McClurg's Home Remodeling Blog

How to Prepare Your Home for a Central New York Winter

Posted by Paul Jones on Tue, Nov 25, 2014

It’s important to regularly inspect your house for wear and tear. Now is the time to prepare for the winter months ahead by checking both the inside and the exterior of your home for signs of damage or deterioration. Finding a problem during a routine check and fixing it right away may save you money and aggravation. If you do find a problem, or suspect a problem, consider contacting a home repair specialist.



Here is a checklist of the things to inspect inside and on the exterior of your house to help you prepare your home for a Central New York winter:


1.     Roof

           ☐ Shingles. Check for damage.

           ☐ Flashing. Check for wear and tear.

           ☐ Look for signs of mildew.

           ☐ Remove debris.

2.     Chimney

            ☐ Check masonry for cracks.

            ☐ Check chimney cap for damage.

            ☐ Inspect and clean the chimney and fireplace.

3.     Gutters

            ☐ Clean gutters and downspouts.

4.     Windows and Doors

            ☐ Check panes, sills, latches and frames for damage.

            ☐ Replace broken or cracked glass.

            ☐ Clean and wax tracks of sliding doors.

            ☐ Check weather stripping and replace if loose.

            ☐ Check caulking around windows, doors and trims. Replace loose caulking.

            ☐ Clean out window wells of basement windows.

5.     Exterior

            ☐ Clean out storm drains.

            ☐ Trim trees and shrubs near the house.

            ☐ Repair all broken or uneven areas of driveways and sidewalks.

            ☐ Disconnect, drain and store hoses. Shut off water valves if possible.

6.     Basement

            ☐ Check interior and exterior walls for cracks and repair cracks.

            ☐ Check walls, rim joist and crawl spaces for mildew and dampness.

            ☐ Close crawl space vents.

            ☐ Check for rodents that migrate indoors in the fall.

7.     Plumbing

            ☐ Check outside faucets for leaks.

            ☐ Drain and shut off outside faucets.

            ☐ Check faucets and under sinks for leaks.

            ☐ Caulk and grout around bathtubs.

            ☐ Check the water heater for signs of rust or cracks. If you find rust, the tank should be replaced soon.

            ☐ Consider a thermal blanket for the water heater.

            ☐ Check washer hose connection.

            ☐ Check sump pumps and drains.

8.     Electrical

            ☐ Test smoke detectors and replace batteries.

            ☐ Clean covers of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.

            ☐ Clean out bath fans.

            ☐ Replace exterior light bulbs (change to LED so they last and save energy).

9.     Furnace

            ☐ Replace furnace filters.

            ☐ Have heating system serviced.

10.  Other

            ☐ Clean dryer vents.

            ☐ Check the dryer hose for wear and tear.

            ☐ Check the insulation and ventilation in your attic to prevent ice dams from forming.

Keep a roof rake and plastic shovel on hand to remove snow from the roof to control ice dams and do not let snow build up more than 12 inches on the roof. Excessive snow build-up can damage and weaken a roof and possibly cause a collapse.

For more year-round home maintenance tips download our free Home Maintenance Checklist.


Download a free home maintenance checklist

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on November 6, 2012 and has been updated to provide new or additional information.

Topics: How-To Tips, Repair and Maintenance