“Winter is coming.”
Ned Stark, Game Of Thrones
As I look off into the distance from my patio, I can’t help but notice that Fall is here. The leaves are starting to change and the temperatures have started their slow, chaotic descent. It is during this time that I am reminded that winter will be here quickly, and it is time winterize my home.
There are a number of ways for a homeowner in Sanpete County to prepare for winter, from normal maintenance to full winterization. In this week’s post, I will provide tips on preparing everything from your pipes to your trailer, so you can spend this winter cozying up with your loved ones.
Home Winterization Checklist
Storms and cold temperatures last winter caused more than $3.8 billion dollars in damage to property across the U.S. Use this list to help you avoid the common causes of home damage during the winter.
- Doors and Windows: Check all seals for heat loss. Replace weatherstripping and fill gaps with caulk inside and out.
- Storm Doors and Windows: Replace screens with storm doors/windows and take time to inspect wooden frames for rot or decay.
- Landscape: Trim back large brush and tree limbs that may ice up and later cause damage to your home.
- Firewood: Keeping warm during the winter will be a priority. You can get a permit for acquiring your own wood from Manti La Sal National Forest with a forest service permit.
- Foundation: Check for areas where water or snow will pool near the outside of your house and adjust the grade of these areas so water does not accumulate near the foundation.
- Hoses: Detach hoses and store them away for the winter to prolong their life.
- Decks: Clean leaves, dirt and grime off outside decks to prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Lawn Furniture: Clean up and cover/put away lawn furniture to keep it fresh for spring.
- Exterior Water: Turn off exterior faucets and drain water from outdoor pipes. Insulate outdoor pipes that will be used during the winter to prevent freezing.
- Sprinklers: Drain and winterize your sprinkler system. Here are more tips on the process of winterizing your sprinklers.
- Exterior Lighting: More light will help reduce accidents during the winter when walkways are slippery.
- Handrails: Inspect and repair all handrails so they can be heavily used during the winter time.
- Chimney and Heat: Inspect chimney and wood burning stoves for creosote buildup and damage.
- Furnace: Replace the air filter in your furnace.
- Fans: Switch ceiling fans to clockwise direction so warm air is pushed back down.
- Fireplace: Check fireplace for drafts and make sure it is sealed properly.
- Smoke Alarms: Replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and test to make sure they work.
- Radiator: Bleed hot water radiators to release air trapped inside and increase their efficiency
- Ductwork: Examine ductwork for leaks and plug or fix accordingly.
- Roofs: Check for missing or damaged shingles and replace them.
- Gutters: Clean out your gutters and make sure all gutters are secure. A failing gutter can collapse under the weight of snow.
- Vents: Cover vent openings to prevent insects and rodents from seeking warmth in your home.
- Thermostat: Install a programmable thermostat to save money on your heating bill. It is recommended that you keep a thermostat at a minimum of 68 degrees to prevent pipe damage.
- Snow Removal Supplies: Get snow shovels and blowers out and place them where you can easily access them. Make sure they are all in working order.
- Sidewalks: Make sure you have your winter supply of salt or sand ready.
- Hand Tools: Place them in a shed or garage. Applying a thin coat of oil can help protect them from rust during the winter.
- Lawn Equipment: Follow manufacturer’s winterization recommendations for powered lawn equipment.
- Lawn: Learn how to winterize your lawn.
- Pets: Give outdoor pets a place to stay warm.
- Pools and Spas: Follow manufacturer’s guidelines to winterize these items. Here are a few tips to prepare your pool for winter.
Winterize Your Toys
If you’re a fan of the great outdoors like I am, you may have some summer toys that also need pre-winter attention. Here are a few links to winterization tips that will help you prepare for whatever winter has in store.
- ATVs: Whether you plan to put them away or ride them during the winter, you should prepare accordingly. Check out this info on winterizing your ATV.
- Boats: Properly storing your boat during the winter can save you hundreds of dollars when Spring rolls around. Here are some tips on winterizing your boat from Discover Boating.
- Trailers/Motor Homes: Each trailer and motor home has different procedures but all require care during the winter months. KOA has some great tips on winterizing your trailer or RV.
- Cars: Many of us tend to use one car more than another during the winter months, but any vehicle should be prepared for the season. DMV.org provides some great insight on how to winterize your car.
Ok, I know it only officially became Fall yesterday, so you’re probably wondering why am I publishing this now. Throughout my years in Utah, I have found that time tends to fly and todo lists only seem to get longer. Just ask my wife about mine :)
Start working on this list soon, and then you will be enjoying the warmth of your home with family and friends instead of worrying about possible damage to your property.
Do you have some home winterization tips or tricks? Share them in the comments!