This Simple Checklist Will Make Winterizing Your Home a Cinch!

September 7th, 2021

simple checklist to winterize your home

Protecting your investment is easier than you might think.

Winterizing a property is crucial, whether it’s new construction or an existing home. It generally only takes a weekend or two to get a property in shape and ready for cold weather. Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures may impact a house and yard in unintended ways, resulting in expensive repairs come spring.

New Homes Are Worth the Effort

At Oakwood Homes, one of the premier home builders in Colorado, we work with those buying new construction homes to ensure they’re aware of how critical it is to winterize the place every fall. After all, a new home is a considerable investment; it makes good financial sense to take care of it.

Here are several recommendations for homeowners wanting to weatherproof their property before winter sets in.

New Construction Is Already Buttoned Up

Most new homes in Colorado are well-built and properly insulated against cold winters and heavy snowfall. HVAC systems are energy-efficient, and insulation is all in place. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in the fall. Homeowners should take precautions to prevent damage to the house and yard during colder weather.

Check Out the HVAC System

Start by making sure the furnace is in good working order. Clean or change the filter if needed. Set up regular maintenance checks to ensure the efficiency of the system and prolong its life.

Check the air conditioning system, too, and drain any water that’s collected under the unit or in hoses and condensers. Then cover the air conditioner for the winter to keep snow and ice out of it.

Insulate the Attic

Ice damming is a common issue in cold-weather regions. Ice dams are caused by snowmelt that freezes at the roof’s edge before it gets to the gutters. As snow melts and freezes, ice dams form, gradually getting bigger. Eventually, they can push up under the shingles, tear gutters off, or cause water to back up under the roof resulting in leaks.

One of the best ways to prevent ice from damming is to ensure the attic is adequately insulated. Climb up there or hire a professional to check the attic space and assess the situation. Add insulation to the attic floor if necessary. A review of local building codes will help you determine the right amount of insulation for your attic space, or you can ask your builder for guidance.

Clean Out Gutters

Another way to prevent ice damming — and winterize your home at the same time — is to clean out the gutters. Leaves, sticks, and other debris clog up gutters in no time, making it difficult for water to channel away from the house. Clean out the gutters and downspouts so that as snow melts, it has a clear path away from the foundation. If you’re not comfortable on a ladder, hire professionals to clean the gutters for you.

Get the Plumbing Ready

The last thing you want in new construction homes is burst water pipes. Many new homes are now built with water shutoff valves that monitor the system and alert you when something goes wrong. If your home doesn’t have this type of system, consider installing water-leak and pipe-temperature sensors. These devices send an alert if something happens that you need to know about — and you might have time to remedy the situation before any damage occurs.

Prep the Yard

Your yard needs to be prepped for winter, too. Remove any thatch from the yard. When you mow for the last time in the fall, don’t trim more than 30% of the grass blades. Seed the yard if you have bare spots, and get rid of as many weeds as possible, so the grass doesn’t have to compete for water and nutrients.

Trim shrubs, hedges, and other landscape plants as needed, and remove any dead growth. Then put down a layer of mulch to protect everything over the winter.

Winterize the Sprinkler System

If you have a sprinkler system, you’ll need to winterize it along with everything else. Start by turning off the water to the system. Drain any water that’s still sitting within the system. This sometimes takes a while, but it’s the most critical step. Once the water has drained, insulate all the above-ground components — the main shutoff valve, exposed pipes, and backflow preventers. Consult the user manual if you need help, or call in professionals. This is a job that’s worth doing right. Don’t forget to turn the timer off, too!

Oakwood Homes Builds Homes for Your Future

If you’re looking for a new home community in Colorado, do a Google search on home builders near me. You should find Oakwood Homes at the top of the list. We’ve been building communities in Colorado for 30 years. Our communities have all the amenities most homeowners are looking for — and then some. We care about our residents, which is something you don’t often hear from home builders in Colorado.

If you have questions about how to winterize your home for the coming winter, give us a call. We’re happy to help. And if you’re looking at new homes, we’ll be glad to help with that, too!