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What can you do to prepare your home for winter? A winter preparedness checklist.

Written by Kendall Richards | September 19, 2017

Photo of a succulent that needs to be watered

It’s getting darker earlier and evenings are cooler. We are heading into the fall season. Below is a checklist of things you can do to get your home ready for winter:

1. Service Weather-Specific EquipmentPhoto of a shovel and a rake in a garden

  • Drain gas from lawnmowers.
  • Service or tune-up snow blowers.
  • Replace worn rakes and snow shovels.
  • Clean, dry and store summer gardening equipment.
  • Buy bags of ice melt and sand.

2. Check Foundations

  • Rake away all debris and edible Photo of a cracked home foundationvegetation from the foundation.
  • Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling inside the house.
  • Inspect sill plates for dry rot or pest infestation.
  • Secure crawlspace entrances.

3. Prevent Plumbing Freezes

An outdoor garden hose reel

  • Locate your water main in case you need to shut it off in an emergency.
  • Disconnect and drain outside garden hoses
  • Shut off valves that connect water to outside faucets.
  • Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
  • Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
  • If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.

4. Prepare an Emergency Kit

  • Buy indoor candles and matches or lighter for use during a power shortage.A first aid kit
  • Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone.
  • Buy a battery backup for your phone and to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment.
  • Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food supplies.
  • Prepare an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.
  • Check out “Build A Kit” from Ready.gov.

5. Prepare Landscaping and Outdoor Surfaces

  • Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.Photo of a succulent that needs to be watered
  • Ask a gardener when your trees should be pruned to prevent winter injury.
  • Plant spring flower bulbs and lift bulbs that cannot winter over.
  • Seal driveways, brick patios, and wood decks.
  • Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.
  • Move your grill and clay pots inside. If clay pots are left out over the winter they will crack.
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