15 Home Repairs and Inspections to Do Before Winter

  BlogAdmin2   November-23-18
Now that the cold weather is officially here, it is time to prepare your home for it. There are a few precautions you need to consider before cozying up these winter months - most of which you can do yourself. These tips will help you lower your utility bills and protect your home.

Now that the cold weather is officially here, it is time to prepare your home for it. There are a few precautions you need to consider before cozying up these winter months - most of which you can do yourself. These tips will help you lower your utility bills and protect your home.

Tune up Your Heating System


Have a technician come by and inspect your heat pump or furnace to make sure everything is working as it should. If you do not take this step, you risk being in a long line of people waiting to get their furnace fixed on the coldest day of the season. 

Reverse Your Fans


Use your ceiling fan’s reverse switch during colder months so that the blades turn clockwise. Doing so will produce an updraft and push heated air back down in the room - remember, hot air is less dense than cold air, so it rises. This is especially helpful in rooms with tall ceilings and could allow you to turn your thermostat down a degree or two. 

Prevent Ice Dams


If your home is prone to ice dams or the formation of icicles, you should take measures to prevent it. These can cause melted water to back up and flow into your house, causing leaks and water damage. A contractor can identify and fix areas that have the potential to create leaks or produce ice dams. Insulating your home better will also save you money on heating costs. 

Check Your Roof


Look for damaged, missing, or loose shingles that could cause leaks from melting snow. Check and repair cracks in the flashing seals around chimneys and vent stacks as well. Repairing weak spots will cost significantly less than repairing water damage will. 

Caulk Windows and Doors


When you start to notice gaps between windows and door frames that are wider than the width of a nickel, it is time to reapply exterior caulk. Silicon works best for outdoor use since it will not expand or shrink with changing temperatures. You may also need to add weatherstripping to your door - you should not be able to see daylight around the edges of it from inside. 

Clean Gutters


Once the trees go bare, our gutters tend to fill with their leaves just before winter. This blockage can cause leaks and ice dams to form. Take a ladder or call a professional to clean out any debris in your gutters before it gets too cold. 

Divert Water


Add an extension to downspouts so that water runs three to four feet away from your home's foundation. Doing so will prevent future water damage and costly repair bills.

Turn off Outdoor Faucets


Be sure to drain outside pipes before the temperature drops too low to prevent it from freezing and bursting. If your home is more than 20 years old, it likely does not have frost-proof faucets. In that case, you will also need to turn off the shut-off valve in your home.

Drain Your Irrigation System


Emptying the water in your sprinkler system will prevent freezing and leaks.

Mulch Leaves as You Mow


Instead of raking the leaves on your lawn, mow them. Cutting leaves while they are dry and leaving them on your lawn over the winter will nourish your lawn. You can swap your mower's blade for a mulching blade for less than $50.

Stow Your Mower


If you use a fuel lawnmower, remember to either add stabilizer fuel to it before its last use for the season or use up the last of its fuel. Remaining fuel that sits in the mower throughout the winter will decompose and varnish the carburetor, making it difficult to start the engine again in the spring. 

Wait Until Late Winter to Prune


Horticulturalists advise waiting until later in the winter before pruning most plants when they have stopped growing for a while - just before they start growing again in spring. You should trim limbs or deadfall if it is close to your home or power lines so that you do not have issues during winter storms. 

Test Your Sump Pump


Pour several litres of water into the sump pit to test if the pump turns on. You should do this every few months, and especially after a long dry season. 

Sweep Your Chimney


Make sure your fireplace and any other heating appliances are clean and working well. Getting them checked will prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide from getting into your home. 

Have Winter Essentials on Hand


Do not wait for the first storm to restock winter essentials like ice melt. Buy these things ahead of time to avoid being without when you need it most.

For help getting cold weather ready this season, call Home Reno Direct. Our professionals will make sure your home can stand up against the fiercest storms this season.


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