The fierce winds and fluctuating temperatures of our unpredictable winters put a strain on our homes so here is a checklist for preparing for winter in three key areas of the home.
DOORS and WINDOWS:
- Keep your homes' heating system in good shape and heating bills down by addressing any leaks and holes that create drafts.
- Replace weather stripping and caulking where needed around doors and windows as these are the key areas for heat loss.
- For older doors and windows, consider upgrading to energy-efficient options that will create a tighter seal. If you have an older home, a professional can do a blow-test that will be beneficial in identifying problem areas.
- Remove debris from gutters and run water through them to ensure it flows smoothly. Repair any leaks and cracks with a bead of caulking and ensure that eaves are securely attached to the house.
- Remove, drain and store all outdoor garden hoses.
- Turn off all exterior spigots and drain from the inside.
- Consider replacing spigots with freeze-proof faucets, particularly if it is an older home.
- Wrap pipes in foam to insulate them.
- Clean and maintain lawnmowers and other motorized machinery.
- Ensure that you are ready for that first blast of snow with snowshovels and de-icing salt. Test the snowblower to make sure it runs, check the spark plugs, replace gas filters and take it to a professional for a tune-up if necessary.
- If all you remember from last winter is back pain from shovelling, consider purchasing a snowblower.