It’s that time of year again!

Summer is coming to an end, and with the inevitable arrival of fall, the days are getting shorter, the nights are becoming cooler, and the trees are turning gorgeous shades of red, yellow and orange. It’s also time to prepare your home for the cooler weather and the (also inevitable) coming of winter.

So while you pull out your favourite warm sweater or jacket, take some time to go review this list of helpful tips that will get you and your home ready for the arrival of the sub-zero temperatures, and the way-too-early snow!

Starting with September

Remember, your first priority is maintaining your home’s energy efficiency and preventing damage from water and the cold. After that, it’s time to look after your yard and landscaping.

  • Start by inspecting your doors and windows to ensure the weatherstripping is making a tight seal. Try this little trick; close your window on a piece of paper. If you can pull the paper through without resistance, heat can still get out (and cold can get in), so you need to fill those gaps.

  • If you have a wood burning fireplace, clean out your chimney. Soot and creosotes can build up over time, become combustible, and cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Clean and service your furnace humidifier; too much or too little humidity can adversely affect your health and damage your home.

  • Drain sediments from the hot water tank. Flushing naturally occurring sediment can save you money on heating bills, and heat your water faster.

  • Inspect the hood over your stove for greasy buildup; clean the filter with dish soap and baking soda.

  • Check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test every one (plug your ears!)

  • Drain exterior water lines by turning off the taps from inside, and letting the remaining water out. Frozen water can crack or damage pipes and fixtures.

  • Try to rake up any leaves that are left in your yard; a layer of thick leaves can actually suffocate your lawn! Add one last application of lawn fertilizer; high-nitrogen fertilizers keep your lawn happy and healthy through the winter, and give your lawn a head start in the spring!

  • Check for soil settlement at your foundation; cracks and other issues can develop if you don’t monitor how your new home is settling.

  • Check for soil settlement at your foundation; cracks and other issues can develop if you don’t monitor how your new home is settling.

Try to take care of any repairs early, so you’re not at the mercy of Mother Nature later on; then clean and put your lawn and garden tools away!

Onward into October

This is the ideal time to finish prepping your yard and landscaping, then transition into finalizing preparations for your home, both inside and out.

  • Start with checking your gutters and downspouts to ensure they aren’t filled with leaves and other debris. Clogged gutters mean water won’t be moved away from your home’s siding or foundation.

  • Water all of your deciduous trees and bushes one last time so their roots are moist when they freeze, ensuring they can get water easily during winter and into early spring.

  • Make sure to check the condition of your furnace and ventilation system filters and replace them if they’re worn or clogged; have new ones on hand for the winter months.

  • Inspect any adjustable support posts in your basement; make sure they’re straight, that there’s no corrosion and that they’re securely fixed in place

  • Check all your floor drains located near the water heater or laundry in the basement for clogs or sediment buildup.

  • Set your furnace humidifier, starting at around 20 per cent; generally, this improves the air quality in your home in the colder months. Every new home is different, but if condensation appears on your windows in the winter, it’s a good idea to adjust the humidity.

Finally, this is the time to make sure you have winter shovels on hand, and to check the battery on your snow blower if you have one. Better to be ready for the snow than to be checking everything as the snow is falling!

If you’ve completed the list and are satisfied that your home is ready for winter, congratulations! You’ve earned yourself a nice, hot pumpkin spice latte. Enjoy!

The content provided in this blog is for general information purposes only and nothing contained herein should be taken or relied upon as legal advice. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information shared on this blog, the information may inadvertently contain inaccuracies.