Preparing Your Home for Winter

Preparing Your Home for WinterWith November just around the corner, winter weather is on its way. Now is the time to get the jump on cold weather and winterize your home. Whether you are selling your home or you are a new homeowner, it is a good idea to keep these things in mind:

Clean your gutters

During the summer, and especially the fall, your gutters fill with leaves and debris that can block your gutters and downspouts. When heavy rains, snow or ice descends on your roof, your gutters are unable to remove the runoff quickly enough to protect your roof from leaks. Take the time now to clean your gutters, or hire a professional gutter cleaner so that you do not have to climb up those ladders.

Clear patios and decks

Now is the time clean and put away patio furniture, grills, umbrellas and other patio or deck gear. Before storing it for the winter, take time to clean off dirt and grime, deal with rusted spots, mold or other problem areas. If you do not have room to store everything, stack and cover it. If your area is prone to high winds in the winter, fasten down anything you store outdoors.

Power wash (carefully) or sweep and clean the deck or patio. If your wooden deck does not repel water, add a protective coat of sealant, water repellant or other finish. Be sure to choose the correct protectant for your deck type.

Repair roof damage

If your roof has sustained any damage, have it repaired now. Summer hail and windstorms can loosen shingles, exposing your roof to damage during winter weather. If your area had a hailstorm, your roof may have damage that you cannot see. Have your roof evaluated by a qualified roof inspector, and if necessary, contact your insurance for assistance in repairing a damaged roof.

Caulk windows

Take time now to shut out drafts by caulking windows and adding weather stripping to doorways. Many utility companies offer inspection services to let you know where your home wastes energy and what you can do to reduce high winter energy bills.

Protect plants, flowerbeds and planters

Clean and store breakable planters and pots. Consider adding mulch to exposed beds as an extra protection around trees, bushes and other ornamental plants. Your local nursery can tell you the best form of mulch to use for your needs. Trim away any dead branches from trees, but do not prune them unless your arborist advises you to, since fall pruning can spread fungi spores and damage your trees’ health.

Plan now for rain, ice and snow

If you need a new snow shovel, now is the time to buy one—not after the first snowfall. Keep a broom handy for light snow. Also, purchase deicer ahead of time and put it in an easily accessible but airtight container.

Many municipalities require homeowners to keep neighborhood sidewalks free of snow and ice. Find out the requirements in your city so that you are both prepared and can avoid fines or liability if someone falls on your icy sidewalk.

If your home is for sale during the winter months, you will want to make reaching your front door as easy and inviting as possible.

We can help

If you have questions about how to sell your home in the winter, creating weatherproof curb-appeal, or staging your home, we can advise you. Give us a call today.

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