Without 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.
- 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.
- 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- Consider replacing an outdated thermostat with a programmable model.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.
- 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