READY FOR THE CANADIAN WINTER? HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOME!
The trees have been switching into their autumn attires of oranges, yellows and reds. While still thinking about how to spend the last of your days without snow and freezing temps, be conscious of the cold winter months lurking just around the corner, and with it, plunging temperatures and shorter days that make you want to curl up and relax, warm by the fire. As the coldness looms and you prepare to turn on the heat, it’s important to protect your home from potential damage and address heat and water leaks.
Organizing your home for winter can seem like a hassle and an added chore, but the financial benefits will outweigh the effort put forth. Winter heating costs can skyrocket if your windows are poorly insulated, your plumbing breaks, or if the heating system is out-of-date or not properly maintained. A large checklist can be discouraging, but as a fun little tip, split certain chores among family members, or turn it into a little game with kids, “Let’s protect our home from Mr. Jack frost” easily assigning each person a room to inspect and report back on whether it’s ready for winter.
Protecting your home is essential. A frozen water pipe can burst and flood your house or basement. An ice jam with leftover fall leaves and debris in your gutter can cause water to seep into and saturate an interior wall, damage your home’s foundation or surrounding landscape. Taking a few days over the next up and coming weeks will help you prepare for the harsh Canadian winters!
Our steps to a winter safe home!
Disconnect and drain the water from your outdoor faucets and garden hoses and arrange to have any in-ground sprinkler pipes blown out. Roll up the garden hoses and store them inside. Identify any “problem” pipes that are prone to freezing in the house and consider using heat tape or foam sleeves to keep them warm during extremely cold weather. If water left in the faucet freezes, it can cause a buildup of pressure that could make a pipe burst inside or underneath your home. If the worst happens, ensure everyone in the family knows how to turn off the water at the source.
2.) Have your Furnace checked.
If your furnace quits on you in the middle of winter, your home will be without heat until it’s repaired, leaving your water pipes vulnerable to freezing temperatures. Have a professional perform a routine check on the heating systems before the cold weather arrives. This should include, checking your dryer vent to be sure it is not blocked (This will save energy and may prevent a fire), vacuuming the vents and if your furnace has a filter, check to see if it needs replacing. For more energy savings, consider installing a thermostat that keeps the home cooler when you are asleep or away.
3.) Seal the Leaks and Cracks!
During cold or windy weather, if your home isn’t sealed properly too much cold air may enter the house leading to pipes freezing or extra high heating costs. Older homes may have cracked windows that are not properly sealed, any imperfection can cause your energy bill to skyrocket or your home to freeze. To start, if possible install storm windows and doors. Add or replace worn weather stripping around the doors and windows and caulk any gaps. If doorstops are worn, try to replace them. If you are in an older home caulking is inexpensive and easy to apply. It is also possible to cover your windows in a thin plastic film and tape it down with waterproof double-sided tape, both are available are most hardware stores. When it gets warmer outside, simply peel the film off and open the window. Air leakage also contributes to moisture problems that can affect an occupant’s health and the homes durability. Following these steps will help ensure you and your family have a safe home during the winter season.