5 tips to prepare your home for winter, from a local expert

From installing frost-free outdoor faucets to updating door sweeps and insulation, Jacob Pruiksma, general manager of Cherrydale Hardware, shares his tips.

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Winter is inching closer, day by day. If you haven’t yet prepared your home for the colder temperatures (and potential snowstorms), we’re here to help.

We spoke with local expert Jacob Pruiksma, general manager of Cherrydale Hardware in Arlington, on how to best prepare your home for the cold season.

“Small, preventative maintenance will keep tiny issues from becoming major repair jobs,” says Pruiksma. “[If you can’t do those yourself in advance], call an experienced, licensed professional.”

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Five tips: 

1. Prevent pipe freezes and bursts. “Installing frost-free outdoor faucets and using faucet protectors will help prevent pipes from freezing,” says Pruiksma. Frozen pipes are no joke, friends. The average home owner’s insurance claim for a burst pipe in the winter exceeds more than $8,000.

2. Keep those windows sealed up. “If you have older windows, window insulation kits with clear film will improve the insulation,” says Pruiksma. Preventing air or heat from escaping your home will save on your overall heat/electric bill, and prevent cold drafts in your home.

3. Check your doors, too. “Using door sweeps and insulation tape will seal gaps and keep the wind out,” says Pruiksma. It’s not just windows that can cause drafts and cause you to lose heat in your home. Take a good look at those door frames.

4. Hit the switch. To complete the trifecta of preventing heat loss and a drafty house, check behind your outlets and switches. “Outlet and switch insulators are foam pads that go behind the switch plates on exterior-facing walls and keep drafts and wind from penetrating,” says Pruiksma.

5. Be ready for winter storms. “Have a good ice scraper for clearing snow and ice from vehicles. Plus, have a good snow shovel.” There’s no way to truly know how much snow the Northern Virginia region will get this year, but it’s worth being prepared. Have a bag of salt in your garage too, just for good measure.

Cherrydale Hardware has been serving the NoVA community since 1938. If you’re looking for equipment to prepare your home this winter, “We can offer a more personal touch with our customers [than your average, big-box stores],” says Pruiksma.

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