Winter Preparation Checklist For Your Home — Let’s face it – not everything around your home needs to be done by a professional. You’re not going to call a St. Cloud General Contractor to replace a single board on your deck and you’re not likely to start digging through the phone book for a general contractor to plug a few external solar lights into the ground along your walkway.
Even still, we have a keen dedication to the community in which we work. Our crews have had a hand in building as well as remodeling homes all across our fair city of St Cloud – even some of the outlying homes. Because of that, we’re a part of everything that our community is – we’ve helped it grow and as such we want to help families protect what is theirs.
Some of our recent posts have focused on the winter weather that’s coming, and if the current (strange) weather trends are any indication of the weather to come when it’s appropriate to make sure we’re prepared. To ensure that you, your family and your home are ready for winter this year, we’ve created a checklist of things you can do to get your home in order.
Many of the items on this list seem inconsequential but keep in mind that when small ‘issues’ mingle with harsh climates they tend to become bigger problems; when it comes to your home that can lead to costly repairs. Our winter preparation checklist will help you keep your home in top shape this winter season:
Winter Checklist – Windows and Doors
- Check out the weather stripping around all of your windows as well as the door frames. Look for any potential leaks and replace your weather stripping as necessary in order to prevent heat loss.
- If you’re able to do so, remove common screen doors from your home and replace them with storm doors.
- Remove screens from your windows and replace them with storm windows.
- Check the window frames in your home for water damage and decay. Replace any that need it to maintain structural integrity in your home. The same goes for door frames
- Check the glass in and around your home for cracks, gaps or breaks that can create safety issues and promote heat loss.
- Check for drafts around all windows and doors as well as baseboards. Check the exterior of your home as well. Gaps can be filled with caulk to seal air leaks.
Outside the Home
- Trim overgrown branches back from the home, electrical wires and the garage to prevent potential damage during high winds. Branches can also break (even large ones) under the weight of a heavy snowfall.
- Protect your foundation by ensuring that rain and snow will drain away from the home. Check the roof drainage system, gutters and the slope of the ground at the base of your house.
- Turn off exterior water supplies, remove hoses and drain them. An exterior water line, like a garden spout, can potentially freeze and cause a pipe burst around the foundation of your home.
- Turn off and drain exterior sprinkler systems.
- Inspect your deck and patio for decay or damage. If sections of your deck need to be replaced before winter is the best time to do it. Rotting wood can change the structural integrity of the deck. Consider the weight of a heavy snowfall and be prepared.
- Check exterior handrails to ensure they are secured and can support your weight should you or someone slip while holding them.
- Move snow removal tools to the front of storage and prepare them for use (sharpen shovels, check fuel and oil of snow blowers.)
- Stock a fair supply of ice melt, salt or sand.
Heating and Air Conditioning
- Take the time to clean the fireplace, chimney and flue system of soot and creosote. Have the space inspected for cracks or voids that could create a fire hazard. This is equally important if you’re using a wood stove.
- Inspect your furnace for efficiency and replace the air filter as needed
- Ensure that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide system are working properly in your home
- Replace older thermostats with a programmable unit to reduce heating costs
- Install foam insulation sheets behind outlets and switch plates of exterior walls to reduce airflow.
- Inspect the hot water heater for efficiency. Flush it to remove sediment.
- Examine the ductwork of your home, especially in the attic and basement (or crawlspace). Wrap ductwork and pipes as needed.
- Check the insulation within your attic and crawlspace. Consider beefing it up with radiant barriers (foil insulation).
Roof and Drainage
- Have your roof inspected. Look for missing shingles and replace as needed.
- Check flashing at windows, chimney, walls and vent pipes. Seal any leaks or gaps with caulk that you find in the joints.
- Check fastenings on gutters and spouts to maintain stability. The weight of ice and snow can tear these from your home.
While the bulk of the projects are small, some may require a significant amount of time to complete. Where larger projects are concerned such as weather stripping for the home, putting in replacement windows or storm windows in your St. Cloud home or even roof repairs it’s often best to turn to a general contractor in St. Cloud. Use this list to get your home ready – being prepared can make the winter a little more tolerable knowing you’re saving money and your house will be able to weather the storm.