About the Post

Jerry Hardy

Author Information

I was a Building Contractor along with owning rental properties where I did most of the repairs myself. Its my pleasure to pass on to you some of the methods I had used in the past. Hopefully, this will save you the expense of hiring a professional to do the work.

Winter Preparation

snow covered house,winter preparation

Don’t wait until you have damage due to the cold temperatures. I have listed some of the winter preparation procedures you can do to protect your property during the winter months. The materials suggested are readily available at most home improvement stores.



Doors and Windows

* If you feel a draft coming in from around an exterior door, add a good door seal in all the areas where air can be felt

* Check frames of wooden windows for decay or rot and replace where necessary.

* Replace any cracked or broken window glass.

* Remove window screens and replace with storm windows.

* Replace screen doors with storm doors.

* If the windows in your home are single-pane, for good winter preparation, a covering of plastic material over the entire window on the interior will prevent heat loss. Measure the window and cut a section of material approximately 3 inches longer than the height and width. Secure the sheeting with duct tape. Use 6 mil polyethylene material which usually comes in a roll available in several different widths.

Heating and Air Conditioning

* Drain and flush water heater to remove any sediment.

* Fireplace chimney dampers allow a considerable amount of draft, drawing air from the room, up and out the chimney. Close all fireplace dampers when not in use.  If a draft is present after closing, the damper could be worn or rusty.

* Inspect firebox and flue for buildup of soot.

* Add foam insulating material behind switch and outlet cover plates on exterior walls.

* Replace the evaporator pad in the house humidifier.

* Remove the furnace air filter and replace during your winter preparation.

* Put ceiling fans in their reverse position to blow warm air down towards the floor.

* Either remove air conditioners from windows or cover them with insulating material.

Home Exterior, Walkways, and Plumbing

* For good winter preparation, cover all vents with 3 inch foam blocks. Measure the vent openings, cut the blocks accordingly, and insert them into the openings. Use duct tape to secure the blocks if needed.

* Using insulation material, cover all exposed plumbing.  Close the shut-off valve leading to all outdoor plumbing.  Open the faucets and spigots to release any water within.

* Purchase rock salt for all walkways. Halit Rock Salt consists of ice melting pellets which helps melt snow faster than standard rock salt. Halite Rock Salt is a principal de-icer on highways and city streets  nationwide. Apply it over all icy walkways leading to your home.

Deck, Lawn and Garden

* Remove all hoses and store indoors to prevent cracking and deterioration.

* Inspect decks for loose nails, rotting and splintering boards. Repair and replace where needed.

* Cover all deck and patio furniture or store indoors in your winter preparation.

* Cut back all overgrown tree branches extending over the roof or power lines to prevent damage caused by iced-over.

* Check dirt level surrounding home to insure that rain and snow melt will drain away from the building avoiding foundation damage.

* Dig up all flower bulbs, label and store in a plastic bag with peat moss in a cool and dry place.

* Reseed the lawn after aerating and apply fertilizer to promote deep-rooted growth for next spring.

Roof and Gutters

* Clean gutter and downspouts of all debris.  Check to make sure the gutters are fastened properly and are draining adequately.

* In your winter preparation, check all flashing around skylights, chimney and vents for deterioration.  Seal any cracks showing around the flashing with a good quality roofing cement.

* Inspect the roofing for missing or damaged shingles. Replace where necessary.

* Make sure that all vents and openings have protective covering to keep rodents, birds and insects from nesting in these areas.

Equipment and Toolssnow blower,winter preparation

* Start the snow blower to make certain it will operate when needed.

* Clean all lawn and garden tools.  Coat them with a light oil and store indoors.

* In your winter preparation, inspect snow shovels and other snow removing tools to ensure that they are usable.

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