We are moving from the autumnal season and into the chill of winter, which means now is the time to have a look at essential winter home maintenance. Whether it’s in preparation for the sale of your home or just the desire to protect your investment, the following tips and tricks will help you keep your residence in top shape through the coldest season of the year.

Quick Tasks

Entryway Floors

Your entryway “can really take a beating in the winter,” whether its snow, ice or soggy boots. To increase the longevity of your flooring, add floor mats to the inside and outside of each entrance to the home. It can also help to add a boot brush or scraper just outside the front door during snowy conditions and to add a waterproof tray just inside the door for wet boots and shoes.

Emergency Provisions

Winter storms can bring power outages or conditions that keep you at home. It’s critical to ensure you have “fresh bottled water, shelf-stable foots, flashlights, batteries, first-aid supplies and a hand-crank radio and smartphone charger” so you are prepared for what the season may bring.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Checking batteries in these critical devices should happen every month, but it’s especially critical in the winter, because windows remain closed and we use stoves and fireplaces.

Weekend Tasks

Ice Dam Prevention

Because the edges of a roof are colder than upper areas, ice can form around the eaves, and when snow melts from above, it can back up behind causing a “dam” of ice that can damage your roof. Before winter weather arrives, you should clean your gutters, check attic insulation and ventilation and upgrade if necessary, buy a roof rake, and remove snow from the roof immediately following a storm. If you notice an ice dam forming, remove snow and ice carefully (to avoid damaging roof and gutters) and turn on heat cables if you have them.

Call the Arborist

If you haven’t already managed your trees this season, now is the time. After any snowfall, you should gently knock the snow from the trees using a broom. These two items “should help prevent breakage — but if a limb does fall during winter, have it removed as soon as weather permits.”

Window Screen Removal

While it’s great to keep screens in your windows during the summer to let the breeze in and keep the pests out, winter is an opportune time to remove screens, which can “boost natural light and improve solar heat gain.” It will also prevent screens from becoming damaged during storms.

Clear Pathways

If snow is in the forecast, be prepared to scrape or shovel all pathways to avoid hazards. In the day-to-day, keep an eco-friendly ice melt or sand in the garage to provide traction and avoid slips and falls.


Be sure your home is energy efficient to keep the heat in—and the cold out—by checking and repairing caulking around windows, sealing cracks in foundation walls and checking weatherstripping on windows and doors.

For more tips, including some extra winter projects when the budget allows, check out Houzz.