Is it time to prepare your home for winter?

As we enjoy the beautiful colours of fall and the chilly breeze that comes along with them, it’s important to remember that winter is on its way, and sooner than we think! 

During the colder months, it’s typically top-of-mind to keep ourselves warm and safe; the same can be said for your home. Your home is one of the biggest investments you will make and the weather can certainly damage it.

Now is the time to start thinking about protecting your investment from weather damages, and preparing it for the winter months. As an added benefit, you will save money on heating too!

Clean your yard up

When you prepare your home for winter, an often overlooked aspect is the land the property sits on. Winter comes with wind, and lots of it! This means patio furniture and tree branches can pose a threat to your home. Bring your furniture inside, or tie it down, and check the trees on your property. When the branches freeze, they risk snapping off in the wind and potentially falling onto your house, thus damaging it. 

Prepare your lawn for winter by trimming your trees and hedges, keeping the grass short, covering your gardens and bringing your furniture and barbecue inside!

Tend to your gutters

Clogged gutters can cause snow and ice to pile on the roof and cause leaks if not attended to. Damage from ice in gutters and downspouts can even destroy your homes foundation. Before the first snowfall, ensure your gutters are clear of any fallen leaves and twigs to avoid this problem! If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, you can always hire a professional.

Inspect your roof

Now that your yard and gutters are prepared for winter, it’s time to inspect your roof. You want to check for malformed or missing shingles, rust spots and growths of moss, lichen, etc. By doing this, you can avoid leaks, mold and other structural damage. It’s important to fix any issues before the colder months to prevent further damage.

Seal your windows

Your windows are an extremely vulnerable aspect of your home. Moisture can seep through the cracks, freeze, and expand the caulking. This can lead to all sorts of damage if left unchecked, not to mention you’ll be heating the outside rather than the inside! You can prevent this problem yourself by following the dos and don’ts of caulking.

Caulking your windows can restore the seal between the pane and the frame. This prevents the expansion and damage that can incur from the aforementioned freezing and moisture.

Check your heating system

Whether it’s a furnace or heat pump, it is a good idea to ensure your heating system is in working order before winter. Not only does this keep your home heating efficient, but it will also keep you safe. Checking the filters, vents and exhaust can prevent things like house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, so this is incredibly important. 

If you need to, there is no shame in hiring a professional to attend to the maintenance of your heating systems. It would also be a good idea to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re running too!

If your heating system uses fuel rather than electricity, it would also be a good idea to ensure your tank is filled before you need to use it. 

Inspect your fireplace

Not everyone has a fireplace, but if you do, checking to ensure it’s in working order before the winter months is incredibly important. Like with the heating system, it’s also a safety issue. Clean your chimney and flue to ensure there’s nothing clogging it; this mitigates the risk of home fires and smoke inhalation. You also want to ensure there are no damages to the hearth or brick and mortar before you light your first cozy fire of the season.

Insulate exposed pipes

Another tip to prepare your home for winter is to insulate any exposed pipes. These will mostly be found in the basement and crawl spaces. You want to ensure these pipes are insulated to avoid potential damages. Water freezes when it reaches zero degrees celsius, even when it’s in your pipes. This causes the pipes to expand and even burst. The good news is you can easily DIY this by picking up pipe insulators from any hardware store and applying them yourself!

You’ve cleared your lawn of hazards, attended to your roof and gutters, checked for drafts and sealed your windows, and had your heating systems inspected. Congratulations! Your home is now ready for winter. 

Remember, winter is long, so you need to stay on top of the work you did. Monitor the seals you made to ensure they keep, don’t let snow pile too high on your roof and keep your gutters clean. By putting the work in now, the upkeep will be easy in the long run. Now you can enjoy a nice cozy winter in your safe and damage-free home!

If you are looking for advice on what you need to know to prepare your home for winter this fall, give me a call at (705) 333-4338 or get in touch with me here!

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