The winters in Rochester, NY will put any home to the test.  Winters are cold and snowy which in turn can wreak havoc on your home if you are not prepared.  If you are new to living in cold weather or a new homeowner, figuring out how to winterize your home is a key component of basic maintenance and preventing major damage.

One of the most common problems you might experience if you skip out on winterizing your home is burst pipes.  Especially those pipes that might be exposed in your basement or attic, not just the interior wall pipes.

When water freezes in pipes, it naturally expands in volume, preventing unfrozen water from passing through and dramatically increases pressure.  Once the ice thaws, this built up pressure causes water to rush through, leading the pipe bursting.

And this is just one of many problems you can run into. Gutter failure due to ice dams, foundation damage, roof leaks, cracked and peeling caulking, and HVAC failures can occur if you don't winterize your home in Western New York.  These types of issues can be far more expensive to repair than to do the preparation work to prevent them.

Below is our Comprehensive Checklist that will troubleshoot the areas of your home you must look into winterizing in Rochester, NY.  By following along, it's likely you will discover some areas you may have overlooked in your rush to make room for those snow shovels and sleds!

Your Home's Exterior 

  • Clear gutters and downspouts
  • Hire a roofing pro to check for loose/missing shingles or flashing and fix any damage
  • Have a lawn expert blow out sprinkler lines and shut off system for winter
  • Disconnect all hoses from exterior faucets and attach an insulated hose bib cover
  • Trim weak or dead branches that could break and fall on your house, fence, or car
  • Cover up or store outdoor furniture/grills 
  • Apply a fresh coat of sealer to any decking to prevent damage from snow buildup 
  • To prevent fires or any hazards, have your chimney cleaned, inspected, and repaired
  • Get those snow shovels/salt/sand readily accessible 

Your Home's Interior

  • Have an HVAC pro check the furnace
  • Replace your furnace filter and continue doing so every 4-6 weeks throughout the winter
  • Seal drafts around doors and windows
  • Check all smoke detectors/carbon dioxide detectors and replace batteries if necessary
  • Move furniture and other items away from heating vents ensure efficient airflow
  • Set ceiling fans to turn clockwise to push hot air from the ceiling down to the floor
  • Install a Smart or programmable thermostat to control temps when you're not home

If you need help finding an HVAC professional or another service, please reach out to your NORCHAR Realtor or our Operations Manager, Molly Opp.