Winter is just around the corner (yes - winter is coming). For those living in places where the seasons change and the elements turn harsh during the winter months, that means preparing the house for cold weather and ice! It can be hard to determine what to do and where to begin. Here are a few simple tips for getting your winter prep checklist started.

Outside

Start with the stuff you can see: the lawn, the porch, the driveway.

  • Trim overgrown branches that are hanging over the house or the car before they become a risk, covered in heavy ice and snow.

  • Remove leaves and other excess debris from the yard, gutters, and areas surrounding the house. (This will help alleviate fall allergy symptoms, too!)

  • Be sure all vents and openings are covered appropriately to prevent furry or feathered friends from taking shelter where they shouldn’t.

  • Ensure gutters are fastened tightly to prevent them from giving under the weight of heavy snow and ice.

  • Avoid foundational problems by making sure precipitation will drain away from the house - that means the dirt should slope slightly downward from the siding to the lawn. You can add dirt to the lower areas, if necessary.

  • Clean, dry, and store away patio furniture.

  • If you have a wooden deck, inspect and treat any vulnerabilities to prevent further deterioration.

  • Check all outdoor lighting and handrails to be sure they’re well-secured and ready to keep you and your family safe in the darker, slipperier months.

Windows and Doors

  • Check the weatherstripping around your windows and doorframes to eliminate heat loss and save money. You can cover windows especially prone to releasing heat with a plastic covering.

  • Replace screen doors with storm doors.

  • Repair or replace any cracked glass or wooden window frames showing signs of decay.z

Inside

  • Check and replace air filters and humidifier evaporator pads.

  • Have a fireplace? Check for drafts and check that the damper is closed if it is not in use.

  • Check all smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. Replace batteries if needed.

  • Switch your fans to reverse, or clock-wise, position. This will push warm air downwards for greater heat efficiency.

  • Use a sealant to plug any leaks in exposed ducts.

  • Check the pressure relief valve on your hot water tank. Flush to remove sediment.

  • And, of course, clean and prepare all blankets, pillows, and winter bedding. Consider covering your mattresses, box springs, and pillows to keep out those fall allergens, and to discourage creepy crawlies taking refuge in the warmth of the bedroom from setting up camp. If your comforters need an upgrade, we’ve got you covered!

Need some care instructions for those winter protectors and linens? We’ve got those, too. Those who stay prepared stay warm, safe, cozy, and worry-free during the winter. And - have more time to relax and enjoy the company that comes this time of year.