Ready or not, winter is fast approaching! This means it’s time to make sure your home is ready for the approaching snow, ice, and chills. While we can’t prevent winter from hitting us here in Ontario, we can ensure our homes are protected. Here are some tips to help you prep your home for winter so you can make the most of the season!
#1 Turn off outdoor water sources
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to make sure any outdoor faucets are drained and turned off. In the winter, exposed pipes can freeze or burst. This is a pain as it is, but if there happens to be water stuck in them at the time, it can quickly become a disaster. To prevent major leaks or floods, ensure your outdoor water sources are off, and cleared of water. Otherwise, you could be stuck with a hefty repair bill and water damage. This is a very simple task that can keep you from dealing with a load of problems later.
#2 Prepare an emergency power outage kit
Unfortunately, winter in Ontario means snowstorms, and the risk of power outages. While these aren’t usually life-threatening, they can be very uncomfortable if you aren’t properly prepared! When you lose light and power, it’s important to have backups for both. Your power outage kit should include blankets, flashlights, batteries, candles, lanterns, water, and some non-perishable food. If you own a generator, this will certainly come in handy, but if not, these items will keep you perfectly safe. Winter isn’t always the most fun season here in Canada, but it’s definitely a bit better when you’re able to keep warm.
#3 Keep your house warm!
Speaking of warmth, your home should always feel nice and cozy. You can prep your home for winter by ensuring your heating system is in good condition. You have likely already turned on the heat for the season, but have you ever felt chilly in your home despite your furnace working away? If so, you might want to examine your windows to see if any drafts are slipping in. Older windows tend to let heat escape and allow cold air to pass through, essentially turning the immediate area into a mini fridge. If replacing your windows isn’t an option right now, you can add some protection with thick curtains or use caulking to seal up any cracks. These are quick fixes that will help you stay warm for the season.
#4 Prep your snow removal equipment
We usually think of summer as the season with the most lawn equipment and yard work. However, winter can certainly be a pain in that regard too! Most Canadians use a snowblower, and it’s time to get it set up for use. Make sure it has enough oil and fuel, so you can use it as soon as you need it. It’s helpful to give it a test run ahead of time too, just to make sure it starts and is in good shape! If you don’t use a snowblower, make sure you have some good shovels on hand. Plus, it’s always handy to have some salt nearby to prevent your driveway or sidewalk from getting slippery. The last thing you want is to take a big fall this winter!
#5 Prevent fire hazards
Finally, a quick safety note. Wintertime poses a heightened risk of house fires, due to the running heat and fireplaces, and the lack of open doors. If you have a chimney, make sure it is properly cleaned before you light it for the first time. You should also ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. This will give you peace of mind during the season, when you have your home closed and the heat blasting.
When you prep your home for winter, it’s important to focus on both the inside and outside of your property. This will help you keep warm, prevent ice damage, and have a cozy winter season. If you have any plans for purchasing a new home during the winter, you can also reach out to a mortgage broker! We can meet to discuss your homeownership goals, and how you can make the most out of the winter market.
If you have any questions about your mortgage, get in touch with me!