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Updated by edwardsplumbingteam on Dec 14, 2018
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7 Ways to Prepare your Home for Winter

The cold can really do a number on your home. The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to protect your house from potential damage and save some money in the process.

And remember: just because these are small things, that doesn’t mean they aren’t extremely important. A tiny leak or a clogged gutter might seem like they’re no big deal, but frozen pipes and water seeping into your roof can quickly turn into significant problems.

So, take some time before the worst of the weather hits and make sure your home is fully prepared to keep you and your family safe and warm.

1

Check the Plumbing (Inside and Out)

Check the Plumbing (Inside and Out)

Frozen pipes can cause a lot of problems in the winter. To ensure you don’t have to deal with flooding or water damage, make sure you have all the bases covered:

• Drain the water from garden hoses and any outdoor faucets
• Roll up those hoses and put them away
• Blow out any have any in-ground sprinkler pipes
• Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors on particularly cold days to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes
• Use heat tape on pipes you believe may be prone to freezing
• Let faucets drip during extremely cold days to relieve the pressure on the pipes and keep the water moving
• Make sure you know where to turn off the water to minimize damage

2

Weather Stripping and Caulking

Weather Stripping and Caulking

You need to do everything you can to keep the warm air in and the cold air out.

Small leaks may not seem like much, but they can definitely impact your heating bill every winter since your HVAC system will have to work harder to keep you warm.

Weather stripping is readily available and easy to install. Caulking requires a caulking gun, but it is still a relatively inexpensive investment.

Check your old weather stripping or caulking around windows, doors, AC units, vents, plumbing and more. Pay attention to cold spots that develop and find out where the air is coming from and replace old or insufficient stripping.

3

Pre-emptive Pruning

Pre-emptive Pruning

Check for tree branches that hang over your roof or your vehicle and prune them back.

When the snow falls or the ice forms, these branches could buckle under the weight and potentially fall on and cause damage to your home or vehicle (or a neighbor’s… which could lead to an even worse situation).

4

Clean out the Gutters

Clean out the Gutters

Gutters are meant to divert water away from your home. If they’re blocked (with either ice or debris), water could seep into the roof or begin to flood the home’s foundation.

Take the time before the cold really sets in to clean out the gutters and make sure they are able to do their job right.

5

Chimney Prep

Chimney Prep

If you enjoy a cozy night by the fireplace, you need to make sure your chimney is properly prepared before you light the first fire.

If it’s been a while since you’ve used the fireplace, have the chimney inspected and cleaned by a pro. (You never know what might have gotten in there during the off season.)

Keep the flue to the fireplace closed when you’re not using it.

6

Check your Heating System

Check your Heating System

You should have your heating system properly checked and serviced by a professional.
Turn the furnace on a few times while it’s still mild outside to make sure it’s working properly and capable of reaching the ideal temperature. (You don’t want to find out it’s not working in the middle of the first cold snap of the year.)
You should also replace the air filter, vacuum the vents and remove any debris from the furnace blower compartment. Make sure all the vents are clear from obstructions and that the furnace itself has plenty of space.

7

Check the Roof

Check the Roof

Have a professional check the roof to make sure it’s ready for the winter months. This should include checking for any potential ice dams (areas where ice melts and refreezes, which can block drains and create a heavy buildup).

Find any potential leaks and make sure they are fully sealed. Replace shingles and or other roof materials that require it.