Posted by Bruce Borden in Home Maintenance

​You don’t have to be from Minnesota to know that Minnesota has some of the coldest winters in the United States; therefore, protecting your home from the elements not only becomes a necessity to preserve your home, but can also save you money.

​Bruce Borden, Director of Customer Care at M/I Homes, shares some tips below to help you avoid costly damage during the colder weather ahead.

Winter Maintenance for Outside of Your Home

Tip #1: Exterior Faucets and Hoses

​It’s important to protect the inside of your home by first taking care of the outside of the home.

​The first important rule to winterizing your home is to shut off all exterior faucets and remove any hoses. The Washington Post explains that your outside water faucet will freeze over the winter, so it’s important to do a basic drain of the line.

​Simply shut off the water valve to the outside spigot, go outside, and turn the spigot on to drain out the remaining small bit of water, and voila! All done. Now, there is plenty of room for the pipe to expand without it breaking.

Tip #2: Irrigation System

​The same process goes for your irrigation system. Most systems require the lines to be blown out each year, so it is advised to hire a professional to do so, keeping your pipes healthy and intact each winter.

Tip #3: Gutters and Downspouts

​If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to clean out your gutters and downspouts, removing all debris.

​Once the snow melts, you’ll want this pathway to be clear to flow away from your foundation, which is important in preventing possible water build up and overflow.

​Don’t forget to trim away any tree branches that hang over your house while you’re at it. Snow buildup can get very heavy and cause branches to fall.

Preparing for Winter Inside Your Home

Tip #4: Check Your Windows

​Kevin Tennant, from Glass Doctor, advises, “Gaps around the window frames and doors can allow air to leak inside, so make sure the weatherstripping is secure. If not, self-sticking weatherstripping is a useful tool for helping windows close more tightly.”

Tip #5: Furnace

​Each year, performing a furnace tune-up will help keep your furnace running healthy all winter long. Calling in a professional to do a yearly inspection of your furnace prior to heavy use can save you thousands of dollars in having to replace your furnace earlier than anticipated.

​Also, don’t forget to replace your furnace filter monthly. Bonus Tip: You can even set a recurring reminder on your phone’s calendar to help you remember!

Tip #6: Sump Pump

​To prevent your sump pump hose from freezing, which may lead to a damaged sump pump or flooded home, disconnect any extension hoses from the sump pump discharge when the temperature outside dips below freezing.

Tip #7: Ceiling Fans

​Changing the direction of your ceiling fan blades to run clockwise helps to bring warmer air down into the living space.

​Hopefully these tips will help you not only avoid breaking the bank this winter, but also give you some useful good habits to incorporate into your yearly home winterizing routine.

​Taking the above precautionary measures for winter maintenance will help the extend the longevity of your mechanicals and help keep your home protected (and you and your family warm, cozy, and safe) until the big thaw.

​Want to learn even more to keep your home seasonally secure? Check out these additional cold weather protection tips for homeowners:


Bruce Borden


Bruce has been with M/I Homes for over 20 years, has been the National Customer Experience Manager for over 10 years, and has been in the home building industry for over 30 years. Happily married and a proud father, Bruce enjoys outdoor activities and home improvement projects, and has never met someone he didn't like.

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