Is Your Home Ready for Winter?
Winter is here, and that means it’s time to tighten the screws on your home. Whether you’re a new homeowner or have lived in your house for years, there are some simple quick tasks you can perform to ensure you stay warm inside when the temperatures drop. We’ll separate this list into two sections. Exterior and Interior maintenance tips. Here is a list of things you can do to make sure your home is ready for winter:
Your roof should be inspected for missing or damaged shingles, and ensure the eaves troughs are clear of debris and ice. Before first freeze-up, ensure gutter downspouts are placed in the up position. This will help prevent ice from blocking water discharge and causing further problems.
Inspect all exterior vents to make sure they are clear of debris and operational. These are favourite nesting places for birds. While you are at it, check the exterior of the home for cracks in the foundation, walls, and doors. Sealing these areas can help prevent moisture infiltration and improve energy efficiency.
Garden hoses should be removed from exterior water faucets before first freeze-up. Conventional fixtures should be shut off inside the home and the faucet opened to drain any residual water. Busted water pipes are no fun at all!
Fix any grading issues around the home to prevent water runoff in the spring from flowing toward the foundation. The grade should slope away from the house one inch per foot for at least the first six feet away from the house.
Cut back any vegetation within a foot of the home or overhanging the roof. Remove wood piles or debris away from the home. A snow covered wood pile up against your foundation is the perfect home for mice and other rodents in the winter.
First and foremost, I recommend having your furnace inspected and cleaned yearly in the fall to make sure it is in peak condition for the winter months. No one likes their furnace dying on the coldest day in February! If you don’t have it serviced, at least make sure to change the filter. Your furnace will thank you for it! This is also a great time to have your ducts cleaned also.
As with the outdoors, sealing any drafty windows and doors from the inside will make the home more efficient and comfortable in the winter months. Who doesn’t like to save money? Older homes are much draftier than newer, tighter built homes. These homes may benefit by placing plastic insulating kits over them. You can buy these at any hardware store.
Lastly, at this time of year I always urge homeowners to check the date of manufacture of their smoke detectors and change batteries if they are battery powered. Most manufacturers set the expiry date to 10 years. It is very common that I find much older than that when inspecting. If it is time to change your detector out, I strongly recommend purchasing photoelectric detectors over ionization. They cost a little more but are far superior to ionization. Your family will be much safer with them.
Home Maintenance Inspection
There are many other areas of a home that can be inspected more thoroughly. If you’ve lived in your home for a while it may be very beneficial to have Ciara Property Inspections come out and perform a home maintenance inspection. This way, you can rest assured that your home will be ready to take on anything winter has in store. Stay safe and warm this winter!
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