Winter Checklist 2016 – Part 1123

Winter is on its way and, for most of the country, that means freezing temps, wind, snow, ice, and heavy jackets. To prepare your home and your household for the colder months ahead, it’s important to start now. Use this handy checklist to winterize your house so you’re ready for whatever old man winter has in store.

Weather Stripping

Weather stripping is a good way to seal warm air in and cold air out of your home. Available in almost any hardware store, weather stripping installs quickly around windows and doors, and can help prevent air leaks.

Before winter arrives, check the following parts of your home for leaks or drafts:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Vents and fans
  • Plumbing areas
  • Air conditioners
  • Mail chutes
  • Electrical and gas lines

Cleaning Gutters

Clear gutters help drain water away from your roof and your house. If they’re clogged though, especially in colder months, they’re more apt to freeze, causing additional blockages. Blocked gutters can allow melting ice and snow to seep into your roof, or flood your home’s foundation, causing damage. If it’s safe to do so, take some time before winter hits and clear out your gutters, or work with a trusted roofer or contractor to clean your gutters.

Preventing Ice Dams

While your roofer is cleaning the gutters, see if he or she can evaluate your roof for ice dams too. In cold weather, heat escaping your home can melt and refreeze ice and snow on your roof, leading to ice dams. These block off drains, and let water and ice continually build up on your roof — and possibly under it — weakening your roof and putting your home at risk.

To help prevent ice dams:

  • Insulate your attic – Your attic should have plenty of insulation to prevent too much heat transfer from your living areas to the attic. Check parts of the attic that may not be well insulated, like:
  • Pipes and vents
  • Chimney systems
  • Light fixtures

Ventilate your attic – If your attic wasn’t built with a ventilation system, speak to a trusted contractor about ventilating your attic before winter. Proper ventilation allows cold air into the attic, while the insulation seals heat in your living areas. This prevents warm air from melting ice on the roof, leading to possible damage.

Check back for Part 2

About the author: Joe Fiorilli