Winter is on its way, and as much as we try to deny it, it will bring freezing weather that can damage your home. However, doing some home maintenance in the fall can go a long way to making sure that you minimize the work that needs to be done later in the season.
Here are four tips to make sure that you – and your home – are prepared for the winter.
Drain Outdoor Pipes
Avoid a frosty, costly mess! All outdoor drain pipes should be drained and sealed throughout the winter season to avoid any internal pipe damage. When water freezes, it expands to a size much larger than the volume that it originally had — this means that undrained pipes will expand alongside it and potentially burst. Doing a quick check now can save a lot of time and money later on.
Check Your Heating System
Although you may not need to have the heating on just yet, it’s good practice to test out your heating unit to see if there are any issues. One of the worst things that could happen is your heating unit breaking down in the middle of winter—resulting in you spending a couple of weeks in the cold. Luckily if you notice anything during the fall, there is still plenty of time for repairs.
Seal Any Gaps
Having any gaps around doors or windows, or in walls, during the winter reduces your heating unit’s efficiency. This causes more strain on the unit itself and also adds to your utility bill. You can prevent this by going around your home or condo and quickly look to see whether or not there are any gaps bigger than the width of a nickel you can seal with a caulking gun. This way you can stay warm and cozy for the coming winter while shaving off a couple of dollars from your bill.
Clean Out the Gutters
Owners of semi-detached and detached houses in Toronto should do fairly regular cleanouts of the gutters throughout the year—leaving clutter in the gutters can cause dams which can also cause water damage to your roof. This is especially the case during the winter where these same dams will freeze over and cause even more problems. Periodically, these dams will thaw slightly and refreeze, slowly seeping into the roof and slowly causing damage. While it is a minor nuisance during the warmer seasons, it can be devastating during the winter where you want to avoid having to do any repairs as much as possible.