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How to Get Your Home Ready for Cold Weather

When cold weather arrives, homeowners are ready to turn the heat up in their home. However, getting the home ready for the cold season is equally important. Here’s a fall and winter home maintenance checklist every homeowner should follow.

  • Servicing the Heating System – Before cranking up the heat, a technician should inspect the furnace and heat pump. This ensures the heating system works at the recommended efficiency and that carbon monoxide leaks are prevented.
  • Reversing the Ceiling Fans – Since heat rises, turning the ceiling fans in reverse could help heat up the rooms. This might allow homeowners to turn down the thermostat by one or two degrees and save energy.
  • Cleaning the Gutters – Doing this task regularly helps prevent water from leaking into the home, causing damage. When temperatures drop below freezing point, having clean gutters also helps prevent ice dams. Homeowners must also ensure that gutters and downspouts aren’t worn or damaged.
  • Diverting Water Away from the Home’s Foundation – While checking the downspouts, property owners should also make sure the downspouts divert water at least one metre away from the foundation. If that’s not the case, it’s best to add extensions to downspouts.
  • Preventing Ice Dams – Ice dams on the roof is a sign that the attic is not properly insulated. The attic must be cool to prevent snow on the roof from melting, which causes ice dams. The attic should also have enough ventilation.
  • Inspecting the Roof – Homeowners should carefully repair missing, loose or damaged shingles before it starts snowing to avoid leaks and water damage when snow thaws. Here are more roof maintenance tips for the fall.
  • Sealing Windows and Doors – Moisture and cold air can get inside walls through gaps around windows, door frames, and where pipes enter the house. Thus, the gaps that are bigger than the width of a nickel should be caulked up.
  • Turning off Exterior Faucets and Sprinklers – The water in outdoor pipes can freeze and cause the pipes to burst as the ice in them expands. To prevent that, garden hoses should be disconnected and exterior pipes should be drained. Also, exterior faucets can be replaced with freeze-proof faucets.
  • Draining the Sprinkler System – Buried irrigation lines can also freeze, leading to burst pipes and damage to sprinkler heads. To best drain the sprinkler system, an irrigation technician should be hired to blow out the system pipes with compressed air.
  • Mulching Leaves – Instead of raking the leaves on the lawn, they should be mulched. The resulting compost provides nourishment to the lawn. Also, when stowing the mower for the winter, stabilizer should be added to the fuel tank to protect the engine – in case the tank still contains fuel.
  • Inspecting the Fireplace – To ensure the fireplace is in good repair throughout the cold season, the damper must open and close properly. The flue must be free of obstructions and the firebox should be undamaged and intact.

During the cold months, it’s also important to be aware of heating safety concerns. Here are our home heating safety tips and electric heater safety rules. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.

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