Winter is almost here. So, now is the time to prepare your custom home for winter. When you winterize your home correctly, you save yourself time and money in the long run. Proper winter prep can prevent damage that could result from storms or frigid temperatures. It also helps you reduce your energy costs and increase the lifespan of your home and appliances. Prepare your custom home for winter with this checklist.
Outdoor Winter Preparation
Preparing your custom home for winter starts outside. There are a variety of outdoor items that require attention before moving indoors and completing the indoor checklist.
Check your roof for loose shingles or any other damage that could cause bigger problems down the road. You want to make sure your roof is ready for winter and the weight of the snow. Replace materials and repair any areas that need it.
Clean Gutters & Downspouts
Winter can be tough on gutters. Start the season with clean, properly-draining eavestroughs and downspouts. Autumn is a good time to clear gutters of fallen leaves, dirt, and other debris. As temperatures drop, keep an eye out for ice buildup from water that’s not draining completely.
Trim Trees & Remove Branches
Eliminate the possibility of trees or tree branches falling onto your house and causing major damage by trimming trees close to your home and removing branches that pose a risk. Take care of any other landscaping at the same time.
Assessing the state of the insulation throughout your home can prevent problems from popping up later, like ice damming and high heating bills. You can perform the insulation assessment yourself or call a professional to do it for you.
Install Weather Stripping
Protect your home, lower heating costs, and enhance the lifespan of your appliances by installing weather stripping on your doors and windows. Tiny air leaks can actually have quite an effect on your utility bill. By adding new weather stripping and sealing any cracks, you can keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
Drain Irrigation Lines
If you have a built-in sprinkler system, take the time to drain these lines before the cold weather hits. Hoses or irrigation lines that aren’t drained can freeze and cause other problems. Come springtime, you’ll thank yourself for doing this.
Check Hose Bibb
If your outdoor faucet is leaking or dripping during the winter months, it’ll freeze and lead to issues that are hard to fix. Not only do you need to ensure your outdoor faucet is off, but it’s recommended that you use a frost-free hose bibb that won’t freeze up and burst.
Indoor Winter Preparation
When everything has been properly prepared outside, then you can move inside and take the necessary steps to winterize the interior of your house.
Clean & Prepare Fireplace & Chimney
Before you and your family cozy up around the fireplace this season, have it and your chimney professionally inspected and cleaned. Lighting a fire before doing this is dangerous as there could be buildup and debris from the previous season.
Test Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Did you know that most fires happen in winter? It’s when we have the house shut up tight and furnaces and fireplaces blasting. Check and test all of your smoke detectors to ensure they’re working properly. Replace the batteries as needed. If your home doesn’t have carbon monoxide detectors, consider installing some.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
Improve the airflow in your home and save money on heating by reversing the direction of the ceiling fans in your house. Set your fans to spin clockwise to better distribute the heat throughout your home. This will increase the comfort of your home while reducing energy consumption and costs.
Replace Window & Door Screens
Protect your screen doors and the screens on your windows by removing them and switching to storm doors and windows. This will save your doors and windows, and it’ll save on energy as it improves solar heat gain. Store your screens somewhere safe and dry for the winter.
Schedule a Heating System Check
The worst time a heating issue can occur is in the dead of winter. Fortunately, most heat-related emergencies can be prevented by having your HVAC systems inspected and serviced before the cold settles in.
Protect Against Pests
Look in your attic, your crawl space, and anywhere little critters might consider calling home during the cold winter months. Be proactive about pest control so you don’t end up sharing your home with tiny animals. Seal cracks, fill holes, and secure vents.
Insulate Water Pipes
Your home has a network of water pipes that probably need to be prepared for winter. Due to the way that water expands, contracts, and freezes in different temperatures, it’s important that all your water pipes are properly insulated. Prevent pipes from bursting in the freezing cold by insulating them.
Once you’ve checked off every item on the list, your home will be properly prepared and ready for winter. You might consider adding a few of these Must Have Winter Features to your custom home to make winter prep a bit easier. Just don’t forget to bring out the snow shovels, grab the salt, and maybe lay down a few extra mats at the front door to protect that beautiful custom floor!
We don’t just build you a house, we build you a home. We assemble the top architects, designers, and trades personnel to work in conjunction with our experienced and licensed staff in order to make your dream home a reality. As a Tarion Custom Home Design-Builder, we feel it is our responsibility to be adaptable to each client’s individual needs. There’s no job we can’t handle, and we will do whatever it takes to meet your requests with high-quality results. Our architects and designers are always looking for new and exciting challenges, so the only limit is your imagination.