Preparing Your Home for Boston’s Winter

Boston is known for many things, including its sophisticated dining and shopping, historical sites, universities, and all of the amenities you'd expect from a world-class metropolitan area. However, one of the biggest things Boston is known for is its snowy winter weather. Whether you are a newcomer to the area or are just looking for some ideas to make your home winterization more effective, here are our tips for preparing your home for a Boston winter.


Boston Climate

Boston's climate is quite variable, with frequent precipitation year-round. Because it is a coastal city, weather here is hot and humid in the summer and cold and snowy in the winter.


Boston Winter Weather

While the average Boston winter temperature hovers just below freezing, it is not unusual for there to be cold spells with much lower, sub-zero temperatures. And because of the amount of water in the atmosphere, severe snow storms are not uncommon.


As the weather starts to moderate, you'll have a combination of ongoing precipitation and snowmelt, resulting in a fairly soggy situation in the late winter and early spring.


Winterizing a Home

If you live in a cold climate like Boston, it's important for you to winterize your home indoors and out. In order to keep systems running properly and to avoid plumbing damage and water intrusion, you need to put in place a routine maintenance plan each fall, as well as ongoing maintenance and monitoring throughout the winter.


Winterizing Doors and Windows

If your home does not currently have double windows, install storm doors and windows to provide additional protection from cold winds and blowing snow and check seals around doors and windows in order to ameliorate drafts. Recaulk or install new weather stripping, if needed.


Winterizing Fireplaces and Chimneys

It is important to check fireplaces and chimneys each fall to ensure that they are free of debris and in good working order. Check dampers for dents, cracks, or malfunctions, and make sure that fireplace doors are properly sealed in order to avoid losing heat through the chimney.


Winterizing Outdoor Spaces

Grills and outdoor furniture should be cleaned, covered, and stored during the winter months. Clear dirt and leaves from stonework and pavement in order to prevent them from holding water and ice. Besides ensuring that you have an adequate supply of snow shovels, gloves, and snow melt, consider heated mats or in-ground heating systems for walkways and driveways.


Winterizing Basements

If you have not already waterproofed your basement, it is essential to do so. You will experience several feet of snow melting and refreezing which can do a great deal of damage to a poorly insulated basement. As much as possible, keep snow away from your home's foundation and check for exhaust openings from laundry rooms and heating systems in order to ensure that all pipes and openings are kept clear.


Winter Insulation

Ensure that your attic or crawl space is properly insulated either with sheet insulation or blown-in insulation. Make sure that the door is also covered, perhaps with a panel of insulation material stapled to the inside.


Additional Cold Weather Tips

Rather than waiting until winter, start your cold weather prep in the fall. Boston can start experiencing freezing temperatures in late October or early November, so the sooner you get started the better.


In order to ensure that all of your systems are in good repair as you move into the winter months, have a general contractor or company come out and inspect your home’s systems. At that time they may make any necessary repairs or do some scheduled maintenance in order to ensure optimum performance throughout the long, cold winter.


 The following should be on your list for inspection:

  • HVAC: Have your heating system and ductwork cleaned and inspected. Since many Boston homes still use heating oil, ensure that you have an adequate supply on hand and have your storage tank checked as well.
  • Exterior: Have your roof, chimneys, gutters, and downspouts inspected as well as window casings and door frames. Check for any unpainted, exposed woodwork which will need to be treated to protect it from months of moisture.
  • Plumbing: Have your plumbing thoroughly checked in order to ensure that there are no existing cracks or leaks. In addition, ensure that there is adequate insulation around exposed pipes, especially those located in attics or basements or along exterior walls.
  • Landscaping: Check that tree branches are healthy and properly trim if necessary. This is especially important for branches which hang over structures on your property or your driveway. Heavy, wet snow or ice can weigh down untrimmed branches or unhealthy, rotting trees. If your landscaping has an in-ground sprinkler system, it will need to be inspected and flushed in order to prevent leaks or breakage from expanding water lines.


Looking for a new construction home in Boston? Pulte is a leading Boston home builder, specializing in energy efficient and smart technology designs to help you save money throughout those long Boston winters. In addition, you'll enjoy the peace of mind of new home construction and the latest innovations in building practices.



Contributed to Your Home blog by Christy Murdock Edgar

Looking for more tips, ideas or inspiration? Return Home here.

Published 11.3.19

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