Any exposed pipe that runs along a wall or is in an unheated area is a potential hazard. The water inside can freeze and cause the pipe to burst when temperatures drop.
Scan your property for branches growing over the house, garage, driveway, or power lines. During a storm, those could come down and cause major damage. Branches rubbing together can also lead to breakage.
3. Clean out gutters
If they’re clogged with leaves, the debris can freeze into a big, icy mass, which could get under shingles and damage the roof. Get a tall ladder and work gloves, and scoop out the debris so water can drain.
4. Block drafts
Hold a lit candle along each windowsill and baseboard. See it flicker? That signals a draft—and for each draft that you eliminate, you can increase your home’s energy-efficiency.
5. Get the fireplace cleaned
If you use a wood-burning fireplace more than six times a year, you should have it professionally cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep annually, because built-up creosote and soot can ignite. If you almost never use your fireplace or have a gas one, an inspection every three years is sufficient.
6. Have boiler checked
At the beginning of winter, hire a registered contractor to make sure your furnace or boiler is operating safely and efficiently.