With winter weeks away, now is the time to prepare and protect your home before the cold temperatures and snow set in. Use this winter maintenance checklist to get your home ready to take on another Canadian winter and help prevent the need for mid-season repairs:
1. Inspect Your Roof & Attic
Your home exterior is the first line of defence against wind, rain and snow. Inspect your roof for missing, damaged or loose shingles. While on the roof, ensure the flashing around the chimney and vents is secure. Don’t forget to check your attic for signs of water damage that may worsen in winter. Ineffective attic ventilation and insulation can cause ice dams.
2. Clear the Gutters
Prepare your gutters for melting snow and direct water away from your home and foundation. Remove leaves, sticks and debris that can clog your gutters and disrupt water flow.
3. Maintain Your Siding
Walk around your home exterior and look for siding damage, rotting boards, cracks, and gaps. These are all signs that you may need to replace your siding. Repair your siding to prevent moisture and pests from entering your home as a temporary fix. Consider replacing your siding with a durable, low-maintenance product in the new year, such as vinyl, aluminum, steel siding or composite cladding.
4. Winterize the Yard
Turn off outdoor water supplies to protect pipes, and drain and put your garden hoses into storage. Cut back trees, damaged limbs, and low-hanging branches that encroach your roofline, garage, shed or powerlines. Store or cover patio furniture and any outdoor items that winter weather may damage.
5. Check for Air Leaks
Prevent warm air from escaping your home. Check the exterior seals on all windows, doors, wall vents and faucets for air leaks. Recaulk any cracks or gaps as required. Once you’ve inspected the exterior, look at the interior seals around windows and doors. If you can feel a draft, you may need to reglaze and caulk or replace the window in question to prevent further heat loss and improve your home’s energy efficiency this winter.