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prepare your home for winter

5 steps to prepare your home for winter

The official start of winter is less than a month away, which doesn’t leave us much time to spare, so you should prepare your home for winter now. At best, we imagine winter as a cozy time of year to wrap ourselves in blankets and indulge in holiday treats. On the other hand, winter also comes with some of the worst weather and temperatures of the year. To increase your enjoyment and minimize the stress of this season, it’s important to take the necessary steps so your home is all set for winter. Here’s what you need to do. 

Keep ice damage at bay

One of the biggest challenges of Canadian winters is dealing with the ice that inevitably hits every part of the country. Sleet and ice storms can cause major damage to the exterior of your home, and while you can’t prevent the weather, you can prepare your house for it! Now that we’ve reached the end of fall, it’s a good time to do one last sweep of your eavestroughs to make sure there are no stuck leaves, as this will cause them to sag once the ice hits, and eventually snap off. Make sure your roof is also in great condition and no shingles are weak. Similar to eavestroughs, ice damage on roofs can cause leaks in your home. If you notice any shingles that are cracked or curling at the edges, it’s time to replace them to prepare your home for winter.

Prepare your furnace

If your furnace breaks down in the middle of winter, you’ll have a couple problems. First, you’ll have to see if you own enough sweaters you can layer just to keep yourself warm. Second, you may have to wait a while for someone to come repair it. Since everyone needs their furnaces in tip-top shape during the winter, this is a busy season for people phoning in with issues. Get ahead now by making sure your furnace is in good working order. You’ve likely already turned your heat on, but make sure it’s working well and you’ve changed your air filters to maximize your furnace’s life. 

Check all alarms

House fires and carbon monoxide leaks are most common in the winter, since it’s when we’re using the most heat sources. Our heating systems, stoves, candles, and fireplaces can cause a lot of trouble if not monitored properly. Plus, since we keep our windows and doors shut tight, it gives carbon monoxide an opportunity to spread more quickly and dangerously through the home if there’s a leak. Prepare your home for winter by making sure your fire and carbon monoxide alarms have working batteries in them, and that they’re ready to spring into action should they be needed. You can buy two-in-one systems to make this easier to manage as well. Hopefully you won’t ever need these alarms to kick in, but better safe than sorry! 

Get winter equipment ready

Canadians wage an ongoing battle against winter during these cold months, and winter knows how to put up a good fight. Get yourself prepared by having your driveway salt ready and your snowblower fueled up. You can take your snowblower in for a tune-up if needed to check the oil and gas levels (unless you’re an old-fashioned shoveler, in which case, good on you!). Don’t wait to buy salt for your walkways and driveways, either. Even though we’re guaranteed to get a couple wicked storms every year, there’s always a last-minute battle for salt bags in stores. 

Buy a generator

All the preparation that relies on electricity will be no help at all if the power goes out. Canada’s ferocious ice storms often put us at risk of losing power at least once during the winter season. Having a generator at the ready is an extra step you can take to prepare your home for winter. When the power goes out, your generator kicks in to keep things running smoothly in your home. Your heating, lights, water, and appliances can still function, so you won’t freeze or be left in the dark. Plus, if you have a sump, you know how disastrous it can be if it doesn’t kick in and the water overflows. A generator will ensure your sump will operate and keep water levels down, so you’re not dealing with a flooded basement on top of a power outage.

Winter is the last time of year you want to experience problems with your home. Taking these steps to prepare your home for winter will help ensure your transition from season to season goes smoothly so you can enjoy the colder (but festive!) months as much as possible!

If you have any questions about your mortgage or buying a home, get in touch with us at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can call us at (902) 482-2770 or contact us here.