Don’t Be Left in the Cold – Proactive Steps to Winterize Your Home

Posted Friday, December 22nd, 2023 | 614 views

external-house-in-winterWith the 2024 winter knocking at the door, homeowners are navigating the annual task of prepping their homes for heavy snowfalls and falling temperatures. The cold can be harsh, and an unprepared property could lead to unnecessary headaches but by following following a series of simply and practical steps, you can be a homeowner that’s ready for the winter.

Outdoor Pre-Winter Maintenance Checklist

Trim Branches: Prevent damages from snow or ice
Clear Walkways: Facilitate snow removal
Insulate Pipes: Avoid freezing and bursting

Homeowner Checklist: Pre-Winter Inspection

Gutters: Clear debris and install guards
Windows and Doors: Seal gaps and cracks
Roof: Check for damaged shingles
Heating System: Replace filters and schedule maintenance

Inspect and Clean Gutters

First, start your winter preparation by inspecting and if possible, cleaning your eavestroughs. Blocked eavestroughs and downspouts will lead to ice dams and cause water to seep into your home. If this happens to your roof there’s going to be a big problem.

The main objective of cleaning the eaves is because after clearing debris and even installing gutter guards, you’ll essentially be protecting your property‚Äôs foundation and prevent future water damage.

Seal Gaps and Cracks

Another important step to take to winterize your home is by filling up gaps and cracks you find around your home – especially around windows and doors. Sealing these up with caulking or weatherstripping pretty much stops cold drafts and help reduce heating costs over the winter.

This is an easy task and this type of DIY inspection should be done at least once a year. 

Roof Inspection

Before the first snow starts falling (preferably between October to November), get up on your roof and inspect it for damaged, indents or missing shingles. Getting to the bottom of any roof issues early on will ensure problems get fixed just in time for the first snowfall.

The main objective is to prevent leaks from any roof damages that can become more problematic during the winter months, and of course to keep your home warm and dry.

Heating System Check

Turn on the heat. You can start your heating test in late November and early December. Simply turn on the heat and do a few temperature checks to make sure everything is in order. Also make sure to check your furnace filter, and replace it if it’s used up.

A good check of your heating system involves replacing furnace filters, checking for duct leaks, and ensuring that heating vents are unblocked. It’s as simple as that but if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, just schedule a professional maintenance service to come out and do it for you.

Landscaping and Outdoor Maintenance

Winter prepping involves your outdoor landscaping too. If you have big trees near your home, you could do a little branch trimming and pruning just to make sure no debris or branches damage your roof during big storms. When you trim branches hanging close to your home or power lines you help prevent damages from snow accumulation or ice storms.

Clear Your Walkways

This is probably the most important part of outdoor maintenance because most municipalities in Canada have bylaws stating the home owner has to clear the sidewalks. You have to look up your own local bylaws to see if that applies to you.

You should also ensure all walkways and driveways are clear of obstacles to make snow removal easier.

If you live locally, we provide snow removal services in Brantford so you can rest assured the snow removal will be done regardless of the amount of snow or time of the day or night. 

Insulate the Water Pipes

Frozen pipes are a common winter woe and horrible to deal with if you don’t know exactly what to do. To avoid all this just add some insulation to your water pipes. To prevent freezing and bursting, just add them to pipes running along external walls or in unheated areas.

Pipe insulation can be cheaply bought at your local Home Hardware and Canadian Tire and is usually never out of stock.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are good. Investing in a programmable thermostat will help you maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the winter and help you better manage your energy consumption.

By having your house temperature automatically adjusted based on your daily routine is a win-win situation and if course helps reduce energy consumption and costs.

Stock Up on Those Winter Supplies

In the harsh of the winter it’s just better to stay home. It’s safer and warmer so before winter fully sets in, try to stock up on essential supplies so you don’t have to go out as much and you don’t run out. 

This is not only sage advice that will keep you from having to navigate huge snowstorms, it’s also advice that could save you in the case of power outages due to ice storms. 

Also make sure to stock up on de-icing salt, snow shovels, and maybe even an emergency kit – just in case. Having these items around will keep you prepared and equipped for any unexpected winter challenges.

Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

This is a good task to add to your winter preparation checklist. In the winter we do see an increase in house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning so regularly testing and replacing of batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, is a good way to ensure your family is safe and that all these sensors are in working order. 

When in Doubt, Call a Friend or Professional!

Preparing your house for winter involves a combination of internal checks and external maintenance checks but if you want some assistance, don’t hesitate to call a family member, friend or professional company. There are home maintenance companies in every city and all you need to do is be proactive and find the help.

Stay warm this winter!

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