Your Guide to Preparing Your Home for Winter

Posted : October 16, 2018

 

 

Winter heating costs can skyrocket if your windows are poorly insulated, your plumbing breaks, or if the heating system is out-of-date. Ensuring your home is prepared will save you money, while protecting your property for years to come. 

 

As those in Calgary already know, that first snowstorm has a way of sneaking up on you, bringing with it cold air, snow, and ice – elements that cause damage to your home and garden.

At Premiere Suites, all your property maintenance is included, so put your feet up and relax – but while you’re in your own home, you’ll discover that the few hours of effort you put in now, far outweigh the financial, and emotional benefits, this winter and over time.

 

Clean Out, Repair, & Secure Loose Eavestroughs And Downspouts

Having your eavestroughs clear of debris is your first line of defense for protecting your roof and your foundation, from water and ice damage. Don’t attempt this project alone – one of you needs to steady the ladder!

 

Repair Exterior Caulking Before Winter

Cracked caulking can cause damage to your windows and sills, while also enabling cold air and water to enter your home. Repairing exterior caulking will not only make it easier to regulate the temperature inside your home, but will also reduce your energy bills.

 

Fix Cracks in the Weather Stripping

Cracks from summer sun and aging, reduce the effectiveness of weather stripping in keeping the cold out, which is why weather stripping should be replaced every few years. A yearly inspection before winter will help you to keep tabs on how well it’s doing its job.

 

Repair Any Loose Roof Shingles

Your roof is critical to the integrity of your home. Damaged shingles can cause water leakage into the attic or the space between the roof and your top floor. The section of the roof that receives the most sun requires your closest attention, because it’s those shingles that wear fastest. Also take note of missing shingles - an indication you have a potential roof vulnerability. 

 

 

Clean Your Furnace Filter

The winter and summer months are when your HVAC unit gets the most use, so you’ll want to swap your dirty filter out for a new one, at least every 3 months – this will extend the life of your HVAC unit, while keeping energy costs down, and most importantly, improve the quality of the air in your home.

 

Test Your Furnace

Turn on and test your furnace before the really cold winter weather hits. If you’re not sure how well your furnace is working, you’ll have time to have it inspected.

 

Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

Your furnace and other heat sources, generate carbon monoxide as they heat your home. A carbon monoxide detector monitors levels in your home and will alert you if levels should rise, so be sure to check that they’re working and that the batteries are in good condition.

 

Ensure Your Smoke Alarm Is Working

Most home fires occur during the winter, an important reason to check your smoke alarm.

 

Protect Pipes In Unheated Areas Around Your Home

Frozen pipes can cause some serious damage. Look around your home, especially in unheated areas like crawlspaces, basements or garages. Wrap the pipes with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves, or fiberglass insulation. This will reduce the likelihood of your pipes freezing and bursting.

 

Turn Off Your Exterior Water & Drain Hoses

This is a must! If you have water that freezes in your lines, hoses, or pipes; you could have an expensive problem indoors. Burst pipes can result in flooded basements and ruined flooring and furniture.

 

 

 

Garden Cleanup

Use leaves from your trees and shrubs for mulch to cover your garden, or bag them and put them curbside. Your municipality may do compost giveaways and your leaves will contribute to the spring mulch! Your gardening friends will thank you.

 

Wrap Your Shrubs

Some shrubs and plants can’t survive our cold climate without getting damaged so you'll want to wrap them to prevent tips and branches from being frost-bitten. The benefit - you’ll have a beautiful garden come spring.

 

Store Your Summer Yard Equipment & Patio Furniture

Store your leaf blower and your lawn mower in a shed or garage away from the elements, and cover your outdoor furniture. Giving everything a good clean before you store it away makes for an easier Spring.

 

Clear Out Your Garage

Clearing out your garage will make space for your car and help protect it from winter weather. And while you’re in there, pull out the snow brush and put it in the car.

 

Seal Your Driveway

You’ll protect your driveway and add years to its life by sealing it from cold winter damage

 

Bring Out Salt & Sand for Your Driveway & Sidewalk 

Check your supply and stock up before the first snow. Think about using some green alternatives to protect both your lawn and the environment.