Checklist For Winterizing Your Home

October 20th 2008
Checklist For Winterizing Your Home


  • - Clean and cover or store the barbecue and outdoor furniture.
  • - Check under the deck for rot and make necessary repairs.
  • - Clean gutters and check that strainers and downspouts are unobstructed. Make sure downspouts divert water away from foundation walls.
  • - Check for loose joints and leaks, and apply gutter sealant anywhere a leak may occur when it's clean and dry.
  • - If you don't want to undertake repairs or cleaning yourself, consider the services of a professional gutter company.
  • - Winterize external plumbing systems - This is the most important job of fall if you live in an area that freezes in the winter. Neglecting this job can result in flooding, water damage, and thousands of dollars worth of damage to plumbing fixtures.
    - Drain underground sprinkler systems.
    - Winterize pools or spas. Check manufacturer's manuals.
    - Have outdoor pools drained and serviced.
    - Drain exterior water pipes and any pipes that run through unheated areas (such as a garage or crawlspace.) If draining these pipes isn't possible, wrap them with foam insulation or heat tape.
    - Drain and store garden hoses.
  • - Dryer Vents - At least once a year, make a point to check that the dryer vent hasn’t become clogged with lint. Often, the screws holding the ducts together will trap lint that builds up over time. A build up of lint is one of the more common causes of house fires. This is a good time to clean up any lint that is under and around your dryer.
  • - Check weather stripping on doors and windows. Inspect around your doors and windows: Replace if torn, worn out or missing? This task is to seal small gaps, keeping moisture and cold air out. On doors, make sure the bottom seal is working properly¡ there are many sweeps and thresholds designed to seal this gap. Newer, energy-efficient windows generally don't require added weather stripping, but if your windows are older, weather stripping can help.
  • - Caulk exterior - It's best to do this in early Fall since the caulk becomes difficult to apply when the temperature gets too cool. Check corners, windows, doors or around vents. Read manufacturer's directions to make sure the caulk you buy will work for where you plan to use it.
  • Lawn and Garden:

  • - Apply lime and winter fertilizer to your lawn.
    - When you mow your grass for the last time, try to keep matting of the grass to a minimum.
    - Rake any remaining leaves.
    - Remove annuals and any dead plants.
    - Cover perennials with a layer of mulch.
    - Wrap or protect shrubs from snow and winter winds.
    - Trim back all tree limbs and vegetation away from roof and foundation.