12 ways to prepare your home ahead of winter

By Amanda Schmidt, AccuWeather staff writer
December 14, 2016, 10:11:33 AM EST

To help keep you and your family safe no matter the weather conditions, AccuWeather is proud to announce the launch of a new preparedness initiative, AccuWeather Ready.

Colder air, snow, sleet and blizzards introduce a new set of concerns for homeowners across the United States.

November is the month with the most dramatic drop in average temperatures, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel.

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Colder conditions pose serious threats to stability of homes across the nation.

"With temperatures dropping so quickly at this time of year, you will want to get out and do things such as clean leaves out of gutters, as soon as possible," Samuhel said.

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Top things to do before it gets too cold:1. Insulate walls and attics against drafts.

2. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.

3. Replace damaged, loose or missing shingles that may leak during a winter storm.

4. Clear your gutters.

5. Repair roof leaks and remove tree branches that could get weighed down with ice or snow and fall on your house or your neighbor's.

6. Wrap water pipes in your basement and crawl spaces with insulation sleeves to slow heat transfer.

7. Turn off exterior faucets as these pipes can burst if they freeze.

8. Drain your irrigation system.

9. Have a contractor check your roof to see if it can sustain the weight of a heavy snowfall.

10. Avoid ice dams - where water from melted snow refreezes in the gutters and seeps in under the roof, soaking interior walls. To avoid ice dams: Ventilate your attic. Insulate the attic floor well to minimize the amount of rising heat. Consider having a water-repellent membrane installed under your roof covering.

11. Divert water by adding extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation.

12. Tune up your heating system to avoid waiting in line for repairs on a cold day.

For more safety and preparedness tips, visit AccuWeather.com/Ready.


The AccuWeather Ready program features new weather preparedness tools including in-app push notifications, personalized weather preparedness plans, tailored emergency kits with detailed shopping lists, educational weather news and videos, an easy-to-use toolkit with actionable safety tips and more.

AccuWeather Ready demonstrates AccuWeather’s continued leadership and commitment as a U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador.

AccuWeather was named one of NOAA’s first ambassadors in the weather enterprise initiative, launched in 2014 to recognize organizations committed to helping the nation be better prepared for, respond to and recover from weather-related disasters.

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