Outdoors Reviews

Preparing Your Home for Winter

Living in Canada means accepting long and brutally cold winters. As winter approaches, there are certain things we as homeowners must do to prepare for the cold weather. Simple things like wrapping up the grill and closing the pool are no-brainers, but we must also prioritize winterizing our homes to ensure they can withstand the winter.

Snow Removal Rob Lee

Winterizing tasks range from small to big, but each can protect your home and family, and some can even save homeowners a substantial amount of money. Here are four simple ways to gear up your home for winter.

Plug leaks. Leaky windows and doorways can cost homeowners money year round, allowing cold air to escape during hot summer afternoons, and letting cold air in on brisk winter nights. When such leaks are not addressed, homeowners are more likely to turn up the air conditioner or heaters, unnecessarily adding up their energy bills along the way. Before winter arrives, check areas around windows and door frames for drafts and leaks. Other areas or openings that should be looked at are chimneys which may allow cold air to blow in. Use caulk or weather stripping to plug leaks. Your home will be warmer and your energy bill will be lower as winter weather gets colder and colder.

Inspect your chimney. If your home has a chimney, chances are you have not used it since last winter. During that time, the chimney has likely accumulated some dirt and grime, and may even have served as a home to some uninvited critters. As the season for fireside chat approaches, have your chimney serviced by a professional as it’s ready for use and you are not greeted by unwanted debris defusing your flames.

Clean your yard. Autumn days, particularly late autumn days, can be gusty and strong winds can cause branches to fall off trees and leaves to pile up. Branches big and small can cause damage to cars, siding, and roofs. Smaller branches can get clogged in gutters, potentially causing gutter back up and leading to leaky roofs that damage a home’s interior. Take a walk around your property weekly during the fall and clear away any falling twigs or trim branches that are weak. Remove any branches that are hanging over your home and driveway, so they don’t pose a threat to your home or vehicles.

Turn off your outdoor water supply. When temperatures get especially low, pipes with water still in them can freeze and burst, potentially leading to significant water damage. When you no longer need to water your lawn and when temperatures get too cold, be sure to shut off the water supply to your outdoor spigots and sprinkler system and drain all the water from your hoses.

There are many ways to winterize a home, and homeowners should take every precaution necessary to ensure their homes are safe and warm as old man winter approaches.

28 Comments

  • Tomorrow is our day to get ready for winter. Time to retire the patio furniture and put away the trampoline!! 🙁

  • I am sooooo not looking forward to winter. I hate snow.

    However, I do like snuggling up on the couch with a quilt, a steaming mug of hot chocolate and a good book. That is the best thing about winter. Plus I always post reviews of the books I read on my blog, so it is a double pleasure.

    Hope your winter comes with minimal snow to shovel.

  • Beautiful morning here in Newfoundland and hubby just cleaned and checked the chimney so we are ready…..Let it snow !

  • We still have a few things left to do but there has been so much rain it hasn’t been much fun.I’d rather colder with more sun.We roll up blankets and put them in front of our doors.It helps a little.

  • I have to put my swing and the hose away – I have to find someone to clean the gutters for me and possibly install the covers to the gutters for me. I don’t have a ladder or the knowledge to install them myself!

    M

  • Great check list, all we have left to do is rake the leaf. Not looking forward to winter. I don’t like the slippery condition!

  • We just bought a propane fireplace for heat if there is a power outage during winter and we got a BBQ as another way to cook if there is a power outage and to enjoy a taste of summer during the winter to keep our spirits up until spring comes again.

  • I’ve had a water pipe burst twice outside, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone so do remember to turn off the water supply and empty the pipe too. Leaving the tap turned on allows for any water in the system to leak out over time and prevents freezing water bursting the pipes.

  • great list! When we lived on the prairies we had to really winterize the house and outside..but here on the west coast..well more rain than snow most years! but we still do the outside clean up, check everything is windows and doors..but we have electric heat so no need to check chimney..

  • We have turned off our outdoor water supply. We did not use it very much because it was so dry most of the summer. I did water my flowers to keep them from dying but, otherwise, we were very careful to preserve our fresh water.

  • We got everything ready for winter the other weekend, Checked the windows. Moved all the winter clothing to the closet and got all the winter toys ready for the kids to have fun with. 🙂 We cannot wait for winter.

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