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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Winterize Your Home on a Budget

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

Front of 2 story home covered in snow with SERVPRO logo When a winter storm hits your home, you need the company with storm damage experience and expertise.

Winterization is the process of preparing a home for the harsh conditions of winter. It is usually performed in the fall before snow and excessive cold have arrived. Stay warm, save money and prevent damage to your home from the cold and snow with these simple winterization tips.

Clean Your Gutters

Clear leaves, tree branches and debris from your gutters. Failure to do so can result in leaks and the overflow of water whenever rain falls or snow melts. Making sure that water can flow freely through your gutters now will help prevent icicles and ice dams from forming later. 

The benefits of cleaning your gutters before winter will help you avoid the unfortunate event of your basement being flooded with water, rotted fascia boards, cracked walkways or patios and many other potential areas of damage.

Cost: Other than your sweat and time, free.

Winterize Your Pipes

When water freezes, it expands. So if the temperature of your pipes drops below 32 degrees, even for a short period, you run the risk of a pipe fracture or worse. Take precautions now to avoid a major water damage. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.

Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve” or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes.

Cost: Pipe Sleeve $5 to $12 per sleeve; Insulation Tape $10 per pack;  Heat Cable $20 to $150 depending on length

Flush the Water Heater

Particles and sediment can collect over time in the bottom of your water heater, hindering the unit's efficiency. Flush the water through the drain valve to clear out the material and keep your heater functioning at its best. 

Cost: 100% free if you do it yourself!

Clockwise Ceiling Fans

Set your ceiling fans to move in a clockwise direction. The gentle updraft pushes warm air, which naturally rises to the ceiling, down along the walls and back the floor. Homeowners who use ceiling fans during the winter can save as much as 15 percent on heating bills.

Cost: free if you have a fan.

Window Insulation Film

Window insulation film is a plastic film which can be applied to glass windows to reduce heat transfer. Window insulation film can keep up to 70% of heat from leaking out of the windows.

Cost:$5 to $15 per kit.


Place weatherstripping along doorjambs, and in the gaps between windows and sashes, to keep the chilly breezes out and the heat in. Weatherstripping can save you up to 20 percent on your heating bill. Choose a type of weatherstripping that will withstand the friction, weather, temperature changes, and wear and tear associated with its location. 

Cost:$5 to $10 per roll.

Draft Guards

In a drafty room, heat escapes under the door. A Draft Guard is a flexible, rubber strip that seals the gap at the bottom of the door to keep out drafts and prevent heat loss.

Cost:$10 to $20 or free if you place a rolled towel at the bottom of the door.  

Replace Filters

Well-oiled, clean HVAC machinery uses less energy and provides more effective heating and cooling than dirty equipment. A dirty filter will restrict airflow through the heating or cooling system.

Throughout the winter, evaluate the filters monthly and replace them if there's any accumulation of debris. Furnaces and heat pumps are operating constantly to stay ahead of the cold, circulating more air through the filter, leaving behind ample dust and debris to coat the filter. 

Cost:$20 to $35 for a pack of filters.

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation slows the spread of heat, cold, and sound in structures. The material does this by trapping pockets of air, keeping rooms warm in the winter. For maximum heat retention, pack fiberglass insulation around basement doors, windows in unused rooms, and window AC units. Make sure your attic floor is insulated to stop heat from escape through the attic as it rises! 

 Cost: around $25 per roll.

Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat relieves homeowners of that responsibility, enabling them to configure a heating and cooling cycle that corresponds to their daily schedules. The US Department of Energy says you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for every degree you lower your home's temperature during the winter. Install a programmable thermostat to save money by keeping the temp down when you're not at home. 

Cost: prices vary from basic versions $35 to $60 to smart-home options in the $100 to $200 range.


Any remaining gaps in siding, windows, or doors can be filled with caulk. For extra drafty windows and doors, caulk the inside too, pulling off moldings to fill all gaps in the insulation. 

Cost: $10 for a caulk gun and less than $5 for a tube of caulk.

Chimney Balloon

A chimney balloon is a balloon made of special heat reactive, durable material. Its purpose is to block the opening of a chimney that is not in use. If you do not regularly use your fireplace, a chimney balloon is the ideal solution to stop chimney drafts and save energy.

Cost:$25 to $60 depending on the size of the balloon.

Have Winter Storm Damage?
Call SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle Today (302) 392-6000

Why Choose SERVPRO of Bear / New Castle?

When you are dealing with winter storm and water damage, immediate action is crucial. You should choose the company with storm damage experience and expertise that has the resources and equipment to handle the job. SERVPRO of Bear / New Castle can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.

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