Preparing Your Home Before the First Snowfall

Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures are a sure sign…..Winter Is Coming! So are harsh times for your home if you don’t prepare for it now. Homeowners can reduce the stress on their homes, and their lives, this winter by doing 5 easy and basic home winterization tasks to prevent unwanted damage to their house this season. 

  1. The foundation of your home takes a beating each winter. Snow piles up along the side of your foundation causing water damage or a perfect habitat to damage your home siding or façade as well as your foundation. Fall leaves that once were a beauty to your eyes now are a piled up nightmare alongside your foundation. Soil pitched towards your home can also facilitate water damage to your structure. But all is not lost! By simply removing the leaves away from your foundation or siding, you eliminate the moisture being captured inside causing water damage to your foundation. While you’re there, make sure the soil is pitching away from your home you prevent water from sitting against your foundation. Water is a homes enemy! Be proactive by providing a terrain that will displace the water away from the house. And when you’re shoveling on that cold windy day…don’t forget to take the snow away from the foundation as well.
  2. The sanctity of a dry home on a snowy or rainy day in the winter is a beautiful respite.  However, a leaky roof can disrupt this tranquility! Especially after a heavy snowfall that melts in the winter sun. If your gutters aren’t clean, you will get water build up and subsequently ice will form. This process causes water to work its way under your shingles and eventually into your home. Once the process starts it nearly impossible to control or repair until the spring thaw. That makes for a long winter so the best way to prevent this is to; CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS before winter. I usually find that Thanksgiving is a good time to remember to clean my gutters of dirt, leaves, or sticks. This is critical to prevent a sorrowful season.
  3. Make sure you check the sealant around all of your windows and doors. This is the most common way for heat to escape and unwanted drafts to infiltrate your rooms. If sealant is missing or worn around your window or door frame, it’s easy and inexpensive for DIY homeowners to cut out and remove the existing sealant and replace it with new. If your home is finished with wood windows and muntins, make sure the sealant around each pane of glass is in place as well. And for those of you with doors that are missing sweeps and have a space under them…you can easily install an insulated sweep to stop a draft. If you don’t want to do that, at least get a nice “door sock” to stop the draft.
  4. Forced air heat or oil fired furnaces are common in homes today. If you have ducted heating systems, the winter should remind you to have your ducts cleaned. Ducts are a haven for dirt, dust, mites, and other allergens to flourish. Clean your ducts every winter so your time indoors is allergy free and comfortable. If you have an oil furnace/boiler in your home, be sure to have it maintained before using it. A well maintained furnace would surely keep you warm through the winter.
  5. This last tip is not one you would expect from a home building expert, however, I feel it is critical to the safety of your family and your home. Every winter should be met with a time to clean out your dryer vent. I don’t mean the screen in your dryer but the vent to the outside of your home. After unplugging your dryer, disconnect the vent from the dryer and use a dryer lint brush to remove the built up lint in your vent. Each year there are over 15,000 fires and 20 deaths resulting in dryer fires cause by a build up of lint in the vents. Use this new season to protect your home by cleaning the vent.

Following these simple tips will reduce damage to your home. Any house’s biggest enemy is water and fire. So be sure to take precautions in keeping your home safe. If you want any other tips on how to protect your home through the seasons, contact Charlie Frattini at and he will provide you the advice needed to have a healthy home this winter.

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