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.

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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 that 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.

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