It’s late October in Vermont. You’re looking for the thick sweaters, dusting off your winter coat and pulling out boots meant to trod through months of ice and snow.
Now is the time to remember that your house – the steadfast shield against months of cold – also needs its own winter attire. During this “nearly winter window,” you should take care of the following home maintenance items.
How can you prepare the outside of your Stowe home for winter?
- Disconnect and drain all hoses (and store them inside if possible) and shut off outdoor water valves in cold weather.
- Blowout your sprinkler system.
- Clear leaves from the lawn, reseed, and plant spring bulbs; mow the grass one last time.
- Clear out your gutters to prevent icicles and ice dams from forming; inspect joints and tighten brackets if necessary.
- Examine your pool cover for damage.
- Inspect your driveway for cracks; clean out and repair any damage with driveway filler, then coat with a commercial sealer.
- Check the foundation for cracks; caulk around areas where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house and around the windows and door frames.
- Clean off the deck. Cover and store outdoor furniture and barbecues in a protected area.
- Organize your garage. Clean and store summer tools.
- Drain fuel from all gas-operated equipment (lawn mowers, leaf blowers and chain saws).
- Get snow equipment up and running before the first snow falls and organize all your snow-clearing gear.
What can you do to prepare the inside of your Stowe home?
- Have a professional check your heating system.
- Change the filters in your central air and heating system.
- Clean your humidifiers regularly.
- Have your chimney or fireplace inspected (and cleaned annually) and in working order.
- Install fireplace doors.
- Check your window seals and other joints around your home for air leaks; weather-strip your windows and doors (or replace old, worn-out stripping).
- Consider window insulation film to keep the heat in.
- Install storm windows and doors and remove screens.
- Use draft guards to prevent heat from escaping under the door.
- Pack fiberglass insulation around basement doors, windows in unused rooms, window air-conditioning units and the attic.
- Manage home temperatures and your heating bill with a programmable thermostat.
- Check your roof for worn or failing shingles; have your roof checked by a licensed, certified roofing professional.
- Look for leaks in the attic around skylights, vents and chimneys.
- Inspect for dampness on the floors and walls in the basement as they could be signs of a problem.
- Test your sump pump, flush your water heater and check for any signs of leakage.
- Considering insulating pipes; wrap all of your water pipes in properly rated foam insulation.
- Clean your dryer vent.
- Change the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling.
- Weather-strip your garage door; make sure the seal between your garage door and the ground is tight to prevent drafts and keep out small animals.
- And not just for winter… remember to test and replace any faulty smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors.
Autumn is the time to take advantage of the moderate (albeit cool) weather to repair any damages before the frost sets in. These are but a few fall chores that can help ensure a smoother home experience this winter. Of course, if you are looking to buy a Stowe home in the first place, we can help you with that. Get in touch with the top Stowe real estate agency today.