Preparing Your Home for Winter

ice-dam-problemsPreparing your home for winter isn’t fun after the temperature has already dropped and snow is falling. Get a head start and save yourself some frozen fingers and a potential home disaster with our winter home preparation checklist.


Check Heating System

A working heating system is vital for the winter season. As the season begins to change, test run your heating system. It’s normal to notice a burnt smell the first time you turn your system on. Remember to replace your air filter monthly to ensure air is clean and flowing easily.


Prepare Water Pipes

Some of the most extensive and expensive repairs occur when a water pipe bursts from freezing. All pipes that are exposed in your attic, exterior walls, or crawlspaces should be insulated. This can be done with insulation sleeves. If possible, turn off the water supply to any exterior faucets you may have, and drain hoses and faucets of any leftover water.


Inspect Fireplace and Chimneys

Because your fireplace and chimney can be a source of drafty, cold air in the winter, it’s a good idea to inspect them before the temperature drops too low. Check for nests from any small animals that may have found their way in. Then, check for obstructions in the chimney by burning something small, like crumpled newspaper, in the fireplace. If the smoke fails to rise up through the chimney, call a professional to clear obstructions.


Check Your Insulation

Assess your home’s insulation before winter fully hits. You’ll want time to carefully plan what needs to be done and get it professionally completed before temperatures become frigid. Check for air leaks around doors and windows, as well, and add calk or weather stripping as needed.


Examine Your Roof

Your roof should be examined frequently for leaks and damage, but it’s especially important to understand its condition before winter arrives. Replacing your roof in the winter can be difficult, so ensure that it’s in the best condition possible before a winter storm hits. While examining your roof, check for any limbs that may be threatening to fall on your roof as soon as they become weighted down with snow or ice. A professional can inspect your roof to determine whether it can withstand a heavy snow this year.


When preparing your home for the winter season, you can’t be too careful. Unpredictable temperatures and accompanying ice and snow bring the potential for a variety of home disasters. If you have questions or concerns during your winter preparation, Hedrick has the resources and knowledge to help.