Winterizing Your Home

By Timothy Eyre 10/8/2018

Tim Eyre owns Eyre & Company; a locally licensed, bonded and insured General Contracting company founded in 1993.

In this article we are going to be talking about winterizing your home.


When the wind starts to blow foundations vents need to be covered. Inserts are made to just fit into the holes. Other foundation vents are equipped with door flappers that you can simply close and secure.  When your foundation is sealed you are preventing cold air from infiltrating your home and the unheated air under the house will be warmer. In the spring you will want to remove and open up the vents to dry out the foundation area.

Water system

Hose outlets need to be covered with insulation or foam covers. This will help keep the pipes from freezing and causing costly plumbing repairs. Try to keep any air gaps out of your covers as this will allow cold air to pass by the pipe and thereby freeze them. A lot of us country folks have our own wells that need to have some heat on them to keep pipes from freezing. This can be in the form of heat tape or a heat lamp that will warm the surrounding area.

Your hoses used for the summer need to be drained. By draining them this will keep them from freezing and splitting the rubber. If possible, bring the hoses in for the winter. The life of the hose will be extended. This is also a good time to check the hose seals and replace any that are missing, brittle or are starting to leak.

Gutters Systems

Gutters need to be cleaned of all leaf matter and debris. In the freezing cold excess debris can form an ice dam thereby forcing water into the house by the water traveling under the roofing. Check the down spouts for free flow of water and make sure the water travels away from the house. Too much pooling water around the foundation will allow water to enter the foundation area and cause either settling/cracking of the foundation and allow mold to grow under your house. Take the time to replace or relocate your splash blocks to prevent any erosion over the winter months.  After the gutters are clean and working properly, check for cracks in the seams. Cracked seams and rust spots that may have formed can be repaired with a good gutter caulking material.


Windows need to be checked for failed caulking around the perimeter. If you see cracks where it has separated, fill the cracks with new caulking and wipe down smooth with a clean finger. Water has a way of finding its way into the house through these openings and rotting the house from the inside out. This water also causes high humidity in the house or in the crawl space. If you have single pane windows there are several window covering that are a simple single season use. They are usually taped on the trim using double sided tape. These products will leave a residue on the trim if you leave them on for an extended period of time.


Doors need to be inspected for broken seals and damaged thresholds. Replace as needed. Wind, water and cold will enter the house through broken seals. This will ruin floors as well as lose heat from the home. As with the windows, the doors need to have caulking inspected and repaired as needed to help preserve the whole house seal.


Plants need to be trimmed away from the siding so that insects will not enter the house. This will also allow air flow around the bushes and prevent mold from growing on the siding. Remove built up dead plant matter around the foundation.  Mice and ants will not have any place to hide and this could help deter them from entering the house.

Roofing and Chimney

Take the time to look at the roof.  If you are able and brave enough, take a trip up there and do some cleaning. Wash or sweep off any buildup of leaves and debris. Check for missing or damaged shingles and flashing. Your chimney should not have any loose bricks or missing mortar. This repair is beyond most home repairs so call a good licensed/bonded mason to come and repair the chimney. If you have a newer stainless steel chimney give it a look over, check for gaps in caulking and flashing as well as loose clamps. Chimneys need to be swept every few years, depending on use. It is an easy but very messy job. It is a must to help prevent chimney fires that start from a buildup of creosote, a natural chemical that accrues when you burn wood.


I realize what I have outlined amounts to a lot of work. This work is vital and well worth the time and effort. All that I have written is within a home owner’s ability. If you don’t have time or are not able to do the repairs yourself, there are many contractors out there that will take the time and do a good job for you.

By completing the tasks in this article your home will be kept dry and warm throughout the winter and will last for many more years to come.


Timothy Eyre             503-780-4560                            CCB# 174438