Top view man hand in gloves cleaning house gutter from leaves and dirt. Roof gutter cleaning near shingles roof in summer time

Winter Home Maintenance Checklist  

by Carrie Skogsberg

Winter weather can take a toll on your house if you haven’t taken steps to maintain it. Before the next snowstorm arrives, be sure to tackle this winter home maintenance checklist.  

Make sure your home is protected. Learn about our home insurance coverages.  

1.  Disconnect the garden hoses. 

If you leave your garden hoses connected during winter, any water left inside the hose could freeze and cause the lining to crack. Also, if the main nozzle on your hose freezes, the ice could put pressure on the pipes connected to your house, which could cause them to crack or burst.  

2. Prevent pipes from freezing by keeping the heat on. 

If you plan on being away from your home for a long period of time, do not turn off your heating system. We recommend you set your thermostat at 65 degrees or higher to help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting under extreme weather and temperature conditions. Additionally, it is a good idea to leave your cabinet doors open and the faucet dripping at a pencil-thin stream during extremely cold temperatures.  

If you’re going on a winter getaway, be sure to prep a winter weather kit for your car

3.  Shut off your water main if you’re going away.  

Some homeowners like to turn off their water when they’re away from their homes for a long period of time. You likely have two shut off handles: one before and one after the water meter. We suggest you shut off the one before the meter. Then, relieve the pressure in the system by opening all faucets in your home. Leaving the faucets open while you’re gone is up to your own discretion.  

4. Prevent ice dams.  

Removing leaves and other debris from gutters before winter can help prevent ice from forming inside the gutters, known as “ice damming.” Ice dams are a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow and water from draining off the roof. They form when heavy snow buildup melts during the day and then refreezes when temperatures drop overnight. Ice dams can cause severe damage to the interior of a home as the melted water and ice builds under roof shingles, causing water to enter the attic and damage ceilings, walls and personal property in its path.  

If heavy snow or ice occurs, take the time to check your gutters and remove ice dams to prevent water damage to your home. 

5. Take care of your furnace.  

How often should you change your furnace filter? Most HVAC professionals recommend changing your furnace filter every three months. Make sure you are keeping up with your filter changes and be sure to call your HVAC service provider for your fall service check-up before winter hits.   

Checking off the to-do’s on this winter home maintenance checklist will help you to prevent damage to your home, but if a loss occurs, your team at COUNTRY Financial is here to help. Learn more about how to file a home insurance claim.  


Updated 11-16-22

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COUNTRY Financial® is a family of affiliated companies (collectively, COUNTRY) located in Bloomington, IL. Learn more about who we are.