Prepping the Outside of Your Home for Winter


When we’re getting ready for winter hibernation, we know what to do to get the inside ready. But what about what needs to be done on the outside? We’ve rounded up some tips to keep in mind before the snow flies.   

Take a walk 
Around your house that is. Just take an assessment of any wear and tear your house has experienced since the summer or after the latest fall storm. Be on the lookout for:

  • Missing shingles. If you see any loose or missing shingles, it’s definitely better to get those taken care of before the heavy weight of snow is on them.
  • Standing water. Take a look for any standing water surrounding your house. Slope the soil about six inches so it keeps the water from soaking the foundation. This will help keep the foundation from cracking or leaking.
  • Clogged gutters. Clogged gutters may cause ice dams, and that could lead to expensive repairs. Make sure to clean your gutters, remove leaves, twigs and debris before the cold weather and snow begin.    

Also, be sure to:

  • Store garden hoses. Remove your garden hoses from your outdoor faucets. If you leave them attached, water can back up in the faucets and the pipes just inside your walls. When the temperatures hit the freezing mark, the faucet could crack and the pipes could burst.
  • Check your chimney. Fireplaces and chimneys caused more than 23,000 house fires in 2013. It’s important to check your chimney (and fireplace) to make sure it’s free of debris and getting a chimney inspection.    

So long to patio season
After enjoying summer and fall nights sitting outside, it’s time to say goodbye to backyard and patio life (for now).    

Patio furniture and planters. While they add comfort and ambiance during the summer and fall, make sure to store your patio furniture to increase the useful life. Likewise, planters should be tipped upside down or stored indoors. If a planter fills with water and it freezes, it can likely crack the planter.   

Don’t leave the leaves. Disposing of leaves can be tedious and time consuming, but it’s important for the health of your lawn to collect as many leaves as you can before winter arrives.  Stow your mower. If your mower sits for months with gas in its tank, the gas slowly deteriorates, which can lead to engine damage. Check out these tips for lawnmower care and storage from     

Plan ahead 
As much as we don’t like to think about winter, snow and ice, it’s coming—and soon. Add these to-do’s to your winter checklist:   

Plan for snow removal. When’s the best time to schedule your snow removal? Before the snow flies. Check out our seven tips for hiring a snow removal contractor

Order firewood. If you aren’t planning on chopping your own wood, make sure you know where to buy firewood and what kinds to avoid. And remember to properly store the firewood once it arrives at your house.   

Buy ice melt or salt. If you live in an area where snow and ice are inevitable, make sure you purchase your ice melt and salt before the weather changes and temperatures drop. Even if temperatures warm up during the day, slush and snow can quickly turn to ice at night. Keep your family and holiday guests from falling by covering your driveways and sidewalks.    

Light the night.  Do a double check and make sure your outdoor lighting is in working order for pets and guests (and so you aren’t changing lightbulbs in the snow).    

When your outdoor preparations are completed (and before you’re ready to take a long winter’s nap), make sure everything inside and outside of your home is covered for this winter and beyond. Check in with an ERIE agent and think…spring!   

Here are some tips for getting the outside of your home ready for winter...especially before the snow begins to fly. /blog/prepping-the-outside-of-your-home-for-winter Erie Insurance