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Checklist to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Living in the midwest, there is little to no chance of our homes enduring the damage and destruction caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes, mudslides and wildfires. However, as Minnesotans, we do deal with extreme temperature variations that can take a toll on homes. The toll taken is especially apparent during times of heavy rain and extreme cold. To help, we have created a checklist to help you prepare your home for the coming season:

  1. Clean the Gutters
    Gutters can be a home-owners best deterrent from water intrusion when operating correctly and a major cause of water intrusion when they are not.  We recommend checking and cleaning your gutters at least four times a year, particularly in the fall after the leaves have fallen and the snow has not. Take the time to run a hose through the gutters to check for misalignments that could cause water damage. And while you’re up there….
  2. Check the Roof
    Look for damaged, loose, or missing shingles that may lead to leaks during winter’s storms or from melting snow. 
  3. Winterize Outdoor Spigots
    As soon as you no longer need an outdoor water source, winterize your spigots.  Simply turn off the water supply valve (located indoors) that supplies water to an individual spigot, then open the outdoor spigot to drain out any remaining water.
  4. Rake, Fertilize, and Treat
    If you are going to fertilize your lawn, the fall application is the most important.  Specialized fall fertilizer can be found at your local hardware store or can be done by a professional.  Rake up your leaves before the snow flies.  It’s ok to have a small amount on your lawn over winter, but a large amount of leaves left unraked can devastate your lawn.  Much like fertilizing, fall is an ideal time to apply treatment for unwanted lawn weeds such as ground ivy(creeping charlie).
  5. Clean & Check Your Furnace
    For safety and efficiency reasons we recommend having your furnace or boiler inspected annually, by a professional, before winter sets in. Don’t forget to change your furnace filter regularly; a dirty filter will decrease air flow and energy-efficiency. Not sure who to call? Ask your Fazendin Realtor!
  6. Seal the Gaps
    If the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you should reapply exterior caulk. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements. Check window-glazing putty and add weather stripping as needed around doors, making sure you cannot see any daylight from inside your home.

Winterizing your home can take several days or weeks to accomplish, however the benefits to your house ensure the longevity and prevention of major repairs of your home. If you have any further questions about how to prepare your home for winter, do not hesitate to reach out to your Fazendin Realtor!

R. Andy Fazendin, Broker/Owner

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