Tips to get your home ready for winter
Canadian winters can be hard on your home, so here are some easy ways to help make sure your home stays warm, dry and comfortable all winter long.
Keeping the outside of your house in good shape not only gives a great first impression but can also potentially save you a lot of money and headaches.
Wall cracks and peeling paint
One of the most common reasons for peeling paint and cracks on your exterior wall is water damage. Repainting, caulking and sealing small cracks and openings will help retain heat in your house. These are affordable repairs and could prevent further damage or water entry in the future.
Roof and gutters
Have a professional inspect your roof for missing and loose shingles and make sure it’s in good condition to face the winter.
Clean leaves out of the gutters and downspouts and replace old or damaged parts. It may be a good idea to install a leaf guard on the eavestrough, which lets water through but prevents leaves and other debris from accumulating. Gutters are designed to keep water away from the house, and if your gutter is blocked, water can overflow onto the ground and even seep into the basement.
Driveway, yard, and porch
Repair cracked walkways, steps, and driveway with concrete or driveway filler to minimize damage in the winter. Store summer yard equipment such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers and gardening tools and prepare winter gear such as shovels, snow blowers and ice scrapers. Clean, repair and store your patio furniture and barbecue for next spring.
Making sure the energy in your house is used efficiently and minimizing fire and water hazards are top priorities when preparing the interior of your house for the winter.
Sealing and insulation
Check your window and door insulation for air leakage. A few simple repairs could help you save on your annual energy bill. Apply weather stripping and caulk where necessary to fill any gaps and make sure you retain as much heat as possible inside the house.
Heating and fireplace
Check the condition of your heating system and fireplace. Have your furnace inspected by a licensed professional if you notice signs such as noisy belts and poor performance.
If you have a fireplace, it’s important to get the chimney cleaned regularly to remove obstructions and creosote. When creosote builds up, it can cause a chimney fire. And obstructions in the chimney can put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you use a humidifier to avoid the discomfort of dry winter air, be sure to clean your humidifier filter or replace it to avoid bacteria and mould buildup.
To save money on heating in the winter, reverse the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft and help distribute warm air from the ceiling.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Make sure the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your house are working properly – clean the detectors and replace batteries once a year.
Finally, give your home a general cleanup. Get rid of the things you no longer need such as newspapers and old household cleaning products and chemicals to ensure your home is clean and safe!
For more on this topic, visit:
Maintenance and repair guide for renters
CMHC: Home care guide to repair and maintenance
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and The Personal cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.