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It’s time to winterize your home!

Source: “Winterizing Your Home” PREPnote, available for download.

The Thanksgiving weekend allows most of us a little time to spend with family and friends, watch football, and if you’re adventurous enough, maybe some Black Friday shopping or decorating for Christmas. However, the long weekend is also a great opportunity to prepare ourselves and our homes for the cold and snowy winter season.

Taking some time and effort now to prepare you home for winter can save hassles and headaches later in the season.  In addition, a properly winterized home can save money on heating bills!  When winterizing your house, check each of the following items. Repair as necessary.

NOTE:  Safety first!  If you are unable, or lack the necessary tools or equipment to safely accomplish these tasks, please ask a friend or family member for assistance, or hire a home-repair contractor!

Image of a small house in winter with snow
Winterize your home before winter hits!


  1. Check for broken, damaged, or loose shingles, small holes, and loose nails.
  2. Check flashing around all dormers, vent pipes, chimneys, and any other projections where the roof covering meets an adjoining surface.

Gutters and downspouts

  1. Clean out leaves, dirt, and debris.
  2. Paint any rusty gutters
  3. Check supports.


  1. Repair cracks in stucco or masonry walls.
  2. Spot repair and paint any defective areas to prevent damage from freezing and thawing.

Windows and doors

  1. Check weather stripping around windows, doors, and between foundation and siding. Replace where needed.
  2. Check metal weather stripping for dents, bends, breaks, loss of tension, or other damage that could make it less effective.
  3. Repair and caulk storm windows if necessary.

Heating system

    1. Have a qualified person clean and check your furnace, replacing necessary parts. Furnace check should include:
  • fan belts – check for proper tension. cracks or wear.
  • motors and bearings – oil units equipped with oil parts.
  • filters – clean or install new filters. Fiberglass filters will need to be replaced since they lose their effectiveness if cleaned and re-used.
  • hot and cold air register – vacuum if necessary.
  • humidifier (if part of furnace) – remove scale. lime deposits. and corrosion. Check float valve and evaporator plate.
    2. Remove air conditioner for winter storage. Cover with dustproof cover. If air conditioner is left in the window, install a weather proof cover. and seal the space around the unit with caulking compound.

Driveways and sidewalks

  1. Clean and repair cracks. fissures, and joints in concrete surfaces.
  2. Upgrade gravel driveways.
  3. Repair cracks or fissures in asphalt drives. Seal with asphalt topcoating.

For more information about preparing your home and farm for winter weather and other extreme weather, please check out our PREPnotes

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