With the first Snowfall in Ottawa last week, we know that a full blown unpredictable Ottawa winter is soon upon us, which means getting your home winter ready now should be first on your to-do list!
Here is a quick checklist of the most important tasks you will need to do to have your home best prepared for winter. Following this list every year before winter is essential to make sure everything is running smoothly, prevents a potential larger issue occurring, and also needed for insurance reasons:
1. Check Windows and Doors
You want to make sure that all of your windows and doors are sturdy and will keep the warm air in and the cold air left outside. Check the frames, screens or storm doors, and the windows and doors themselves for any signs of damage, as well as air/ water leaks.
2. Check your Home Air Systems
Check your furnace, air conditioner, space heaters, furnace fan, and humidifier. Repair if needed. Be sure to also change the air filters on your humidifier, check for mold in the air quality of your home, and top up wood or oil if you do not use electric heating.
3. Clear your Gutters
Clear your gutters of all debris so they can work properly for winter. Make sure that the downspouts are directed at least five feet away from the house to prevent spring flooding. Check the foundation for any dampness or grading issues. It is important that the grading by your home foundation also leads in a downward or levelled direction away from your home.
4. Roof and Chimney Check
It is recommended that you have your roof professionally looked at for any damage, leaks, or missing shingles. Make sure to sweep the chimney and check the vents to make sure it is clean. This will help prevent possible chimney fires and allow for potential carbon monoxide build up to leave the home.
5. Turn off Outside Faucets
Disconnect any outdoor or garage hoses that you may have and drain the remaining water. Any water left undrained can freeze and cause pipes to burst.
6. Winter Landscaping
Trim any bushes or trees, especially those that may be close to your home or any electrical wires to prevent property damage or power issues. It is also recommended that you wrap your trees and shrubs with burlap to protect them from the winter burn and to lock in their moisture.
7. Get your Winter Tools Ready
Put away your summer tools and have your winter tools on hand to be your utmost prepared for all winter conditions. Make sure you have your shovel, sand & salt mix for your driveway/walkway, and any other snow/ice removal tools that you prefer to use ready to go.