Winterizing Your Home

Family winterizing their Wilkinson home to prepare for the cold weather.

December 14, 2021

It’s not too late to prepare your home for cooler weather. Wilkinson Homes has been dedicated to building the highest-quality homes in Northern Delaware and Southern Pennsylvania for over three decades—and while our homes are built to last, we understand your current, older house might require a bit more maintenance to prepare for the cooler seasons. Using our winterization checklist, you can rest assured that as a homeowner, you’ve taken the needed precautions to protect your home from cold-weather inconveniences and expensive damages.  

Keep the cold air (and moisture) out 

A quick check around your home’s exterior can reveal cracks in draft-prone areas like windows and doors. Adding weather stripping or sealing exterior caulk to those spots are a cost-effective way to cut down on heating costs and keep moisture out of your home. Caulk flows easier when the weather is warm, so prioritize this task before the temperature starts to drop. 

Care for the outdoors 

Now is the perfect time to get your yard and landscaping ready for winter. Trees need extra attention, so look for signs of poor health like noticeable differences in leaf colors or fall patterns and dead branches. Trees that are unhealthy should be removed or pruned to prevent them from causing damage to your home (specifically the roof) during winter storms. As for lawn care, it’s important to rake fallen leaves throughout the fall to keep grass healthy enough to grow in the spring. 

When a snowstorm is on the radar, you might think rock salt (sodium chloride) is the best defense for your driveway and porch—but it actually accelerates deterioration and causes more damage than many other ice melts. We recommend using calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, both of which are safe for concrete. 

Inspect your roof and gutters

Grab your ladder (and recruit a spotter) to safely make your way to the roof for an inspection—or hire a professional if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. Although roofs are built to last 20 to 50 years depending on the material, it’s worth giving a quick look. While some stains are just cosmetic, mosses or other growths could signify decay that you can’t see. If any shingles are cracked, curled or missing, make sure they get replaced immediately. Also check for cracks around vents and skylights—if there is more damage than spot treatment is worth, it might be time to replace your entire roof. 

While you’re up there, clear out gutters that are clogged. Those pretty autumn leaves falling from your trees end up in gutters, posing a major threat to the drainage of your home if left cluttered. Back on the ground, clear out any downspouts and check for damaged pieces to replace before winter. 

Replace batteries in detectors

A quick peek at your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors takes only a few minutes and are a priceless way to keep your family safe and healthy. It’s suggested that homeowners replace batteries in the detectors twice a year, so avoid the infamous chirp of a low-battery warning and set a reminder to do it again in six months. If your home is more than 10 years old, it may be time for a new smoke detector altogether.  

Check out your fireplace and chimney 

A favorite cold-weather pastime can often involve your wood- or gas-burning fireplace. Before you fire it up for the first time this season, grab a flashlight and peek inside the flue to make sure the damper is in proper working order and clear of debris (like bird’s nests or leaves). 

Find your perfect home

Maintenance and repairs on older homes are not just expensive, but time-consuming. Why not invest your time and money into the new-construction home of your dreams, instead? Wilkinson Homes has been building homes in the area for decades, and we know just what goes into lasting, quality construction. 

If you’re looking for a stunning new-construction home in an exclusive community, Wilkinson Homes can help. We recently opened a new phase at Quails Nest in Dover, Delaware and are offering incentives at Weatherstone Crossing in Felton, Delaware. Browse our inventory of quick move-in homes and contact us today to get started on the journey to owning a Wilkinson home.  

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