With fall officially here, prepping your home for winter is probably right up there on your to-do list with decorating for the holidays, busting out your winter blankets, and making sure you’re fully stocked with hot cocoa. Of course, we’d all rather be spending our free time doing anything better than winterizing our homes. But when the freezing temps come, you’ll want your home to be prepared for the harsh winter elements.

Use this checklist to keep your home safe from damaging cold weather, ice, and snow.

If you’d like to schedule a cleaning before the winter months, you can schedule by clicking here. It is a great time to get your carpets, tile, upholstery and area rugs cleaned.

Fire Protection & Air Filters

Summer bonfires and BBQs aren’t the only seasonal fire hazards. Be sure to inspect your firebox and flue system, so they’re clear of any soot or creosote. Leaving open cracks or voids can cause a fire hazard, so check that everything is properly sealed. Ensure your wood-burning fireplace is in good shape for the burning season.

During an outdoor chimney inspection, make sure the cap is in good working condition, there’s no build-up or bird’s nest on the cap, no tree limbs above or near the chimney, and no missing bricks.

You also want to thoroughly clean or replace the air filter in your furnace. When the temps start to drop, and you turn the heat on, you’ll want to be sure your indoor air quality is good. If you use a humidifier, it’s a great idea to give it a thorough clean and replace the evaporator pad.

Lawn & Garden

If you have any overgrown branches, give them a trim before it gets too cold to be outside. Icey and wind-swept tree branches can cause property damage or obstruct the electrical wires leaving you with a power problem.

If you have pots and planters made of clay in your garden, bring them inside for the winter. Save your terra cotta pots by laying them on their sides in a wood carton in your garage during the colder months.

You’ll want to unhook your home’s exterior faucets for the winter as well. Garden hoses should be disconnected in winter to prevent freezing the water pipes inside the house, leading to pipe bursts and a major headache.

Flood Prevention & Gutters

Be sure your gutters are in tip-top shape for the winter. Clean out any dirt, old leaves, and debris before the first snowfall. Once the snow starts to melt, it can lead to your home’s foundation flooding and other water damage from melted snow and ice if it can’t correctly drain through the downspout.

To help prepare your home for winter, you’ll want to take a look at your roof. Heavy snowfall and ice and wreak havoc on your roof. Check for any missing, cracked, or warped shingles. Replace as necessary to prevent leaks.  

Insulate Windows

Don’t let your energy bills spike because of winter drafts. Seal your windows to keep the cozy vibes inside and the winter chill outside. Plus, according to the U.S. Energy Department, reducing drafts can help lower your home’s energy costs by up to 20% every year.

If you’d like to schedule a cleaning before the winter months, you can schedule by clicking here.