Sweaters and hoodies are emerging from the closet as the days become cooler… We should prepare and protect our beautiful homes from the ice, snow, and sharp wind while we’re putting on our scarves and installing our winter tires.
The team at Abbey & Olivier has put together some important points to follow for Canadians to get ready for winter. You should check a few basic points before winter arrives in full force. In order to keep you warm and safe throughout the season, we’ll show you how to inspect your windows and doors, heating and ventilation system, roof and gutters, and external walls in this blog.
Your house ought to be prepared for any tricks winter has in store by the time the cold rolls around. Nothing is worse than having to deal with a broken furnace, a burst pipe, or a leaky window in the dead of winter. These suggestions and techniques will help you avoid any unlucky winter incidents or water damage.
Ventilation & Heating
Make sure to inspect your ventilation and heating systems. Ensure that you clean your electric baseboard heaters if you have them to avoid foul smells while using them for the first time in months. Additionally, if you have air exchangers, make sure to routinely clean the filters (i.e., every three to four months). If your filters are washable, cleaning them with warm water and mild soap shouldn’t be difficult. If not, replace them to guarantee that the air within your house is clean and clear.
Want to reduce your energy costs even more? Consider replacing older thermostats with smart ones and/or switching to a more energy-efficient heating system from one that relies on fossil fuels.
Your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be checked for batteries and thoroughly cleaned of any dust. Smoke detectors normally last about 10 years, whereas carbon monoxide detectors only last 5 years, making it easy to forget about them.
Doors & Windows
Windows with low energy efficiency can significantly increase your heating costs, as they can lose up to 25% of your home’s total heat! Fortunately, the most common Windows problems are simple to identify and resolve.
Run your hand along the edge of your windows on a cold, windy day. If you sense a draught, you have one of two problems: either air is getting in through faulty window seals or the temperature difference between hot and cold air is generating turbulence. Weatherstripping your windows will alleviate both problems. It will not only prevent air infiltration, but it will also cut your heating bill!
Place a piece of paper along the door frame and shut your entrance doors to check them. If the sheet can be easily removed, it’s time to replace the weatherstripping seal.
Gutters & Roofing
There is still time to get the outside of your house ready as the chilly winter days haven’t yet come. You should first clean your gutters so that water can drain properly and breakage won’t occur. You can use rain shields to stop leaves and other debris from gathering over the winter. Ensure the stability of your gutters as well. It is extremely unpleasant to climb up to the roof in the winter to make repairs.
Next, if your roof is sloped, spend some time carefully inspecting the shingles on your sloped roof. Water intrusion is one of the issues that might result from damaged roofing and shingles. Consult a professional roofer for assistance if you discover that some of them need to be changed because you could need to replace your roof. Make sure to thoroughly evaluate your attic for excessive humidity and/or condensation, both of which are indications that your roofing may have further concerns.
Trees, Pipes & More
The last thing you need is for that strong tree whose branches are arching over your roof to wreak your roof during a winter storm. Make sure any tree limbs or branches surrounding your property are at least 3 feet away from the house. Since overhanging limbs can lead to excess water entering into cracks in the roof or exterior of your home.
There are a few other quick outside tasks to complete to prepare your house for winter. Maintaining plumbing safety throughout the winter to avoid pipe ruptures is one that is often neglected. Make sure you take the necessary time to properly drain any remaining water from the pipe and to turn off the water valve.
Make sure to examine the lighting and external railings as well. In the winter, railings are especially helpful since they offer reliable support when the ground or stairs are covered in ice. Ensure that they are strong enough to grip onto if you have any. Replace any burned-out bulbs and check that your outside lighting is sufficiently bright. Take whatever precautions you can because the winter months are usually darker than other months.
Drainage & Exterior Walls
Spend some time inspecting your brick walls and foundation for any noticeable cracks or flaws. Walls may be harmed if water comes through them and expands when it freezes. A simple cement caulking can be used to patch small foundational cracks, and mortar can be used to patch small brick fractures. If the cracks are very large, though, be sure to get in touch with a Verified Contractor so they can inspect the damage.
Make sure the ground surrounding your foundation is not sloping to prevent water accumulation. Additionally, soil can be used to level off the uneven ground. After that, make sure the downspouts are directing rainwater away from your house.
Preparing your beautiful home for winter in Canada goes a long way. It truly is a small price to pay when you think about what you’re avoiding. Stocking up on all the winter necessities, such as salt, sand, and snow shovels, is also a fantastic idea right now. You’ll need them before you even realize it, so it won’t be wasted.
Last but not least, remember to prepare your vehicle as well. Winter tires and an emergency roadside safety pack will make sure you’re prepared for the coming season.