home ottawa winterizingWithout a doubt, winter has arrived in Ottawa. Which means if you have been procrastinating about getting your home prepared for winter – there is no time left to make excuses!

Winterizing Your Home

Given the volume of tasks one needs to accomplish “around the house” during a given year, the Martin Elder Real Estate Group offers these handy tips and reminders.

Exterior Inspection

  • Walk the exterior of your home, paying close attention for minuscule cracks and crevices. All exposed entry points, especially around pipes, should be sealed.
  • Weather stripping can be applied around doors to prevent drafts.
  • Caulk windows and doors
  • Basement window wells can be covered on the exterior with a plastic shield and on the interior with window plastic.
  • Summer screens (if utilized) can be removed and replaced with storm windows.
  • Rake all debris and vegetation away from your foundation.
  • Secure any crawlspaces
  • Inspect windowsills for rot

Plumbing & Components 

  • Drain all garden hoses
  • Turn off water supply to exterior taps
  • Insulate all exposed plumbing pipes
  • If your air conditioner has a shut-off valve, turn it off.

Roof, Gutters & Downspouts

  • Worn our roofing should be replaced before the snow flies.
  • Gutters should be cleaned and downspouts should be tested with a hose to ensure water flows away
  • Leaf guards or gutter guards are an excellent way to keep gutters clean
  • Downspout extensions are affordable and help move water away from your foundation.

Furnace Inspection

  • Have your duct work cleaned
  • Be sure to replace your furnace filter. Buy spares and replace and/or clean the filter monthly.
  • Consider replacing an outdated thermostat with a programmable model.
  • Be sure to keep the area around your furnace well ventilated and free from obstructions.

Fireplace 

  • Install or Clean a chimney cap to ensure birds or rodents are not nesting
  • Have a chimney sweep remove creosote and soot build-up and inspect the fireplace damper
  • Prepare log pile
  • Store wood in a dry place, away from the exterior walls of your home.
  •  Check tuck-points and condition of chimney brick mortar.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Confirm with the City of Ottawa (or your local municipality) about smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector requirements
  • Change all detector batteries when daylight saves ends
  • Always install a carbon monoxide detector near your hot water header and/or furnace
  • Regularly test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Replace all expired fire extinguishers

Winterize Your Seasonal Gear

  • Lawn mowers and edge trimmers should be drained of gas
  • Clean off, dry and store all summer-specific gardening tools
  • Have snowblower tuned-up
  • Place snow shovels in convenient and easily accessible locations
  • Purchase bags of sand, pickling grit or other traction products