Larry Sells Tulsa
Larry Harral, CRS

Winterization Tips!


1) Furnace Inspection

  • Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts.
  • Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly.
  • Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat.
  •  your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them.
  • Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.

2) Get the Fireplace Ready

  • Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.
  • If the chimney hasn’t been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
  • Buy firewood or chop wood. Store it in a dry place away from the exterior of your home.
  • Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
  • Check the mortar between bricks and tuckpoint, if necessary.

3) Check the Exterior, Doors and Windows

  • Inspect exterior for crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes; seal them.
  • Use weatherstripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
  • Replace cracked glass in windows and, if you end up replacing the entire window, prime and paint exposed wood.
  • If your home has a basement, consider protecting its window wells by covering them with plastic shields.

4) Inspect Roof, Gutters & Downspouts

  • If your weather temperature will fall below 32 degrees in the winter, adding extra insulation to the attic will prevent warm air from creeping to your roof and causing ice dams.
  • Check flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home.
  • Replace worn roof shingles or tiles.
  • Clean out the gutters and use a hose to spray water down the downspouts to clear away debris.
  • Consider installing leaf guards on the gutters or extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the home.

·         5) Service Weather-Specific Equipment

o    Drain gas from lawnmowers.

o    Service or tune-up snow blowers.

o    Replace worn rakes and snow shovels.

o    Clean, dry and store summer gardening equipment.

o    Sharpen ice choppers and buy bags of ice-melt / sand.

6) Check Foundations

o    Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.

o    Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.

o    Tuckpoint or seal foundation cracks. Mice can slip through space as thin as a dime.

o    Inspect sill plates for dry rot or pest infestation.

o    Secure crawlspace entrances.

7) Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

o    Some cities require a smoke detector in every room.

o    Buy extra smoke detector batteries and change them when daylight savings ends.

o    Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and / or water heater.

o    Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work.

o    Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.

·         8) Prevent Plumbing Freezes

o    Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.

o    Drain all garden hoses.

o    Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.

o    Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.

o    If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.

9) Prepare Landscaping & Outdoor Surfaces

o    Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.

o    Ask a gardener when your trees should be pruned to prevent winter injury.

o    Plant spring flower bulbs and lift bulbs that cannot winter over such as dahlias in areas where the ground freezes.

o    Seal driveways, brick patios and wood decks.

o    Don’t automatically remove dead vegetation from gardens as some provide attractive scenery in an otherwise dreary, snow-drenched yard.

o    Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.

10) Prepare an Emergency Kit

o    Buy indoor candles and matches / lighter for use during a power shortage.

o    Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book.

o    Buy a battery back-up to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment.

o    Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food supplies (including pet food, if you have a pet), blankets and a first-aid kit in a dry and easy-to-access location.


​Keep warm! And Remember we are always here to answer any of your Real Estate questions!



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