9 Ways to Get Your Home Winter-Ready

There’s no denying that a few cold, blustery months are on the way. So as you haul out your winter boots and mitts, also think about what steps you should take to ensure your home stays cozy and protected through the winter months.

By Laura Bickle | 2 minute read

Dec 4

Francisco Alvarez

As winter descends upon us, here are 9 steps you can take to winterize your home.

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1. Frozen Pipes

Burst pipes are costly — but often preventable. Wrap pipes, particularly those along exterior walls and in basements or uninsulated areas, with pipe insulation —i t’s easy to install and affordable. And be sure to drain outdoor spigots as trapped water can freeze and rupture pipes.

2. Failing Heat Sources 

Be sure to check your furnace filter monthly and have extras on hand. Most pros suggest annual heating system inspections. You might also consider a programmable thermostat to reduce your heating costs. And ensure that heat pumps and furnace vents are clear of ice and snow.

3. Drafty Rooms

Drafts can impact the comfort of your home and your heating bills. You can check for drafts by placing a lit candle around windows and doors: if the flame flickers, you’ve got a draft. Consider caulking, storm windows, weather stripping and plastic window insulation kits.

4. Leaky Roofs

Make sure your roof is in good shape before the snow flies: Loose or damaged shingles can shift under snow, causing leaks. Also clean and inspect eavestroughs so they are ready to handle all that melting snow in the spring — backed-up gutters can cause water damage.

5. Falling Branches

Dead branches can easily snap under the weight of snow, causing property damage or injury. Remove or trim lifeless branches if you can safely do it yourself. If not, call a tree service to assess your trees.

6. Snow Removal Damage

Snow blowers, plows and even overzealous shovelers can damage lawns, stonework, gardens and patios. Provide a clear path by marking your driveway, flower beds and lawn with snow poles or driveway markers.

7. Unwanted Critters

You can’t blame rodents for looking for a cozy place to spend the winter. Prevention is key. Inspect your home for any places they may be able to gain entry, such as holes around pipes, vents and cables. Caulk these areas or stuff the openings with steel wool.

8. Carbon monoxide and fire risks

Winter is a prime time for fires and carbon monoxide poisonings. Along with ensuring that fireplaces and heating systems are in good repair, check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are in working order.

9. Slipping hazards

Stock up on sand or salt and consider applying treads to slippery steps — and make sure a shovel is always handy. Also ensure that downspouts are not draining onto walkways: the water can freeze and turn into an ice rink.

Laura Bickle

Wahi Writer

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