Tips for Homeowners: Now’s the Time to Winterize Your Home

winterize your home

We’ve had our first snowfall of the season and daylight savings, which only means one thing: winter is on the way. As the season changes and the temperature drops, it is important that you take the time before it gets too cold to prepare your home for the upcoming winter months. Not doing so could lead to some unfortunate trouble during the coldest time in the season, and an unnecessary large repair bill. Whether you are looking to winterize your existing residence, need assistance with your house that’s for sale – especially if you’ve already relocated out of the region – or for your vacation home or any other reason, we can help. Here are some things you can do to winterize your home and make sure it is prepared to withstand the winter elements:

Sealing windows and doors: while a cool breeze or draft is pleasant during the warmer months, these can create issues for you and your home during the winter. Drafty doors and windows will inherently run your heating bill up higher, as well as potentially become an issue if too much moisture creeps through to your window sills or floor. You can easily seal windows with V-seal weather stripping. This cost effective solution stays neatly on the sides of your window, and blocks the areas where the drafts can come through. It also allows you to still open and close your windows. The weather stripping comes off easily in the springtime, making it an easy way to seal, without breaking the bank. Fabric & foam snakes are also easy ways to keep cold air out, especially for doors. Simply secure and place them at the bottom of the door to help keep cold air from entering your home. They can be easily stored, and reused the following season. You will stay cozy and help keep your heating costs down this winter. 

Clean your gutters: Now that most of the leaves have fallen, it is likely your gutters will be full of them, along with other debris that has collected over the year. Making sure you or a gutter service cleans your gutters before the winter will help avoid clogged gutters that create ice dams. These can become a costly problem, by creating leaks as well as problems with your foundation. Making sure your gutters are free and clear before the weather starts to freeze will ensure that water drains correctly, and does not get clogged to create expensive problems. 

Check your roof: A leaky roof in the middle of winter can be a whole lot of trouble. Water damage, and the potential for frozen pipes because of a leak can mean an expensive repair, and a lot of damage to your ceilings, walls and foundation. With either a ladder or a good pair of binoculars, check over your roof before the first of the cold weather really hits, and before the snow season. Look for things like missing shingles, damaged shingles, patches of moss or rust if you have a metal roof. Check the caulking on the sides of the roof to see if there are any leaks. Make sure any vents are also in good condition, and that their sealant is still intact. Fixing these in time before the winter really sets in will help alleviate the headache of a messy and expensive leak that could have been avoided with a simple check. 

Trim tree branches and bushes: Bushes and tree branches, especially coniferous trees, are very good at collecting snow and freezing rain in the winter. Branches that hang low or close to your house and roof should be trimmed to help avoid excess snow and ice from landing on your roof and home, as well as potentially falling onto your house if the snow or ice is too heavy for the branch. Large bushes can also hold snow and ice, and when melting, can allow for excess water to seep into the foundation of your house. Trimming both branches and bushes far enough away from your house to help alleviate the risk of more snow, ice and branches falling on your roof this winter will help ensure that you do not have any excess moisture, as well as tree damage. 

Need help or have questions on how to winterize your home? Ask your local Ulster County REALTOR® for local business recommendations of small business that can help you get your house winterized for the season!  


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