Protect your home throughout the winter by completing these maintenance tasks.

 Winter is here, and that means snow and ice are all around us. Cold winter weather sends most of us indoors, where we spend time with our families and warm up with mugs of hot cocoa. We might venture outside for some snowman-building fun or brisk walks with the dog, but that time outdoors rarely lasts long.

While it’s important to prepare your property for winter in the warmer days of autumn, you can also help protect it in the dead of winter. Take a look at these tasks to help keep your home in good condition throughout the adverse weather and colder temperatures.


  • Refresh your furnace

    Ideally, you have your furnace checked for problems on a routine basis, usually in the late summer or early fall. However, if you haven’t had time to take a closer look at your furnace, now is a good time to do so. Changing the filter is a quick and easy way to help it run more efficiently. The machine itself might be covered in dirt and grime, so take the time to clean the exterior, too.

  • Light it up

    Those dark winter days have us reaching for the lights more often. Now is a good idea to stock up on light bulbs, clean light fixtures, and add fresh batteries to your flashlight in case you lose power during a winter storm.

  • Test detectors

    Your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are continuously working behind the scenes. Take the time to quickly check each alarm to ensure they are in good working condition.

  • Keep the heat on

    Even when you go away. By doing so, you keep your pipes warm and prevent them from freezing. Your heating system also then doesn’t have to work extra hard to bring the house back up to room temperature.

  • Keep the rooms cozy

    Laying down insulation around the bones of the house is an ideal way to weatherproof your property. However, there are many other ways to create an insulated feel. You can add thermal curtains to block out cold air, roll out rugs on hardwood floors, and add covers over open plugs to keep cold air at bay.

  • Build a safety kit

    Collect supplies you can use in a power outage or severe storm – just in case! Stock up on flashlights, batteries, fresh water, a first aid kit, non-perishable foods, and blankets. Don’t forget food and supplies for your pet, too!

  • Clean Your Gutters and Drainage

    Cleaning your gutters is one of the essential home maintenance tasks to do in winter. Dirt, pine cones, leaves, and other debris can clog gutters, leading to a leaky roof resulting in water damage to your home. Removing clogs from your gutter will help prevent water buildup that causes this.

Check your attic for mildew and your basement for water stains. These signs indicate that your drainage system is not functioning well.  Consider extending your downspout to direct the water away from your home.

  • Prevent Pipes From Freezing

Frozen pipes are common during winters. Restricted water flow, frosting under the sink, and strange smells are some common signs of frozen pipes. You can prevent these by keeping your home warm and letting the faucet stay on at a slow drip.

  • Prevent Ice Dams

During winter, you can often see the buildup of ice at the edge of your roof or gutters. Poor ventilation or heavy snowfall can lead to ice dam formation.  An ice dam pools up water and causes seepage under roof shingles, causing stained or wet ceilings and walls and bubbled paint. Clearing snow from your roof, installing heating cables, and having proper venting and insulation can prevent ice dams.

  • Check Your Electrical System

Your electrical system may fail due to winter storms or heavy snowfall. It is good to get your electrical system tuned up before the winter.

Remember that your home insurance can help if your home is damaged in winter. For help finding the right coverage for your needs, contact the team at Tompkins Insurance Agencies to get started.