Winterize your home and preps Before You have Problems


It is still Sept and we have already had snow in the Sierra’s and I see strange weather in many parts of the world.  If you live in the northern hemisphere now is a good time to winterize your home and preps.

This is a good time to check out your home to see what needs to be repaired or replaced. Do you have the supplies and tools you need in case of a problem this winter. Is your equipment ready?

Here is a list to help you winterize your home and preps.

Inspect the chimney. Winterize your home

Do you have a fireplace or wood stove?  Check for obstructions in the flue.  Do you have a screen and a chimney cap over the top of the chimney to keep animals and debris out?

Clean the chimney to remove the creosote buildup.  Clean the inside of a wood stove or fireplace removing ashes and creosote.  Do you have the brushes and tools to clean your own chimney when help is not available?

Inspect your stovepipes and make sure any connections are tight.  Do you have extra pipe if a sections fails?

Make sure there is good clearance between combustible materials and your stove.

Cleaning Your Gutters and Roof

Clean any accumulated leaves or dirt off your roof.  This helps extend the life of your roof.

Inspect your roof to locate any areas where shingles are missing, damaged or otherwise in need of repair. Look for signs of dry rot, chimney or vent damage and separating gutters. Do you have the materials you need to fix your roof?

Clean leaves and debris from your gutters.  Make sure the downspouts are clear of obstructions and flow freely.

Weatherproofing Your House Exterior

Pick up any leaves and rotting vegetation close to your house.  Make sure any drainage routes are clear.

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Check the areas around pipes or wires. Fill any holes or openings with expanding foam insulation or caulk.

Check window wells by basement windows.

If you have a wood supply, it should be separated from the house by at least 20 or 30 feet and protected from the weather.  Open trash, recycling containers, and woodpiles close to you home are an invitation to rodents and pests.

Inspect your outbuildings, sheds and cellars or crawlspaces.

Drain garden hoses and insulate exposed water pipes including sprinkler systems.

Check your yard for tree branches that overhang your home, outbuildings or electric service. Remove dead or damaged trees and branches.

Preparing Your Windows and Doors

Check your doors and windows for any weaknesses, cracks or other damage.

Replace or install weather stripping around entry doors and windows.

Put up storm windows and storm doors, if needed.

Miscellaneous things to winterize your home and preps

Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, change the batteries if needed.

This is a good time to consider rotating any gasoline that you have stored for more than 6 to 8 months. Check to make sure your flammable liquids are stored in a safe manner.

Check any water that you have stored to be sure it won’t freeze and rupture the containers.

Make sure that any canned foods or fresh produce you have stored are protected from the elements and will not be frozen.

Depending on your area you may have addition tasks that you have to accomplish to winterize your home and preps.  But now is the time to start thinking about them.


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2 thoughts on “Winterize your home and preps Before You have Problems”

  1. You said: “If you have a wood supply, it should be separated from the house by at least 20 or 30 feet and protected from the weather. …”

    This isn’t necessarily good advice in areas with heavy snow and/or ice. I do keep the bulk of my firewood in a woodshed many yards from the house. But, I also keep a 2 weeks supply of firewood under a shed that is attached to and accessible from the house without having to walk in snow or on ice. I do this so that I don’t have to risk slipping and falling on slick ice or slogging thru deep snow when we have it. I started doing this a few years ago when I took a nasty fall on ice while toting fire wood to the house. Fortunately, I wasn’t hurt but I could have been. And, there was no one who would have known so that I could be rescued. While we have many rodents and other creepy crawlers is the vicinity none of them have seen fit to inhabit either of my woodsheds.

    Hangtown Frank

  2. Plastic on the inside of your windows (the type which is fitted with a hair dryer), can save a fair amount of money. In houses with older windows they can easily reduce drafts if money isn’t available to have them replaced. The plastic is only good for one season, but it can make a noticeable difference at little cost.

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