Pre-Winter Checklist For Homeowners

by Grace Motley

Ice, snow and cold temperatures can take their toll on your home in the winter. As the winter season draws near, it's time to prepare for the changing weather conditions ahead. Your siding, windows and roofing can all suffer if certain precautions and safety checks aren't taken. Use this pre-winter checklist to help maintain these key exterior components of your home year round, but especially as winter sets in:


Your home's siding has an insulating effect, protecting it from winter conditions. Whether made of wood, vinyl or aluminum, your home's siding protects your property and gives it aesthetic appeal. A pre-winter inspection is key to siding health and integrity for years to come.

Siding panels. Check for loose, cracked or chipped siding panels and replace as needed.

Siding seals. Clean away vegetation or moss from siding panels and check to ensure that seals are intact at all of the siding seams. Seal small cracks or gaps with caulk; larger problems may require the help of an expert. 


The windows of our homes can really take a thrashing in winter. Before frigid temperatures move in, check the following:

Glass panels. Check all glass for cracks, chips and breaks; replace full glass panels as needed.

Seals. Window seals help to prevent heat and moisture leaks, especially in winter. Reinforce window seals using a caulk gun.

Consider updating. Old windows are a major cause of the loss of heat in older homes. Consider updating your windows to modern, energy-efficient versions.


Your home's roof is its first line of defense against pounding weather elements from above. Leaks, warped trusses or rafters and resultant drafts within the home will all strain your heating system and home structure. Before winter, inspect the following:

Rot and/or roof leaks. Soft or rotting wood should be replaced immediately when detected. Curving shingles and visible stains on your home's siding can be signs of roofing water leaks.

Shingles. Cracked, bent or missing shingles should be repaired or replaced immediately. Severe issues with shingles will likely need professional help.  

Flashing issues. Your roof's flashing seals and protects pipes and vents as well as the chimney. Strong winds may damage or rip off flashing, leading to leaks. Inspect roof flashing for damage and repair or replace it as needed.

Gutters. Clogged or damaged gutters can lead to backups and excess water exposure on your roof. Inspect all gutters for clogs or other issues and address immediately.

Attic. Attic ventilation ensures that air circulates properly and maintains a healthy, stable roof. Check to see that fans and vents are operating properly; inspect for and address any animal or pest activity. Use spray foam insulation to beef up thin attic insulation.

Your home's siding, windows and roof are impacted the most by harsh winter conditions. Avoid bigger repairs down the road and retain your home's overall integrity by inspecting these areas before every winter season. Contact a company like Energy Home Insulation Inc for more information.