For fireplaces, be sure that the flue is closed when not in use, and check for warped dampers if there is still cold air coming through.
Over time, heat exposure and rust can cause a damper to warp and need replacing or repair. When this happens, air leaks are more likely to occur. Make sure to get this checked before the warm air leaves your house through your chimney!
Hopefully any of these tips helped you prepare your home for winter! We here at EnviroClean hope you have an INSANELY Amazing Week!