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8 Tips to Prep Your Home for Winter

Whether we’re ready or not, winter is well on its way and will be bringing lower temps, winter precipitation, and new potential concerns for homeowners. But don’t worry! There are quite a few simple steps you can take to prepare your home for the upcoming cold and help prevent any issues during the season. 

1. Clean the Gutters

While you should be clearing out your gutters and spouts a few times a year, a thorough cleaning before freezing temps is an absolute must. If it rains during winter and then freezes, any debris still in your gutters could turn into one big, dirty ice cube and cause potential roof damage or prevent water from draining altogether.

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2. Check Door and Window Seals

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The last thing you want during this time of year is leaky doors or windows. You’re already paying for your heater or furnace to run and keep the air in your home nice and toasty during the chilly winter months. With a gap in the seal of a door or inefficient weather stripping, your money could be floating right out the window.

3. Service Your Heating System

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 The first freezing day of winter is NOT when you want to realize that your heater is on the fritz. Most experts recommend getting your heater and AC serviced around once per year. Getting this done prior to the steep drop in temperatures can help you nip any problems in the bud now. Catching any potential issues now, before the heater is a necessity, could also save you money from hiked-up “emergency” prices.

4. Prep Your Pipes

A burst pipe is a huge inconvenience – and expense – that nobody wants to deal with. Turning off any outdoor piping and letting faucets drip when temps drop below freezing are both easy and effective ways to help prevent frozen pipes this winter. You can also check the colder parts of your house – like attics and unfinished basements – for any exposed piping that should be insulated to keep warm.

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5. Stock an Emergency Kit

Anyone who is spending a lot of time in your home office—whether it's you Even if you live in an area that doesn’t frequently see blizzards or freezing rain, it’s always a good idea to double check you have the right emergency supplies on hand. Things like water, flashlights with extra batteries, and a first aid kit can be life savers – literally – if something does happen and emergency services aren’t immediately available. The American Red Cross and FEMA both offer great lists on what you should stock in your kit to be prepared for any home emergency.

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6. Put Away the Patio

Winter weather typically isn’t good for outdoor furniture - the changing temperature and winter precipitation can wreak havoc on wicker, plastic, and wood patio sets. Give these items a good cleaning then store them inside a garage or basement for optimal protection.


No room inside? You should still give your patio a good cleaning at the onset of winter, then cover any items that won’t get frequent use during the colder months.

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7. Inspect Your Chimney and Fire Place

If your home has a working fireplace that you’re planning to use to keep warm this winter, then inspection is an absolute must. Especially if you have a gas fireplace, you’ll want to have your gas lines checked for any leaks or other concerns. You also want to be sure that no critters have made your chimney a home over the summer. Be sure to make any necessary repairs before lighting the first logs of the season!

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8. Don't Forget the Lawn

You put in a ton of work – and money – to have a fabulous lawn over the spring and summer. Don’t let that all go to waste! By cutting your lawn low, aerating the grass, and overseeding before the first freeze, you can help to give your grass a better chance of surviving the cold. You’ll also want to be sure to rake up any dead leaves or muck – if left too long, these can potentially suffocate your grass.

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Conclusion

By taking the time to prep your home now,  you could be saving yourself from having to make costly repairs down the road. So save yourself the time, money, and hassle by making sure your home is prepared for the upcoming winter season!

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