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Updated: Mar 3, 2023

Believe it or not, the leaves will be off the trees, temperatures will drop, and the snow will start to fly soon. Before the worst of this happens, you will be packing up to head south. But before you go, it’s essential to have a winterization checklist for your house, so you don’t come back to busted water pipes, rodents in your home, or worse in the spring.

Here are the 20 things you should do this year and every year for ultimate peace of mind.

Winterization Checklist

Lower your heat. Just before you head out the door, lower your thermostat to 55 degrees. Anything below that is not recommended as your pipes might freeze.

  1. Replace your monthly furnace filter with a six-month filter.

  2. Flush out your hot water tank for sediment, and then turn it down. Since a water heater can take up to 25% of your home’s energy, turning it down makes sense while you are away.

  3. Install water pressure sensors on your sump pump to give you a reading from an app on your smartphone. You don’t want to come home to a flooded basement because your sump pump failed. The right technology will read the water pressure and send you an alert if something is wrong.

  4. Turn off your water.

  5. Unplug electronics. Disconnect your small appliances, TVs, and computers. These items can be damaged in a severe storm, especially if your area experiences a power outage.

  6. Inspect and repair exterior items. If you can’t do this yourself, hire an inspector to check for damage to your gutters, roof shingles, and places that insects or mold might be a problem.

  7. Trim all branches or bushes at least one-two feet away from your home. Overgrown shrubbery invites insects, rodents, and potential damage to your home in the event of a windstorm.

  8. Clean and store all patio furniture.

  9. Remove all outside hoses and shut off all exterior faucets.

  10. Clean all interior surfaces and remove all traces of dirt, food, or other debris that attract mold.

  11. Clean out your refrigerator of all food and give any pantry items that will expire while you are gone to a local food pantry.

  12. Activate or install an alarm system.

  13. Use light timers on the inside and motion-sensitive lights on the outside by the walkways and entrances.

  14. Check all other exterior lights and replace light bulbs.

  15. Hire a snow removal company.

  16. Inform one or two trusted neighbors. Let them know your departure and return dates. Also, if you have a landline in your southern home, be sure to give them that number and your cell number. Finally, let them know if things change with your schedule.

  17. Put all valuables in a fireproof safe within the home, or take out a safe deposit box at your bank.

  18. Forward your mail to your southern address.

  19. Stop your paper.

  20. If you have a landline, forward all calls to your cell phone.

Integrity Home Evaluation Can Help with Your Checklist

We are happy to come to your home to ensure mold, insects, and other problems do not ruin your winter getaway plans. Schedule an inspection today, or call us at 330-815-0013 to learn more about how we can assist you!


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