House Maintenance Tip: Prepare Your House for Winter

4 tips for getting your house ready for winter

The days are getting shorter and before you know it the dreaded “fall-back” will be upon us. Winters onset can bring harsh weather conditions that challenge our homes and can leave the unprepared homeowner with a bevy of unexpected problems. Here are 5 tips for getting your house ready for old man winter.

1. Service your heating system

Servicing your heating equipment before heating contractors are swamped by winter demands can help keep your heating equipment operating safely and efficiently. Heating contractors clean and inspect many components on heating systems which can prevent them from failing prematurely. Forced air furnaces can develop cracks in the heat exchanger, a potentially serious safety hazard which can be difficult to find without inspection by a professional.

This dirty air filter can damage your heating system and needs to be cleaned.

Dirty air filters can damage your heating system by restricting proper air flow.

2. Winterize your plumbing

Waiting to winterize your plumbing until the night before a hard freeze can be a big mistake. Outdoor showers, well equipment, pipes in attics, garages and crawl spaces and exterior hose bibs and irrigation lines all need to be prepared for winter.

Be sure to winterize outdoor showers like this.

Be sure to winterize outdoor showers like this.

3. Clean your gutters and drains

Controlling roof runoff and site drainage are critical to ensuring your house stays dry in the winter.  This is such simple maintenance that is often neglected and can cause significant water damage to a home when left unattended. If your roof is too tall to access and clean the gutters yourself, there are plenty of handymen and companies that provide this service; and don’t forget your downspouts and drains in the yard.

This clogged catch basin is backing up

This clogged catch basin is backing up

4. Prune your trees

When winter winds begin, it is comforting to know that you have had an arborist out recently to evaluate the large trees on your property. Trees that have not been pruned or thinned are subject to the “sail effect.” A good arborist can help rid your trees of unnecessary weight and dead limbs which can become unsafe in winter winds.


I hope this helps prepare your home for a safe and comfortable winter!




Dylan Chalk

Author: Dylan Chalk

Dylan Chalk is the author of The Confident House Hunter – a book to teach home buyers how to look at and understand houses: Cedar Fort Press In June of 2017, Dylan's book The Confident House Hunter won the Silver Award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors. He is also the founder of ScribeWare inspection report software offering innovative and simple report-writing solutions - and he is the owner of Seattle-based Orca Inspection Services LLC. In early 2017 Dylan became the Vice-President of Western Washington chapter of (ASHI) American Society of Home Inspectors.