Preparing Your Home for the Cold

As we head into Fall, and with Winter quickly following, it is always a good idea to do a thorough inspection of your home in order to make necessary repairs that can’t be done in the cold. By being proactive, you can help lower your energy bills, increase the efficiency and lifespan of your home’s components, and make your home safer. Here are some common things you’ll want to make sure you look at:


Windows and Doors

  • Check all the weather-stripping around windows and doorframes for leaks to prevent heat loss. Replace weather-stripping, if necessary.
  • Examine wooden window frames for signs of rot or decay. Repair or replace framing to maintain structural integrity.
  • Check for drafts around windows and doors. Caulk inside and out, where necessary, to keep heat from escaping.
  • Inspect windows for cracks, broken glass, or gaps. Repair or replace, if needed.


Deck & Exterior

  • Ensure rain or snow drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade should slope away from the house. Add extra dirt to low areas if necessary.
  • Shut off exterior faucets. Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads to protect against pipe bursts.
  • Inspect decks for splintering, decay, or insect damage and, if needed, treat to prevent further deterioration over the winter.
  • Check handrails on exterior stairs to make sure they’re well secured.


Gutters, Roof, and Drains

  • Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles and replace, as necessary before you get stuck with a leak.
  • Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, and skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun.
  • Check the gutters and downspouts for proper fastening, and re-secure if loose or sagging. The weight of snow and ice can pull gutters off the house.
  • Clean gutters of any debris. Make sure downspouts extend away from the house to prevent flooding of the foundation and water damage from snowmelt.
  • Ensure all vents and openings are covered to prevent insects, birds, and rodents from getting inside to nest in a warm place.


All done? Congratulations!  You’re officially ready for winter. Need a hand? No problem – give Pennings Handyman a call and we can help you tackle your list!