Do you have a crawlspace under your home? Make sure any vents are closed and sealed before winter. This helps insulate any water lines that are underneath your home from cold outside air, helps insulate the ground floor of your structure, and helps keep out critters looking for a warm place to spend the winter. Sealing the vents also helps prevent snowmelt from draining into your crawlspace in the spring.
2. Stoves and Firewood
Do you have a wood stove, pellet stove, or a fireplace? Now is the time to make sure your chimneys have been cleaned and are ready for the winter months. Layers of creosote and soot can build up in chimneys, leading to an increased risk of a chimney fire. If you heat your home with a wood stove or pellet stove, check that you have enough split and stacked wood or pellets to last through the cold months.
3. Furnaces and Propane
Service your furnace or heating system and replace any filters to ensure everything is in great shape for the colder months. Do you heat with propane? Remember to fill your tank before winter.
4. Hoses and Hose Bibs
Winterize your hoses! Disconnect all hoses from your house, drain them, and store them out of the elements (inside a garage or shed is ideal). Also disconnect hose bibs, or shut off any hose bib valves to help prevent damage from freezing water. If you have sprinklers connected to hoses, be sure to detach and drain these too.
Do you have an irrigation system? Make sure this is blown out each year before winter – this helps prevent any pooled water from freezing and damaging your irrigation lines.
6. Lawn and Garden
Now is a great time to plant bulbs, fertilize your lawn, and prepare your garden beds for the winter. Winterize your lawn mower, too: disconnect the battery, add a fuel stabilizer, and consider changing the oil before the winter.
Clear any gutters of leaves and debris to help prevent ice buildups. This is an essential winterizing tip to remember – and much easier to take care of before everything freezes.
It’s time for snow tires! Early season storms catch people off-guard in the mountains every year. Make sure your vehicles are winterized and equipped with snow tires (or at least great quality all-season tires), that you are familiar with driving in icy conditions, and that you have a winter emergency vehicle kit in every car. This winter kit should include extra layers, an emergency blanket, flashlights, extra batteries, gloves, snacks, a tow strap, jumper cables, tire chains (if applicable), a basic first aid kit, and extra water.
Are plowing services included through your HOA (or do you take care of the snow removal on your property)? If not, make sure you have a plowing service lined up for the winter. It is also helpful to put up stakes around the perimeter of your driveway before the snow accumulates.
10. For the Travelers
If you head to warmer climates for the winter and leave your house empty, make sure your water is turned off and that someone is available to check on your property regularly.
Winter is certainly beautiful in our area, and these tips will help make the change of seasons an easier and more comfortable transition for you and your property. We look forward to seeing you all out on the slopes and cross-country trails this winter!
– Joanne & Natalie