A Homeowner’s Checklist for a Minnesota Winter
December 30, 2020
ice dam removal

Mother Nature has delivered a few samples of what we can expect this winter. The question remains: are you ready for extreme temperatures and heavy snow? If not, we’ve made you a printable winter home checklist for getting your Minnesota  home ready for winter.

Prep Outdoors

Wet snow and freezing temperatures have the biggest effects outside, so start here!

  • Get rid of standing water. Water expands when it freezes, so if there’s any water left in pipes or hoses, they could burst.


  • Pipes
  • Hoses
  • Spigots
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Pools, spas, or other water-based features
  • Check the roof and gutters for any damage or debris.
    • Visually inspect all structures.
    • Run water through the gutter to see how it flows. (Pay special attention to areas where icicles or ice dams tend to occur.)
    • Trim tree branches that are too close.
  • Put away your summer items.
    • Store furniture, decorations, or lawn maintenance items.
    • Prep the lawn by raking away leaves and spiking holes in the lawn to aerate.
    • Drain the gas out of your mower.
    • Clean and store your grill.
  • Protect everything remaining.

Prep Indoors

The great thing about these indoor tasks is that many of them will last at least a year or two.

  • Check and seal your systems.
    • For pipes in areas that get cold (attic, basement, crawl spaces, exterior walls), add insulation sleeves to prevent freezing or bursting.
    • Insulate the hot water heater.
    • Test-run your furnace, make sure you have enough propane or oil, and change the furnace filter.
    • Seal heating ducts, which typically lose 20% to 30% of their heat even without leaks.
  • Get ready for the snow and ice.
    • Stock up on items like shovels, ice melt, and window scrapers, and put them where they’re easily accessible even after a fresh snowfall.
    • Test-run your snow blower.
  • Get cozy! Here are a few tips on how to keep your house warm while also keeping your energy bill low:
    • Close the chimney damper.
    • Close vents to rarely used areas.
    • Program your thermostat.
    • Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans.
  • Create winter emergency plans.
    • Make sure everyone knows how to shut off the water or electricity.
    • Make a list of local contractors.
    • Lay out step-by-step instructions.
  • Seal your home as much as possible.
    • Add attic insulation. Attic leaks are common, and insulation has a high return on investment – particularly since a well-insulated attic prevents ice dams!
    • Seal air leaks around doors or windows (see our article on preparing your windows) by using caulk or weatherstripping.

Have questions about ensuring your roofgutterssiding, or windows are ready for winter? If you need any help getting your home ready for winter, call Weathersafe Restorations. We’ve helped thousands of homeowners with their Minnesota winter checklists over the years, and we know what it takes to keep you cozy.

Contact us for a free consultation today!

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