Winter Tips for Homeowners

November 28, 2022

As the winter chill begins to set in, it’s important to prepare your family’s home for the approaching weather. We’re no strangers to harsh winters here in the Midwest, and taking some simple steps now can help prevent some major problems in the future. Here are a few winter tips for homeowners to keep in mind during the coming months.

 1. Check All Gutters and Downspouts

Make sure all your gutters and downspouts are clean and free of debris. Gutters that are full of leaves, sticks, and mud can cause all sorts of issues during the winter, including ice dams and roof leaks. To avoid these issues, remember to clean your gutters before the first snowfall. You should also check for any leaks or damage and make repairs as soon as possible.

 2. Inspect your Doors, Windows, and Roof

Drafty doors and windows can let cold air into your home, causing you to waste money on heating bills. Before winter, inspect all doors, windows, and doorframes for cracks or gaps. Then, seal them up with caulk or weatherstripping where necessary. This will help to reduce energy usage and save money each month.

Your roof is the most critical part of your home when it comes to guarding against harsh weather. Make sure to inspect it before the season starts to identify any potential problems. Look for loose or missing shingles, cracks or holes in the flashing, light coming into your attic, and any signs of mold or rot. If you find any issues, do your best to repair them before the first frost. 

3. Consider Thermal Imaging

One of the best ways to discover where your home is losing heat is to conduct a thermal imaging inspection. This test will show you where there are temperature differences on the exterior of your home. These variations are usually caused by air leaks or inadequate insulation. Once you know where the problem areas are, then you can begin sealing leaks and adding insulation. 

4. Protect your Plumbing

Old and exposed pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting during the frigid winter months. To minimize this risk, consider insulating your pipes or allowing a slow drip of water to run through them when the temperature outside is particularly low. You can also have your local plumber assess your home and provide their professional maintenance recommendations.

5. Service Your Furnace

Your furnace will be working overtime to keep your family’s home warm during the winter months. It’s essential to make sure it’s in excellent condition before the mercury drops. Schedule a tune-up with a qualified technician during the fall to be sure everything is running as efficiently as possible.

If you use other forms of home heating equipment, then remember to have them serviced before winter starts. This will ensure that there aren’t any major safety hazards due to rust, dust, or worn-out parts. When in doubt, replace your old heater or furnace early to avoid fires and frigid mornings.

6. Stock Up on Supplies 

Preparation is one of our most important winter tips for homeowners. In case of a power outage or record snowstorm, it’s always a good idea to have some backup supplies on hand. If possible, keep a closet packed with non-perishable food, baby supplies, bottled water, flashlights, a radio, batteries, extra blankets, and warm clothing.

If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow in winter, then consider gathering snow removal equipment in the fall. Make sure your shovel or snow blower is functional, and keep a bag or bucket of rock salt handy. That way you’ll be prepared when the first storm hits, and you won’t have to rush out in the cold to find supplies at the last minute.

Review Your Home Insurance Policy 

By following these winter tips for homeowners, you’ll be well on your way to getting your home ready for the snow. Don’t forget to review your homeowners insurance policy with a trusted local agent to make sure you’re covered no matter what happens. Taking care of these things now will help you avoid problems down the road. Feel free to contact us with any questions, and stay safe this winter!