Winter Readiness for House sitters – Top Checklist

21 Mar, 2024

Winter Readiness for House sitters – Top Checklist

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Around the Northern hemisphere homeowners worry about the cold weather. Snowbirds invite housesitters in, and so Winter readiness for house sitters is really important. Here is our top checklist for you to ensure your home is ready for your housesitting guests.

Winter Readiness for House Sitters: A Checklist for Spotting Window Vulnerabilities

winter readiness for house sitters is particularly important for rural properties in a hard winter
Winter readiness for house sitters is particularly important for rural properties

Photo by Todd Diemer

House sitting for snowbirds

Are you poised to take on a winter house-sitting assignment? Or will you need housesitters to do some Winter house sitting for you? It’s crucial to ensure the abode entrusted to your care is fortified against the chill.

This checklist will arm you with the know-how to spot and address window vulnerabilities—from thermal stress cracks that invite drafts to security gaps that could be exploited by unwelcome visitors—solidifying both pet comfort and homeowner peace of mind.

Now, let’s refine our focus and commence with a detailed examination of potential weak points in a home’s winter armor: the windows.

1. Uncovering Hidden Fault Lines: The Initial Sweep for Cracks

When you first step into your temporary winter sanctuary, perform an initial sweep to scrutinize the windows. Noticing a stress crack in a window should prompt immediate attention, as it’s not merely a blemish but a harbinger of heat loss and potential structural weakness.

It’s essential to distinguish between superficial marks and serious fissures that could escalate. Sharpen your gaze for these telltale signs and prepare to take decisive action—maintaining the integrity of your charge starts with vigilance and precision in these early stages.

2. Draft-Proofing: The Sealant Solution

looking out from the inside of a window in the rain
Windy and wet weather is a real test of Winter readiness for house sitters and your property

Photo by Claudia Aran

If your inspection uncovers gaps or deteriorating caulk, it signals a home that needs pre-winter improvements. These vulnerabilities can be easily overlooked yet they’re critical channels for heat escape—and the culprits behind those nippy drafts.

The homeowner should know better, addressing these issues with precise re-caulking and weather stripping is more than a mere fix; it’s an upgrade to the home’s thermal envelope. A thorough application ensures warmth stays where it belongs, safeguarding against the pervasive bite of winter’s chill through the windows.

3. Fortifying Against Uninvited Guests: The Security Check

In the diligent quest to keep home safe, and as you work to ensure winter readiness for housesitters you’ll need to ensure windows cannot be overlooked as mere portals for light and views. They are also potential access points for intruders. Begin with a methodical assessment of locks and latches, confirming that each one engages with a reassuring click.

Upgrade or recommend upgrades for any outdated locking mechanisms and consider adding secondary locks or anti-lift devices. These subtle enhancements play pivotal roles in deterring break-ins. Remember, robust window security fosters an environment where tranquility reigns, both for those inside and the homeowners returning to their well-guarded castle.

4. Evaluating Window Insulation

An often-underestimated player in winter readiness is the examination of window insulation. Poor or outdated insulation is a sieve for heat, costing comfort and cash as the furnace works overtime.

Take stock of existing insulation—could it benefit from reinforcement? Options like thermal curtains or window film may not be your decision to install, but suggesting these to homeowners can be a proactive move reflecting your attentiveness to energy efficiency and cost savings.

Plus, well-insulated windows contribute significantly to the overall warmth and serenity of a home in winter’s grasp.

5. Clearing the Way: Egress Accessibility

However, preparing for and ensuring Winter readiness for house sitters is not just about warmth and security—accessibility during emergencies is a critical aspect often missed when preparing for winter.

As a house sitter, it’s your responsibility to ensure that all windows can be opened quickly and without hindrance, should they act as egress points in an emergency situation. Besides the usual mechanical issues behind “my window is stuck”, snow buildup or ice formation on the outside can effectively seal a window shut, so periodic checks are vital.

Consider these pivotal steps:

  • Regularly inspect window tracks for obstructions.
  • Ensure snow and ice are cleared from around all windows.
  • Verify window opening mechanisms function smoothly.
  • Keep paths to windows clear both inside and outside.
  • Familiarize yourself with quick-release methods for security bars or grills if present.

6. Landscape Considerations: Winter’s Impact

house at night in a snowy scene
A hard Winter can have a severe impact on your property if unattended

Photo by Patrick Schneider

The surrounding landscape plays a key yet subtle role in window functionality during winter. Overhanging branches laden with snow can threaten window integrity, just as shrubs pressed against panes impede proper closure.

Ensure that the property’s foliage is pruned and positioned to minimize contact with windows. This not only prevents damage but also ensures a better seal when shutting out the cold, keeping the home’s defenses against winter weather robust and reliable.

Final Thoughts on Winter Readiness for House sitters

In summary, ensuring Winter readiness for house sitters becomes the watchword for any homeowner and house sitter facing the brunt of winter. By systematically addressing window vulnerabilities, you ensure the home stands as a bulwark against cold drafts and security threats alike. And armed with this checklist, you step confidently into your role as the guardian of warmth and safety.


Join Housesit Match a professional service that offers access to help you find free checked live in petsitters and housesitters, for a moderate annual fee. Whether you choose to become a house sitter or join as a home and pet owner we can help. These petsitters will help you keep pets at home safely and happy in their daily routine.


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