|It seems like just yesterday my wife and I were enjoying the hot Labor Day weekend at Port Stanley. Now here we are, mid October and already seeing signs of snow! Preparing your home for cooler weather may not be as appealing as squeezing the most out of these last days before winter, but it is important for maintaining your home value into next spring. Here are some things to consider as the temperatures continue to cool off:|
- Put the garden to bed:
Weeding and tilling the garden for the winter months will help to ensure the ground will be ready for preparations during the following spring. Most importantly, remove dangerous tree branches that could break off and damage property if the wind should be strong or if there should be an ice storm.
- Fertilize the lawn:
A lawn fertilizer rich in nitrogen will help your grass recover from the summer stress and help it be its healthiest come spring.
- Clean out the gutters and clear outside drains:
Leaves and other gunk can accumulate over the course of the year and if left can cause the gutters to clog and water to overflow. This can cause both structural and cosmetic damage to your home. Also, the weight of wet debris can cause your gutter to detach from your house. Cleaning your gutters a couple of times a year will prevent these issues from occurring.
- Shut off and drain hose bibs:
If you do not have a freeze proof outdoor faucet you will need to drain it before the temperature reaches freezing to prevent your pipes from cracking. You can also insulate it to protect it from the cold temperatures.
- Check and seal windows:
What is the point of having a working furnace if all your warm air is leaving through cracks in your home? Check your home for places where warm air might be escaping. Common places are windows, doors, attics, electrical outlets, dryer vents and anywhere pipes enter your home. Caulk, foam sealer, foam gaskets (for electrical outlets), plastic film for windows, weather stripping for around doors, and extra insulation in your attic are some of the ways to fix these leaks..
- Check roof:
Rain and snow are not your friend if you have problems with your roof. Have your roof inspected and checked for leaks, missing shingles, rotted areas and make sure the flashing is intact. If any of these are an issue, get it fixed before the moisture does more expensive damage to your home.
- Clean fireplace and chimneys:
In wood burning fireplaces, a build up of a chemical called creosote can form on the inside of your chimney. Left uncleaned, the chimney will clog causing the smoke to fill your home instead of escaping through the chimney. Cleaning your chimney is more than likely something you will have to hire out. Make sure they are certified and knowledgeable and do a thorough job.
- Check furnace and change furnace filters:
We all know we need to periodically change the furnace filter, but we also need to be having yearly inspections to make sure our heating and cooling systems are up to snuff. Without the proper maintenance the system can leak deadly carbon monoxide, be less efficient, or stop working all together. This is another job that is best left in the hands of a professional. But it is less than $100 for the yearly visit and is well worth the peace of mind and the warm cozy house.
- Upgrade to programmable thermostat:
If you don't already have one it is great way to save money. If you do have one this is the time to setup your program for the colder months ahead. By using a programmable thermostat you can set the furnace to heat your home when you are in it, and reduce the temperature even if only by a couple degrees during the day when at work, or overnight while your snuggled warmly in bed.
- Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors:
This should be done more than once a year, but scheduling it in advance on your calendar will help keep you and your family safe all winter long. Find out more about Ontario's mandatory CO alarm regulations in my blog post CO Alarms Now Mandatory in All Ontario Homes.
Andrew Redman | Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 First Canadian Corp.
420 York Street London, ON N6B 1R1