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Tips for getting your home ready for winter

Oct 26, 2016 10:46 PM
Leslie Bullock

Whether we want to believe it or not, winter is right around the corner. With only a few more weeks to prepare for its arrival, is your house ready to take on whatever winter will give us this year?

The devil is in the details

To protect your house from the worst winter can dole out while saving money at the same time takes planning and even a little bit of hard work! However, if you plan these tasks out throughout the fall season you won’t feel so overwhelmed.

The following is a list we’ve comprised based on one compiled by the infamous Bob Villa. You can check out his blog for the complete list.

Windows, doors and roofs

  • Check all the weather-stripping around your windows and doors for excessive wear and/or leaks that will lead to heat loss. Replace where necessary.
  • On that note, check for drafts around windows and doors. Caulk inside and out if you find any.
  • Remove all window screens to prevent unnecessary wear, especially those on lower levels where snow may accumulate. Replace with storm windows where required.
  • Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles and replace if possible. Winter winds and the weight of snow can make a bad roof worse, leading to a leak.
  • Clean and check your gutters and downspouts. Ensure they’re properly fastening to your house and re-secure if loose or sagging. The weight of snow and ice can pull gutters off the house. When snow melts it needs somewhere to go.

Your yard

  • Rake the leaves on your lawn to ensure they don’t allow for snow and ice to build up and thus create problems.
  • Reseed any bare patches on your lawn and use a fall fertilizer to ensure deep root growth come spring.
  • Clean all flower beds, cutting back any perennials, removing and storing any pots and decorative items that may get damaged by the snow and cold temperatures.
  • Store any garden hoses, shut off all exterior water faucets and drain any outside pipes to ensure they don’t freeze up in the colder weather.
  • Store all patio furniture in a garden shed or garage, or at the least in a protected area covered by a durable tarp with bungee cords.

Rest of the house

  • Remember to adjust your vents for colder weather. Open up any vents and cold air returns you closed off in your basement to ensure the entire house stays warm.
  • Reverse the flow of any ceiling fans you may have to a clockwise rotation. This will bring warm air down from the ceiling to where you can better enjoy it.
  • Make sure your snowblower is tuned up and ready to go. At minimum run it for a few minutes now to make sure it starts easily when you’ll need it most.
  • Adjust any timers you might have for your exterior lights to account for the shorter days. Replace any old or burnt out bulbs now before it gets too cold.

While not an exhaustive list by any means, the following tips should at least give you an idea of some of things you need to do before Jack Frost makes his presence felt around Burlington and the rest of Southern Ontario.

If you have any tasks that are part of your fall maintenance list that aren’t noted here, we encourage you to comment on our blog below or share it on our Facebook page.

Leslie's Blog, DIY (Do It Yourself!)  


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