What Should I Do to Prepare My House for the Winter?

Taking the time to winterize your home is very important. If you don’t, you could end up paying higher energy costs and not have a cozy, warm home for you and your family. In this article, we’ll explain some simple things you can do to make sure your home is prepared for the winter.

How to Winterize Your Home

Taking the time to winterize your home might not be at the top of your priority list, but it is definitely something that you should take care of sooner than later. After all, cold weather, snow, and ice can do significant damage to your home, unless you take the time to prepare. In this article, we will provide you with a checklist to help you be totally prepared for winter.

Take Time to Insulate Windows

Winter drafts can cause your energy bill to climb, and your home to be cold. However, by taking the time to insulate your windows, you can decrease your energy costs by approximately 20%, and keep your home warm and cozy during the harsh winter months.

Here are five solutions for insulating your windows:

  1. V-seal weather stripping
  2. Rope caulk
  3. Shrink film
  4. Nail polish
  5. Draft snake

Trim Trees

Take some time to evaluate your property and see if there are any branches hanging over your roof that could wreak havoc if they were to fall. Additionally, overhanging limbs and branches can cause leaks in your home’s siding or roof. Make sure that tree limbs and branches are at least 3 feet away from your house.

Inspect Fireplace

You need to take the time to do a full inspection of your fireplace, both inside and out, to ensure that it is safe to burn a fire in.

When you are inspecting outdoors, check the following:

  1. Your chimney cap is there and in good condition
  2. There is no debris or bird nests on the cap.
  3. There are no tree limbs above or near the chimney.
  4. Mortar/ bricks on chimney not crumbling or missing.
  5. Chimney extends at least two feet above the roof.
  6. Crown of the chimney is beveled.
  7. Flue liner can be seen above the crown.
  8. Chimney is straight, not leaning.
  9. Roof flashing tight against chimney.

When you are inspecting indoors, check the following:

  1. Flue damper opens/closes/seals properly.
  2. No combustible materials present in the flue.
  3. No cracked brick or missing mortar on the fireplace surround, firebox, or hearth.

If you do spot any damage, make sure to contact a professional fireplace/chimney company to come and do an inspection. They will be able to provide you with a professional opinion.

If you have a gas fireplace, you still need to perform some maintenance, though it’s not as intensive. Here are the steps to check your gas fireplace:

  1. Inspect glass doors for latch issues/cracks.
  2.  Ensure gas logs have not shifted.
  3. Turn off gas at the shut-off valve to test the igniter.
  4. Ignite fire and check for clogged burner holes. If present, turn gas off and clear blockage with needle/pin.

Check Your Roof

The last thing you want to happen is to learn that you have issues with your roof after the first snow comes. Taking the time to inspect your roof before the first snowfall can help you avoid this. Here are some things to look for when you are inspecting your roof.

  • Cracked caulk
  • Rust spots on flashing
  • Buckling, blistering, curling shingles
  • Missing/broken shingles
  • Cracked/worn vent pipe rubber boots
  • Masses of lichen and moss, which indicates that the roof is decaying underneath

While it’s true that some of the roof issues are easy DIY projects, there are some that will require a professional. In addition, if you’re not comfortable getting on the roofs because you have a phobia of heights, you can call in a professional to do your inspection for you and perform any fixes that need to be taken care of.

Clear Gutters/Downspouts

When your rain gutters and downspouts are clogged, it can cause damage to your foundation or ice dams when the water from rain or snow freezes. This can result in massive repairs. Therefore, after leaves have fallen but before the snow comes, take the time to clear out your gutters of gunk such as leaves and twigs. Additionally, make sure they are still attached and not sagging. If they are, take the time to tighten downspout brackets and gutter hangers. Finally, if anything is worn out or damaged, replace it.


When the weather outside is still warm, the last thing you want to think about is winterizing your home. However, it should be a priority, as it can help keep you and your family safe and warm, as well as decrease your energy costs. Schedule an inspection today and we can help you winterize your home.