For most of Canada, snow, ice and freezing cold temperatures are imminent. Is your home prepared?
Failing to properly winterize your home can cost you big bucks in service calls and repairs. Here are some winter tasks you should consider.
Find — and seal — leaks: Air leakage in your home can lead to heat loss, which can drive up your energy bills and leave you shivering. Ensure that all cracks and holes are properly caulked, and that windows and doors are adequately weather-stripped. If you think you may have some hidden leaks, Canadian Living magazine recommends holding a lit stick of incense along baseboards. “A strong leak will make the stick glow brighter and blow the smoke away, while smaller leaks will puff the smoke in a distinct direction,” the magazine suggests.
Hoses and irrigation systems: Water left sitting in garden houses can freeze and burst. Before the temperature drops, drain your outdoor hoses completely, remove any attachments and disconnect them from outdoor faucets. If you can, store them inside to maintain their integrity during the winter months.
If you have a sprinkler system installed, be sure to shut off its supply and wrap valves and any piping with insulating foam or tape.
Clean out your gutters: Gutters can easily become clogged with sticks, leaves and other debris from fall. This can spell trouble in the winter months, if an ice dam occurs and forces gutters to break open. To avoid a potential gutter-burst, make sure the gutters are clear before the snow starts falling.