As the vibrant colours of autumn start to fade, and the air becomes crisper, it’s a clear sign that winter is just around the corner. Before the snow and frigid temperatures arrive, it’s essential to ensure that your home is prepared to withstand the harsh conditions of the Saskatchewan winter season. Fall home maintenance is a crucial step in safeguarding your property and keeping it warm, comfortable, and energy-efficient during the winter months. Here are some tasks to help you get your home ready for winter.
1. Inspect Your Roof
Your roof is your home’s first line of defence against the elements, so it’s vital to make sure it’s in good shape. Check for damaged or missing shingles, and repair any issues you find. Remove debris like leaves and twigs, which can trap moisture and cause rot. Ensure that your gutters are clean and functioning correctly to prevent ice dams and water damage.
2. Seal Gaps & Cracks
Inspect the exterior of your home for gaps and cracks in the foundation, siding, and around windows and doors. Seal these gaps with weatherstripping or caulk to prevent drafts and keep your home warm. Like our parents always used to say—”We’re not paying to heat the whole neighbourhood!”
3. Service Your Heating Systems
If it has been a while since last time, have your heating system professionally serviced before the cold weather sets in. Change the filters, clean the ducts, and ensure everything is working efficiently. If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, clean the chimney to prevent hazardous creosote buildup. These proactive steps can prevent heating breakdowns during the winter and improve energy efficiency. And servicing early will prevent frosty wait times should you wait for a problem to arise!
4. Check Insulation
Proper insulation is crucial to keeping your home warm and energy-efficient. Inspect your attic, walls, and basement for any gaps or missing insulation. Consider topping up insulation if necessary to keep the warm air in and the cold air out.
5. Test Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
When winter sets in, no one thinks twice about cranking the temps to stave off the cold. With heaters and fireplaces in use, though, it’s essential to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working correctly. Replace the batteries and test them to ensure your family’s safety.
6. Winterize Your Plumbing
Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing, and water damage is one thing no homeowner wants to deal with. Drain and disconnect outdoor hoses, shut off exterior faucets, and insulate pipes in unheated areas of your home to prevent freezing and bursting. Consider investing in a smart thermostat to monitor and control your home’s temperature remotely.
7. Clean & Store Yard Equipment
As the gardening season ends, clean and properly store your yard equipment. Drain gasoline from lawnmowers, trimmers, and other tools to prevent fuel degradation and damage to the equipment. Store them in a dry, sheltered area. Tidy up your outdoor space to prevent having to dig anything out of the show—especially if you are selling your home this winter!
8. Prune Shrubs & Trees
Fall is an excellent time to prune trees and shrubs to keep them looking sharp for next season! Trim dead ends and any overhanging branches or those close to your home to prevent potential damage from heavy snow and ice.
9. Stock Up on Winter Supplies
Lastly, remember to stock up on winter essentials like salt, snow brushes, and shovels. Having these items on hand will make dealing with snow and ice much more manageable when the first storm of the season hits.
Preparing your home for winter is a simple way to ensure that it remains a warm, safe, and energy-efficient sanctuary throughout the cold season. These steps will not only keep you comfortable but also save you money on energy bills and potential repair costs. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your tools, and get your home ready for winter and surviving the holiday season ahead.