Like it or not, winter is around the corner and that means preparation. If you’d like to welcome winter and snow without the stress that typically comes with it, check out this complete winterizing checklist that will have you ready in no time.
For the Home:
- Gutters: Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts.
- Exterior / Siding / Brick: Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk.
- Roof: Inspect your roof for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents, and repair if needed!
- Driveway: Take steps to repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps.
- Furnace: Clean or replace dirty furnace filters. If it’s been awhile, it’s always good to have a professional inspect your heating system.
- Fireplace: Check fireplaces for soot or creosote build-up. Better yet, schedule a visit from a reputable chimney sweep.
- Swamp Cooler: Clean the pads and winterize your swamp cooler. Don’t forget to add the protective cover.
- Windows: Make sure your windows are sealed and aren’t allowing any drafts to enter. If you feel air, weatherstrips or caulk can be a quick fix.
- Thermostat: Consider updating your thermostat. A programmable one lets you customize your heating so the system doesn’t run when you don’t need it. You can program the thermostat for one temperature when you’re at home and another when you’re away- saving you money in the wintertime.
For the Lawn:
Ensure your sprinkler system is winterized properly to avoid costly maintenance come spring and summer! Most people prefer to hire this done…
- First, we shut off the main line or stop and waste valve.
- Second, hook up an air compressor and run through each zone to ensure that each zone is adequately drained.
- Next, set the sprinkler timer accordingly for winter use.
- If necessary, open the bleeder valves.
- Lastly, shut down the backflow by turning the ports to open and putting the ball valves to 45 degrees.
For the Yard:
- Plants: You’ll need to bring plants and flowering trees inside before the first cold snap. Typically, you should bring your plants in before temperatures dip below 45 degrees, or it frosts outside.
- Grill: Cold temperatures, snow and ice can damage outdoor furniture and grills. If possible, store them in the garage or basement. If you have a gas grill with a propane tank, close the tank valve and disconnect the tank first. It must be stored outside. You also need to maintain your grill and cover it before putting it away for the season.
- Patio Furniture: If you don’t have storage space for your items in an interior space or garage, purchase covers to protect them from the elements.
- Outdoor Heaters: outdoor heaters must be treated in a similar manner to the grill… if it runs on propane, leave it outside and opt for a protective cover.
For the Equipment:
- Campers: Clean the interior, change the oil, do a tuneup, and keep campers stored in garages or under covers.
- ATVs: It’s best to keep off road vehicles in a garage or under a covered carport, but if not accessible- purchase a cover for weather protection. Changing the oil and tuning your outdoor toys is also a good idea!
- Lawn Mowers: Outdoor power equipment such as mowers and string trimmers need to be cleaned and maintained prior to storing them.
- Boats: Most boats are probably stored and cleaned by now, but if not- add them to your winterization list.
- Vehicles: Take your car or truck in for a tune up, change the oil, add windshield wiper fluid, and check to make sure your tires are ready for the snowy season ahead.
- Snow Blowers: If you have a snow blower, it’s time to inspect it before the first snowfall to ensure it’s working properly. This is also a good time to stock up on ice melt.
Are there any other important winterizing tips or tricks we should add to the list? Fall is beautiful, but we’re also ready for the fluffy white stuff.