Home Winterizing Checklist

Fall is here and La Nina conditions are expected to be the most intense since 1955. Because of this, our winter weather in the Pacific Northwest is expected to be colder and snowier than usual! We’ve prepared a few reminders for you to use as you look around your house to make it a safe and comfortable winter for you and your family.


The Yard (these steps will improve the way it will look once winter is over)
  • Prune away any weeds or dead foliage from the base of each shrub.
  • Add a layer of mulch to the surrounding ground, especially to any perennial flower beds
  • Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.
  • Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.
  • In areas with high moisture, apply an additional coat of sealant to wooden decks.
  • In areas with extremely low temperatures, seal cracks in your driveway or sidewalk
  • Cover or store outdoor furniture and/or barbecue
  • Buy bags of ice-melt / sand.
Yard equipment
  • Drain gas from lawnmowers
  • Oil any power tools.
  • Drain garden hoses, roll them up and store them in the garage.
  • Drain outdoor faucets and cut off the water (to prevent pipes from freezing and perhaps bursting
  • If applicable, make sure your snow removal equipment is in proper working order
  • Replace worn rakes and snow shovels.
  • Clean, dry, and store summer gardening equipment.
  • Foundation
  • Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.
  • Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.
  • Secure crawlspace entrances.
Potential leaks
  • Inspect your foundation and exterior walls for cracks. Minor cracks can usually be sealed by using a caulk that’s appropriate for the temperature of your region.
  • Special attention should be paid to the wall area around windows & outdoor faucets.
  • Weather-strip all windows and doors.
  • Check around wall outlets for potential leaks(caulk will do the trick for a good seal)
  • Check the attic or cellar for leaks
  • Check the weatherstripping around doors and caulk windows.
  • If your home has a basement, consider protecting its window wells by covering them with plastic shields
  • Check flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home.
  • Replace worn roof shingles or tiles.
  • Check for shingles that are loose and secure them
  • Clean out the gutters and the downspouts to clear away debris.
  • Consider installing leaf guards on the gutters or extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the home.
Heating system
  • Have your heating system checked and maintained by a professional.
  • Clean ducts and changing your filter
  • Clean and vacuum any heating vents
  • Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.
  • If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.
  • Check the hot water heater for leaks
  • Consider purchasing a hot water heater blanket-a $15 investment that will increase the heater’s efficiency.
  • Wrap pipes that are most prone to freezing with heat tape, which can be purchased at any hardware store.
  • If you haven’t already done so, install a smoke detector in each bedroom, hallways near bedrooms, at the top of stairwells, and near kitchens.
  • Buy extra smoke detector batteries and change them when daylight savings ends.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and/or water heater.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.
  • Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book.
  • Buy a battery backup to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment.
  • Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food supplies (including pet food, if you have a pet), blankets, and a first-aid kit in a dry and easy-to-access location.
  • Make sure that your dryer vent is clear
In addition, you may want to prepare a comprehensive emergency kit for your home in case of an emergency.

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