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How to Prepare Your House for the Winter

  • October 18, 2016
  • By Grace
How to Prepare Your House for the Winter

As the colder winter weather fast approaches, you need to take action now to get your home ready. Not ensuring your home is ready can at best leave you with large heating bills, and at worst, leave you with damage to your home. Preparing your home for winter may sound like a large task, but you’ll be happy you took the time to do so in the end.

Energy Efficiency

Inspect the weather-stripping on all exterior doors, including your garage door. Replace any that is shredded, mouldy, or loose. Get draft stoppers ready for the bottom of each door if the doors leave gaps when closed. Also, check around your house for drafts coming from windows and electrical outlets; one way to do this is to hold a lit candle and move it slowly around the perimeter of each window and in front of each outlet box. If the candle is still but the flame shows there’s a breeze where there shouldn’t be, you have a draft. You can buy special inserts for outlets to block drafts. If the problem is the window isn’t closing properly, call in a window service to have that window fixed. All of the above will help keep your house warm, thus saving you money on your heating bill.


Garden Work

Get an arborist onsite to inspect all the trees around your home (if you have any). Any dead or weak branches need to be removed; you don’t want ice or snow to cause those branches to snap and fall on your roof, or fall onto you as you walk past. Excess debris, like leaves and twigs, need to be swept up. Not only can those become hiding places for critters planning to invade your home, but the leaves can become slick when wet and increase your chances of slipping and falling.

Also, even if no freeze is currently forecast, now’s the time to ensure you have enough blankets, tarps, frames, empty flowerpots, and other supplies to protect your plants in case a freeze warning sneaks up on you.

Structural Work

Have the gutters cleaned and inspected. You do not want any lumps of leaves causing backups and overflows. Your roof needs to be inspected along with your insulation; if the insulation is not in good shape, replace it. Also, have your chimney cleaned out and fully inspected top to bottom. All cracks or other damage needs to be repaired immediately. Using a dirty, clogged, or faulty chimney could result in a house fire.

Walk around your house, both inside and outside, to look for holes in screens, cracks in siding, and any other openings that could allow pests to squeeze inside your home.

Appliance Functioning

Get your heater inspected to ensure it will work throughout the winter. You should also have stoves, ovens, boilers or water heaters, and any other appliances inspected and repaired to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide entering your home. Furthermore, it’s best to get your appliances checked out before service companies take their holiday break and before any bad weather prevents them coming out to you. If any are found to be faulty, do not attempt to fix them yourself; contact instead for safe repairs.

Winter can be a nice time to unwind and enjoy the cosiness of your home, but everything needs to be in good shape lest you end up with a problem on your hands. Begin your winter preparations as soon as possible to help ensure a hassle free and comfortable winter.

By Grace, October 18, 2016
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