Winterization Checklist for your Rental Property

Below is a complete list and explanation Protect your property value over the long term by proactively preventing repairs or renovations next spring.

Preparing your home for winter will also lower your energy bills, increase the lifespan of some of the major home systems, and improve the overall safety of your home.


Winterization Checklist

Key Maintenance Tasks to Complete Before Winter

Doors & Windows

  • Check all the weatherstripping around windows and exterior doors for leaks. Replace weatherstripping, if necessary.
  • Replace all screen doors with storm doors or take down & store for winter.
  • Replace all window screens with storm windows or take down & store for winter.
  • Examine wooden window frames for signs of rot or decay. Repair or replace framing as needed.
  • Check for drafts around windows and doors. Caulk inside and out, as needed.
  • Inspect windows for cracks, broken glass, or gaps. Repair or replace, if needed.

Lawn, Garden, and Deck

  • Trim branches back from the house and electrical wires to prevent iced-over or wind-swept branches from causing property damage.
  • Aerate the lawn, reseed, and apply a winterizing fertilizer to promote deep-root growth come spring.
  • Ensure rain or snow drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade — around the exterior of your home — should slope away from the house. Add extra dirt to low areas, as necessary.
  • Clean and dry patio furniture. Cover or store for winter.
  • Clean soil from planters. Store pots made of clay for winter.
  • Remove any attached hoses and store them away for the winter.
  • Wrap outside faucets with covers to prevent water damage.
  • Shut off exterior faucets. Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads to protect against pipe bursts.
  • Inspect decks for splintering, decay, or insect damage and treat, if needed.
  • Clean leaves, dirt, and pine needles between the boards of wooden decks.
  • Inspect outdoor lighting around the property. Good lighting will minimize the chance of accidents on icy walkways at night.
  • Check handrails on exterior stairs to make sure they are well secured.

Tools

  • Bring all seasonal tools inside and spray them with a coating of lightweight oil to prevent rust.
  • Weatherize your lawn mower by cleaning off mud, leaves, grass, and debris.
  • Sharpen ice chopper and inspect snow shovels to make sure they’re ready for another season of work.
  • Make sure you have an ample supply of ice melt or sand on hand for steps, walkways, and the driveway.

Heating

  • Inspect the firebox and flue system to ensure that they’re clean and free of cracks, schedule repairs as needed.
  • Check fireplace for drafts. If it’s cold despite the damper being closed, the damper itself may be warped, worn, or rusted, schedule repairs as needed.
  • Clean or replace the air filter in your furnace.
  • Clean your house humidifier and replace the evaporator pad.
  • Bleed valves on any hot-water radiators to increase heating efficiency.
  • Check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
  • Adjust ceiling fans to reverse, which will blow warm air down to the floor for enhanced energy efficiency and comfort.

Gutters & Roof

  • Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles. Repair as needed.
  • Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, skylights and vent pipes.
  • Seal joints where water could penetrate with roofing cement and a caulking gun.
  • Check the gutters and downspouts for proper fastening, and re-secure if loose or sagging. The weight of snow and ice can pull gutters off the house.
  • Clean gutters of any debris. Make sure downspouts extend away from the house by at least 5 feet to prevent flooding of the foundation and water damage from snowmelt.
  • Clean leaves and debris from courtyard and pool storm drains to prevent blockages.
  • Ensure all vents and openings are covered to prevent insects, birds, and rodents from getting inside to nest in a warm place.

Winterization Conclusion

Keep your family & home warm and safe this winter by preparing your home for cold months.  You'll appreciate the preparation come spring and when it comes time to sell, you will be glad you protected your property value!


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