Your Winter Preparedness Checklist for 2020 | Kansas City Homes

Posted by Kansas City Homes on Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 at 10:29am.

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If you’re like me, a big smile would have hit your face this morning feeling the cool 50 degree air. It’s September, and that means fall has arrived here in Kansas City. While visions of Louisburg Cider Mill and pumpkin spice everything dance in our heads, the fall means another thing altogether...winter is coming. 

Game of Thrones fans can relax but if you are a homeowner, listen up because this blog is for you. Winter is the archnemesis of proper home functionality and if you do not begin prepping your home for the brutal winters of Kansas, you could be shelling out thousands of dollars in repairs this year. We are here to help, alongside Better Homes & Gardens, with a Winter preparedness checklist to get you ready, and warm, for the upcoming holiday season. 

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Exposed all year ‘round, the exterior of your home should be the first place to begin your check. While most of the items on this list can be completely DIY, assess your comfort level and call a professional if a job is too difficult. 


Gutters are first on the list and can be a pain to clean, but doing so is critical to avoid expensive damage down the road. Bust out your ladder and tools and get those cleared out before the leaves fall and really make matters worse. An excellent and cost-effective solution is to install mesh coverings over your gutters to keep them free of debris for years to come. 

While you are on the roof, take a look around for any damage to your shingles or chimney. Excess amounts of granules in the gutters, missing shingles, or damage to the brick on your chimney or metal flashings can spell out significant damages down the line. If you are not well-versed in roof repair, call a professional immediately and get the fixes in place. A leaky roof can cost thousands and thousands of dollars to replace if ignored. A repairman costs a couple hundred. The math on this is easy. 

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Spigots and irrigation systems are common culprits of freezing pipes. For the most part, you should have shut-off valves serving the outside water lines. Closing those and draining the remaining water in the line will save you from a potential pipe burst and further costs in damage. You can also pick up caps, usually styrofoam, from the hardware store if you don’t have a shut-off valve or freeze protection and manually close off your outdoor water spigots. 


Windows are a critical part of this checklist as we begin to transition to the inside of your home, and checking the outside of your windows can also be helpful to detect any hard to see damage. Once your outside look is complete, head inside and check for air leaks around the sill by holding a candle nearby and seeing if the flame flickers. If the flame is influenced from air movement, you need to update the weather stripping and caulk around the window. Air leaks can be responsible for up to 10% of your energy bill every month so save some dollars here that can be better spent elsewhere. 

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Our checklist for the interior of your home is going to begin with a couple jobs that should best be left up to professionals. A couple hundred dollars will get checks done in a few key areas that are difficult to do as a DIY project.


Chimney’s are notoriously difficult to clean for an untrained eye and the potential issues can be detrimental to the health of your home. Creosote buildup, loose joints, and blockages are common problems here and an experienced chimney sweep will be needed to take care of them. 


We saved the best for last. Your furnace is the source of heat in your home. If you have ever been through a Winter without one, you’ll know this is one of the most important things on this checklist to get through. Just like chimneys, give a professional a call to check through the working components of your furnace to ensure proper functionality. If your furnace breaks down in the dead of winter, you’ll be wishing you got this done sooner. 

Finishing off the checklist, go around your house and replace smoke and CO2 detector batteries. Also, take a stroll around your property. Identify cracks in walkways that can be repaired or other places where a quick $10 repair could save you big. Winter is a time to enjoy the holidays and being around family in the safest ways possible. Focus on the happiness of this year’s cold season and put household problems behind you. 

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