Winterizing Your Home | DOBI

Winterizing Your Home

Do These Things Before Winter Comes!

It’s about that time again! Your yard is covered by a blanket of fallen leaves, the thermostat is getting gently nudged up every time you walk by and we’re just about to start breaking out the hat, gloves and scarf trifecta. Before that first midwest snowfall, here are a few tips and tricks to prep your home for the winter season.


Cleaning your gutters is essential to every homeowner’s end-of-fall checklist! This is essential for water to flow away from your home. Winter will bring a wide variety of snow, sleet, and rain so having these ready to go before the ice settles in is the safest thing for the home’s wellbeing. If you don’t feel comfortable getting up on the roof and cleaning your gutters, hire a company to do it for you! It may be inconvenient in the short run but investing in the future of your home is always worth it. Bonus tip: Try installing gutter guards which are a protection system that allows water flow and very small debris but prevents larger leaves and sticks from clogging things up.


Have a professional look at your heating system and don’t forget to replace the filter! Look at your pilot light, and make sure you’re not getting any error readouts. The last thing you want is your heating system going out during the holiday season, so getting ahead on it will give you peace of mind. Installing a programmable thermostat can also save lots of money by monitoring the temperatures when you’re not home.


Making sure your sprinklers are ready for winter is essential to ensuring the pipes in your home continue to function properly. When your sprinklers are left unchecked, it can lead to costly damages from lines cracking or sprinklers bursting. Check out this website for more in-depth information on winterizing your sprinkler system! In addition to your sprinkler, if you have outdoor garden hoses, be sure to drain them so the water doesn’t freeze and damage the hose or your pipes.


Make sure you’re stocked up on salt, and you have good-quality shovels as well. Using a newer shovel may make a huge difference in your winter back pain or possibly upgrading to a snow blower! In Birmingham, MI the laws regarding snow removal state that “when any snow or ice shall have ceased to fall or form during the nighttime, it shall be cleared by 6:00 p.m. on the day following. Failure to maintain your sidewalk(s) of snow will result in the city clearing your walk and charging the property owner a minimum of $100.00.” Be sure to check on your local government’s website to find out what your city’s rules are!


The EPA estimates that homeowners can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs (or an average of 11% on total energy costs) by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics. Take some time to walk around your home and look for gaps or worn areas in your caulking. When in doubt, cover it up!


Taking care of what’s outside your home is just as important as taking care of what’s inside your home. Check your outdoor furniture and see what can be broken down and stored. Anything with fabrics and breathable materials should be stored in a safe dry place. Having your furniture exposed to harsh winter temperatures and elements may exponentially shorten their shelf life. In addition to furniture, many plants need to be brought in to survive these Michigan winters.

Examples of bulbs that may need to be brought inside include caladiums, cala lilies, cannas, dahlias, elephant ears, gladiolus, and tuber roses. According to “For tender bulbs in pots, just stop watering them, cut off the dying foliage, and tuck them away in a dark, cool, spot. Check the soil moisture periodically.” For bulbs that may be in the ground, instructs to “dig them up and cut the foliage back. Brush off as much soil from the bulb as possible by hand. Place them in a warm, dry area for 7 to 14 days to dry. This removes excess moisture. Pack them loosely in a cardboard box or open container, separated by a shredded newspaper or dry peat moss. Tuck away in a cold, dark place. Pot them up in the spring about a month before you want to put them outside for a jump on the season.” Taking the time to save your plants can save you hundreds of dollars in the springtime depending on how many plants you have!

Additional Sources:
Grange Insurance