When the temp drops and snow starts to fall, your home has a totally different set of needs. With the right equipment and some Expert know-how, you’ll be prepared to keep your home comfy and well maintained this winter. Below you’ll find a list of winter essentials, along with some extra tips to keep your home prepped—all compiled and vetted by our Frontdoor Expert, Craig.
Don’t have snow where you live? There are still things you can do to get your home ready for the cold. Check out some tips to prep for winter in warmer areas here.
Assembling Your Winter Tool Kit
As a homeowner, it’s important to make sure your home is ready for the winter elements. Approach winter maintenance like you handle your own self-care. Putting a little time and effort into prepping your home will be well worth it once the colder months arrive. With a handful of essential supplies and tools in your prep kit, you’ll be ready to face winter with confidence.
Show Shovel & Snow Blower
When snow starts accumulating around your property, you’ll need to get rid of it to avoid slips, falls and injuries. That’s where snow shovels and blowers come in. Use these to clear snow from driveways, walkways, patios and anywhere else snow shouldn’t be.
According to our Experts, snow/ice melt is crucial for keeping your home’s driveway and walkways safe and ice-free. After you remove snow from your outdoor surfaces, put down a layer of ice melt to break down ice and slow the re-freezing process.
Brush/Ice Scraper Combo
Everyone loves a multi-tool. A handy brush/ice scraper combo tool helps you safely scrape ice buildup from your vehicle and then brush the cold stuff away, all without scratching the paint on your car. For harder-to-reach SUVs and trucks, get one with an extension handle.
Heat Control Window Film
Meet the secret weapon for keeping your home’s heat inside and cold temps outside. Apply this shrink-to-fit film to your windows and you’ll enjoy warmer rooms in the winter. If you’re dealing with seriously leaky windows, our Experts strongly recommend replacing or fixing them—but in the interim, window film is a fast and cheap way to prevent drafts.
Pipe insulation protects your home’s water pipes from freezing, leaking and bursting: three things you absolutely do not want to happen. Any water supply pipes that are exposed to exterior walls or unheated spaces should be insulated. For pipes under your sink, open the cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around the piping.
Door Draft Stops
Believe it or not, door draft stops keep drafty air from entering through your doors. Just cut the stop to your door’s size and install it under the door. Then, kick back and enjoy your draft-free home. For maximum heat retention, try installing them on entry doors, as well as the door to your garage.
Telescoping Roof Rake
As the snow and ice on your roof melts, it forms pools and refreezes. These pools are called ice dams and when they expand, they can damage your shingles, gutters and downspouts. With a little elbow grease, you and your telescoping roof rake can save your home from costly roof damage. Just use the rake’s long reach to knock off as much snow as you can with one swipe.
Vehicle Emergency Kit
You never know when you might get stranded in your vehicle during extreme winter conditions. Plan for the unexpected with a vehicle emergency kit; a good one should contain blankets, hand warmers, a first aid kit, a phone charger, water and some dry food. For extra protection, stash a winter jacket or some winter overalls in your vehicle too.
Go Beyond the Basics With More Tips
Congrats. Your winter essentials are locked down. Now, go forth and become the most prepared homeowner you can be with even more winter tips.
- Open the cabinets under your sinks to help keep your pipes warm.
- Drip both your hot and cold water to prevent freezing pipes.
- Know where your home’s water main is—and how to shut it off.
- Keep a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood stove.
- Keep curtains open during the day to warm your home with natural sunlight. At night, draw the curtains to keep heat in.
- Remove window screens to help prevent damage from snow or ice buildup.
- Disconnect any exterior hoses that might contain water that could freeze.
- Check trees on your property for weak or dead branches that might break and cause damage.
- Keep a stock of nonperishable food and water on hand.
- Get a first aid kit and an emergency kit with flashlights and batteries.
- Ensure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
- Eliminate slip hazards by laying floor mats in your garage and underneath your car.
- Place a rug or rubber mat at your entry door to collect icy, dirty footwear.
- Inspect and service your whole home humidifier and your furnace annually.
- Install covers on your outdoor faucets to prevent freezing.
- Protect your home from the elements with weatherstripping and clear silicone all-weather caulking.
Winter Tips for Regions With Less Snow
Homeowners in southern and western states, we see you. You may not get much (or any) snow, but there are still steps you can take to make sure your home stays well-maintained in colder months.
- Clean your gutters and downspouts to prevent ice buildup (aka ice dams) that could freeze and cause leaks or damage.
- Adjust your irrigation timer for winter and make sure to turn the system off and drain it before freezing temps arrive.
- Service your furnace/air conditioner and fireplace annually.
- Have your chimney inspected.
- Make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
- Clear and trim tree branches that might fall and cause property damage.
- Remove dead plant growth and prune shrubbery and flower beds.
- Seal all your windows and doors to make sure drafts stay out and warmth stays in.
- Prevent pipe bursts and leaks by insulating your plumbing.
Open the Frontdoor for All Your Home Repair Needs
Still have questions about how to prep your home for winter? Frontdoor Experts are here to help. Your home is uniquely yours and our Experts can help you personalize your winter home prep, advise you on the best tools and techniques and even help you find a Pro to tackle tasks in person.
To get started, all you have to do is download the Frontdoor app and connect over video chat with an Expert who can help in real time. Our Experts average 20 years’ experience and can help 7 days a week from 7 am - 7 pm EST. What are you waiting for? Open the Frontdoor today!