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Published on November 23, 2022

How To: Prepare Your Home for Winter

6 Essential Projects to Stay Warm and Protected

winterize your home for home maintenance

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

With temperatures dropping it’s time for homeowners and real estate investors to prepare their properties for the winter months ahead. Below, we share six essential projects to winterize a home to prepare for the cold weather.

Check Your Gutters

Now that all the leaves have fallen, get a ladder and check your gutters. Make sure they are stable and securely fastened to the roof. Clean out leaves and other debris that have collected in the gutter or downpipes.

Clear the Clutter

Collect your patio furniture and other fair weather items and place them in storage. Keeping them stowed away minimizes their exposure to the elements, prevents rust, and removes potential obstacles as you clear the snow from winter storms. If your garden has any potted plants, now is a good time to bring them indoors if you want them to survive till Spring.

Protect Your Pipes

If your outdoor tap and sprinkler system has its own shutoff valve, now is the time to close that off. You may also need to “blow out” any remaining water in the sprinkler systems, pipes, and hoses by using an air compressor. This is all to avoid freezing of any residual water, since the expanding ice can crack outdoor water lines.

Clean Your Fireplace

If you haven’t done this already, now is a good time to have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned. You’ll be glad you did this on a cold snowy evening as you’re curled up next to a roaring fire!

Prepare Your Furnace

Your furnace will also benefit from an annual maintenance inspection to make sure it’s in working order. Different systems require different frequencies of HVAC filter replacement, so check your records and replace your filter if needed.

Check for drafts

Make sure you’re not losing indoor heat by upgrading your insulation and sealing drafts. On a windy day, you can check around windows and doors for potential areas to address. Depending on what you find, you can remedy the situation with blanket insulation (good for walls and attics), caulk along window and door frames, weatherstripping, or spray foam insulation.

BONUS: Start a Home Maintenance Log Book

Each home has its own unique maintenance needs and schedules, so it’s important to stay organized!

Here are main reasons you should use a home maintenance log book for each of your properties:

  • You preserve your investment by keeping up with essential annual tasks
  • Your log book demonstrates to prospective buyers that the home has been well cared for when the day comes to sell
  • The book helps you stay organized with maintenance schedules, particularly when you have multiple properties
  • The information in your log book can save you money by keeping a record of appliance warranties and other property details (e.g. you can touch up a spot with an exact match of paint rather than repainting an entire wall or room)

Affiliate link disclosure, purchasing via the link below supports our writing at no extra cost to you.

Interested in getting started with our own log book? Join the Citizen Upgrade mailing list and your welcome email will include a link to the google document template I describe above. Or get a paper copy of the log book here. The template and paper log book include an extensive checklist of maintenance tasks to consider, which you can edit down to suit the needs of your property. Staying on top of preventive maintenance will save you time and money in the future!

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