Checklist for preparing your home or cottage for the upcoming winter;
· Turn off water to all outside taps. In newer homes you don’t have to do this but for the vast majority of people that don’t live in a relative in home you should do this. Once the water is off to the outside taps, turn them on until any remaining water runs out. Then turn them off and they should be fine for the winter. In newer homes you probably don’t have to do this because your taps will have what are called frost free. This means that you can leave the water on to the outside taps and they will not brake when the temperature drops below freezing.
· Unhook all hoses from outside taps. Garden hoses will cause frost to penetrate the tap on the outside of the house and will cause a leak.
· Make sure all downspouts from the eave trough are properly connected and drain away from the building.
· Clean out all gutters so that they flow properly and you do not end up with ice damming causing leaks in your roof.
· Make sure the sump pump is working fine, in the fall when you get snow and rain, melting snow can place a lot of water next to the foundation. Also make sure that the exhaust for the sump pump is functioning properly and that water is always draining away from the house so that the water will not freeze in the pipe.
· Clean out all window wells of leaves and debris. You do not want the drains that connect from your window wells to your weepers to not work properly; you could end up creating a pool effect and have water penetrate around the basement windows and damaging the basement.
· Turn your furnace on before you need it so that you know that it works. If you are worried that there could be a problem have a furnace company come out and do a proper start up and make sure everything is working properly. This will also allow you to open windows if there you are worried about the furnace throwing dust and hair into the air.
· Change the filter in the furnace and open all the registers in the house so that when the furnace turns on the whole house will be heated evenly.
· Make sure that the intake and exhaust for your furnace and HRV are clear of debris, or weeds and leaves.
· Clean the chimney of your fireplace or hire someone to clean it for you, this will help the wood burning fireplace operate more efficiently and reduce the risk of fire in the chimney. Make sure that the firewood is out of the weather and the kindling is dry.
· Trim all tree’s that are near the house or hanging over the house. Tree branches will grow all summer and when they get loaded with snow or freezing rain they can droop or fall on the house or against the house causing damage.
· Check all exterior windows and doors make sure that they shut properly and that you do not feel any drafts around the edge of the door. Installing a simple sweep can save you a lot of money on your heating bill. Also check that the caulking around the window or door is not cracked or peeling.
· When weather turns colder animals start looking for places to winter, if you don’t give them the opportunity to settle in then you will have not have a problem with them. So repair any holes that you see in your facia, soffit, siding or stucco.
· If you have a hot tub make sure that the water is topped up so that you don’t have to try and use the outside taps in the winter.
· Make sure that the shingles on the roof look like they are in good shape. Any shingles that are curled or starting to wear thin should be replaced. If you end up with snow or ice build up that will be the first place it will leak.
This is just a simple check list to help you prepare for the coming of winter. Depending on where you live and how you heat your home you will want to add or subtract certain things from this list.
Village Builders Inc.