Winter Tips

Winter’s Just Around the Corner. Are You Ready?

We’ve past the point of no return. The Autumnal Equinox occurred last week, and we’re now headed into the shorter, colder days of fall and eventually winter. Whether you live in a cold northern climate or a moderate southern climate, there are a number of steps you need to take to make sure your house and yard are ready for the impending winter season. By following the advice below, you can make sure your home is ready… inside and out!

What should you do outside your home?

If you live in an area with high moisture, you’ll want to apply an additional coat of sealant to wooden decks. Chances are the summer sun has caused deterioration to the deck’s protective layer, and re-sealing it will ensure that the wood won’t absorb an excessive amount of water. If your area experiences extremely low temperatures, sealing any cracks in your driveway or sidewalk is also a good idea. If you have outdoor furniture or a barbecue, you’ll want to cover them up or store them in the garage.

In terms of the shrubbery around the outside of your home, two precautionary steps will greatly improve the way it will look once winter has lifted. First, prune away any weeds or dead foliage from the base of each shrub. Next, add a layer of mulch to the surrounding ground, especially to any perennial flower beds.

Once you’ve tended to the greenery, you may want to winterize your power equipment. Fall is the perfect time for draining gas from lawn mowers and oiling any power tools. You’ll also want to drain garden hoses, roll them up, and store them in the garage. If you want to take extra precautions, drain your outdoor faucets and cut off the water. This will keep pipes from freezing and eventually bursting. If you live in an area where it snows, do yourself a favor and make sure your snow removal equipment is in proper working order.

In terms of a home’s exterior, the key word to keep in mind is “leaks.” Leaks not only allow cold air to enter your home but water as well. Start by inspecting the home’s foundation and exterior walls. Minor cracks can usually be sealed by using a caulk that’s appropriate for the temperature of your region. Special attention should be paid to the wall area around windows and outdoor faucets. Also, if you have storm windows, now is the time to install them.

The Great Indoors

It’s time to make our way inside the home, and take another look at the topic of leaks. Preventing air leaks will not only ensure a cozier home, it will also help you save on your energy bill. Start by weather-stripping all windows and doors. It sounds like a big job, but in most homes this can be accomplished in one day. Also, look for leaks around wall outlets. Once again, the appropriate caulk will do the trick when it comes to creating a proper seal. Don’t forget to check the attic or cellar for leaks as well.

Regardless of the type of heating system you have, it’s a good idea to have it checked and maintained by a professional. Clean ducts and filter replacements can go a long way when it comes to improving efficiency. Also, be sure to clean and vacuum any heating vents, and keep the flue or damper closed when your fireplace is not in use.

As far as plumbing is concerned, every homeowner should periodically check their hot water heater for leaks, no matter where they live. This is the last thing you’ll want to repair during the cold months. You may also want to consider purchasing a hot water heater blanket. It’s a $15 investment that will increase the heater’s efficiency. If you live in an area known for very cold weather, you may have a problem with pipes freezing. This can be alleviated by wrapping the pipes that are most prone to freezing with heat tape, which can be purchased at any hardware store.

Lastly, if you’ve experienced serious weather issues in past years, you may want to prepare a comprehensive emergency kit for your home. It never hurts to be prepared.

Good luck on your projects… and have a happy and safe winter!


Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793

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