As Summer Gives Way to Fall and Winter
The fierce winds and fluctuating temperatures of an unpredictable Canadian winter put a strain on every household. There’s little wonder that autumn becomes a frenzy of renovations, upgrades and last-minute projects for Homeowners. But before any of those changes take place, an equally important step in winter preparation is the completion of any end-of-summer maintenance.
According to RONA experts, “Transitioning into winter isn’t just about getting ready for the cold season. It’s about wrapping up the summer and getting organized. Remember your end-of-summer chores to keep your house beautifully preserved for the next warm season.” Here is your checklist for three key areas of your home:
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• Keep your home’s heating system in good shape and your heating bill down by addressing any leaks and holes that create drafts in your home.
• Replace the weather-stripping and caulking where needed around doors and windows as these are key areas for heat loss during the winter months.
• For older doors and windows, consider upgrading to energy efficient options that will create a tighter seal. If you have an older home, a professional can do a blow-test that may be beneficial for helping to identify problem areas.
• Run water through your gutters to see if it comes smoothly through the downspouts. Any clogs should be removed before the water backs up and causes damage. Leaks and cracks can be repaired with a fresh bead of caulk. Also, check each piece to make sure it is secured tightly to the building.
• Remove, drain and store all outdoor garden hoses.
• Turn off all exterior spigots so that water left in the pipes does not freeze and break the pipes.
• Consider replacing spigots with freeze-proof faucets, particularly if your home is older.
• Wrap pipes in foam to insulate them.
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• Don’t forget to clean and maintain tools such as lawnmowers and other motorized tools. Some lawnmowers have a new feature on the hood where you can attach either a garden hose or a pressure-washer so that it will clean the clippings off from underneath the hood.
• Take time to ensure that your household is equipped with sufficient shovels and de-icing salt. You will be happy you did it before that first big snowfall.
• If all you can remember from last winter is back pains from all the shovelling, consider getting a snowblower. To maintain the snowblower, test it to see if it runs, check spark plugs, replace gas filters, and take it to a professional for a tune-up if necessary.
By taking these proactive steps, you’ll reduce your risk of repairs in the below-freezing weather. The key is to get them done before the warm weather disappears into a hazy summer memory.