It's that time of year again... time to start thinking about preparing your home for winter if you haven't already done so. You will require maintenance as temperatures begin to drop to keep it in shape throughout the winter months. Preparing your home for the cold weather is a pro-active step you can take now to take care of those small maintenance items which are so important, and that could save you time and money later.
Here is a guideline with some great tips and advice on preparing hour home for the winter months.. things you can and should be doing NOW before the cold weather sets it.
Here are a few things you might want to consider before the winter sets in...
1. Roof, Eaves and Downspouts
- Clean out the eaves of all debris and hose it down to remove all little bits
- Check the flashing on the rood to ensure there is no entry for water to get in
- Check the shingles for wear. Replace any worn shingles
- Ensure downspouts are directed away from the home to prevent leakage into the basement.
2. Inspect Door and Windows
- If you have a basement that has window wells, cover with plastic for extra protection from the elements
- Replace any cracked or broken glass.
- If required, prime and pain exposed wood.
- Check weather stripping around exterior door, and replace if necessary
- Check windows for any air leaks and caulk if necessary
- Check the exterior of the house for mortar cracks and seal
- Drain gas from lawnmower before storing away
- Buy bags of salt/sand
- Check your snow shovel to ensure it is in good condition
- Ensure snow blower is functioning service, tuned and ready to go.
- Clear off deck of summer furniture, clean and store away
- Drain all garden hoses
- Shut off valve to all exterior faucets .. Keep faucet open and allow all water to drain
- Insulate any exposed plumbing and AC pipes
- Leave furnace on while away to a reasonable temperate to prevent damage to pipes
3. Foundation and Fireplace
- Ensure chimney is capped to prevent rodents and birds from entering
- Check the damper to ensure proper opening and closing
- Have chimney cleaned by a professional chimney sweep to remove creosote
- Store wood in a dry place
- Have extra furnace filters on hand and remember to change monthly
- Have your furnace inspected and serviced by a professional
- If your furnace is in a separate room, ensure the door is vented for proper ventilation
- Check for any cracks in the fireplace bed
4. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Check your city by-law to ensure you have the proper number of smoke detectors. Some require one on every floor
- Install carbon monoxide detectors where needed (ask a professional) and ensure they are working properly
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Have it checked regularly and if older than 10 years, replace
- Keep an extra supply of batteries
- Consult with a gardener or arborist to determine when trees should be pruned.
- Trim branches that hang too close to electrical wires or the house
- Now is the time to plant those flower bulbs , and remove any bulbs that cannot tolerate winter in areas where it freezes
6. Prepare for an Emergency
- Prepare an evacuation plan
- Have emergency numbers close to the telephone
- Store extra bottled water and perishable food supplied, blanket and a first aid kit. Don't forget to include pet food!
I'm sure I haven't covered everything, but this is a guideline to get started...
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