Getting Your Home Ready For Winter
WINTER IS HERE! If you want to avoid costly repairs in the spring, you need to make sure that your home is ready for winter. But it isn’t always easy to know what you should be doing to prepare and protect your property. Don’t worry, we are here to help. Read on for our top 10 winter home maintenance tips.
1) Clean your gutters
This will ensure that water drains away from your foundation and helps keep your basement dry. Blocked gutters can also contribute towards dreaded ice dams which can cause roof leaks in the colder months.
2) Check the insulation and vapour barrier in your attic
Current standards for attics are an R-value of 50. If your vapour barrier is compromised, it could cause major heat loss into the attic space and create condensation leaks and mould.
3) Clean furnace filters or buy new filters for the season if they are replaceable. Old, dusty filters diminish the efficiency of your furnace by restricting air flow.
4) As needed, repair the caulking (exterior sealing) and apply weatherstripping around your window and exterior doors. This will prevent heat loss and will also help lower your heating bill.
5) If you have a heat pump, have it checked annually by a specialist. Make sure it’s secure and that there is nothing interfering with its air intake.
6) Test your sump-pump to ensure it is working properly, and install a battery back-up in case of a power failure. It may also be worth investing in a water detector to further protect your basement from moisture.
7) Empty window wells of any debris that might affect proper drainage.
8) Clean your dryer hose and remove any lint or dust that might prevent flapper valves on exhaust vents from closing tightly. Flapper valves to check:
- Range hood fan
- Bathroom fan
- Air exchanger
9) Make sure your chimney is properly cleaned and inspected if you plan to burn wood this winter season. It is also important to have your gas fireplace serviced annually!
10) Stock up on essentials
Prepare an emergency kit in the case of a winter storm, purchase de-icing products or sand for walkways and driveways, replace any worn shovels or brooms.
By weatherproofing, checking your home, and performing these preventative maintenance steps, you can ensure that the cold and wet stays outside and that when the spring thaw arrives, you won’t run into any water infiltration issues.
If you think it would be useful to have professionals perform maintenance checks on your plumbing, heating, and electrical system, sign-up for the Homeowners Advisory Club to get access to our Directory of Service Providers.
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