Chilling Chores: Tricks and Tips for Winterizing your Home

Sure, ghouls and goblins are scary. But, so is getting atop a tall ladder to clear out gutters or worming around in small and dirty crawlspaces to check pipes and vents. What is even scarier, however, is all of the problems that can occur if you don’t do these home maintenance chores. When it comes to winterizing your home, here are the regular maintenance issues that scare us the most:

  1. Check your crawlspaces and underneath your house for moisture penetration and water buildup. Use weatherproof caulk and expandable foam spray to seal up any cracks and leaks you find.
  2. Make sure gutters are free of debris and water spouts are diverting water away from your home’s foundation. Getting atop a tall ladder is one of the most common fears, and rightly so. Be careful up there! You may have to clean out the gutters again at the end of fall, when all the leaves have fallen. While you are up there, inspect the status of your gutters and make sure to tighten brackets if needed. If they are beyond repair, install new gutters (w/ leaf guards).
  3. Is your basement always wet after a heavy rain? Learn how to waterproof a basement here.
  4. Replace your furnace or heater filter. Have an extra filter on hand for when you need to change it next.
  5. Inspect your roof for damaged shingles. Damaged/Missing shingles can be a warning sign for a more serious problem. You can inspect your roof yourself and even replace shingles by yourself, but if you have leaks or water coming into your house, you should have a professional roofer assess the situation.
  6. Drain and winterize any outdoor faucets and irrigation systems. Inspect all outdoor water faucets for damage. If they have a shut-off valve, close it off and turn on the faucet to drain any excess water in the faucets. For irrigation pipes, shut off the water supply and manually open all of the drain valves For more information about how to drain and winterize faucets and irrigation systems, click here. To help winterize your outdoor plumbing, hire a local plumber to ensure the job is done right.
  7. Schedule your annual furnace tune-up before winter starts up! Have your furnace serviced regularly and check the filter every month. Filters need to be changed every 30 to 60 months.
  8. Have your local HVAC technician inspect your fireplace and heating system to make sure that everything is running properly and that you are using fuel/energy in the most efficient way to save money and make your heating system last longer. It is very important that your heating system is in working order before you fire it up for the winter. I know it is scary, but go down to your boiler/furnace room and test to see if it runs. That way, you can take advantage of pre-season deals and won’t have to put on a waiting list for your work order.
  9. Reverse your the direction of your ceiling fans so that it is redistributing the warm air near the ceiling.
  10. Last, but not least, make sure you winterize your yard equipment like lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and chain saws. To avoid start-up issues in the spring, make sure you drain all of the fuel from all of your gas-powered yard equipment. Make sure these items are stored in a safe location. You don’t want your kids thinking it is a good idea to use your chainsaw to liven up their Halloween costume or party.


And lastly, the scariest thing we can think of is a home fire. Unless a smoldering pile of ash is what you’re going for this Halloween, make sure to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed outside of every sleeping area in your home. Over 60% of all home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors.
If you have any further questions on winterizing your home, talk to the licensed, trained technicians at Boulden Brothers. We want to help you have a safe and happy Halloween. Visit us on our website, Facebook, and Twitter or give us a call at (302) 368-3848. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.