Fall is THE perfect time to prepare your home and property for winter. Whether you like it or not, winter is on its way and it will be here before you know it. To ensure you’re prepared for it, you need to take action now, not once we get our first snow storm. The temperature outside now is just right to get the garden and lawn ready for winter, put away your summer tools and get out your snow shovel and other cold weather tools.
Winter in Ontario is a time when many of us hibernate from the cold. We enjoy warm fires, comforters, watch Netflix and generally wait for Spring to arrive. Winter brings with it cold air, snow, and ice – all elements that can damage your house.
The following guide provides you with some great tips to prepare your home for winter and ensure its safe and free from damage. You’ll learn about essential tasks you need to do so that your home and property can weather the usual Ontario wintry blast.
Exterior Fall Home Maintenance Tips
Let’s start with the outside of your home – the area that has to deal with the brunt of the winter weather. Here are some autumn house maintenance tips :
1. Clean Out, Repair And Secure Loose Eavestroughs And Downspouts
Having your eavestroughs clear of debris is your first line of defense for protecting your roof and your foundation from water and ice damage. Do you remember the ice storm of 1998? It caused over $5 billion in home and property damage. While you can’t eradicate damage from such a vicious storm, you can help to minimize it with some proactive and preventative maintenance.
2. Repair Exterior Caulking Before Winter
Cracked caulking can cause damage to your windows and sills. They also be a source for water to get into your home. Repairing exterior caulking will make your home less drafty and more comfortable while protecting your windows and helping you save on your energy bills!
3. Fix Cracks In Your Weather Stripping
Cracks from summer sun and aging reduce the effectiveness of weather stripping to keep the cold out. Weather stripping should be replaced every few years. A yearly inspection before winter will help you to keep tabs on how well it’s doing its job.
4. Repair Any Loose Roof Shingles
Your roof is critical to the integrity of your home. Damaged shingles can cause water leakage into the attic or the space between the roof and your top floor. The section of the roof that receives the most sun requires your closest attention. These shingles become worn more quickly from heat exposure. Also take notice of missing shingles - an indication you have a potential roof vulnerability. If you notice a roofing issue, have it looked at by a professional.
Interior Fall Maintenance Tasks
Once the exterior is taken care of, it’s time to make sure your interior is ready for winter. Do these fall home care tips :
5. Turn Your Furnace On
Best way to make sure that you’ll be comfortable this winter is to test your furnace before the really cold winter weather hits. If you’re not sure how well your furnace is working, you’ll have time to have it inspected. Don’t forget to change your air filters too.
6. Check And If Necessary, Replace Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
Winter is the season when we are indoors almost all the time and your furnace – and other heat sources – generate carbon monoxide as they heat your home. A carbon monoxide detector monitors levels in your home and will alert you if levels ever rise. So make sure you test your detector regularly and change the batteries.
READ MORE: Beware the "Silent Killer" - Carbon Monoxide
7. Ensure Your Smoke Alarm Is Working
Most home fires occur during the winter, an important reason to check your smoke alarm. Don’t forget to change your batteries on a regular basis too!
8. Protect Pipes In Unheated Areas Around Your Home
Frozen pipes can cause some serious damage. Look around your home, especially areas where it is not heated and where pipes may run through such as crawlspaces, basements or garages. Wrap the pipes with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. This will reduce the likelihood of your pipes freezing in the winter and bursting.
Find the Plan to Cover Your Property
For over 30 years Acumen Insurance has been a leader in providing personal home and auto insurance products. We have always excelled in providing our clients with the best options to suit their needs and lifestyle. Let us help you choose the right home and auto insurance policy for you. Call and speak to one of our brokers directly 905-574-7000 or get a quote online now.