10 outdoor jobs you need to do to prep your home for the winter
For a hassle-free winter, make sure your home is prepped for the cold and harsh weather.
If you’re able to do so safely, get on the roof of your home and check out the condition of the roof. Accidents can happen in a snap of a finger!
Suspect that work needs to be done on your roof? For example, the roof of your home is flat and you notice cracks or joint sealings that appear to have dried up? Call a specialist if you don’t feel qualified to do the work yourself.
Asphalt shingles covering your roof? Make sure they’re flat for maximum weatherproofing.
Have your chimney swept by a specialist. Don’t get swept up in a chimney fire.
Have the specialist check the condition of the masonry – for a brick chimney – anchor bolts and cap. Make sure to also have the sealant around the chimney checked to prevent water from seeping in.
Replace any parts that show signs of wear and tear.
Clear debris from the gutters. Don't forget to check the downspouts to remove dead leaves that have accumulated.
Be prepared! It’s best to do this when all the leaves have fallen from the trees so you don't have to start over.
Be sure to check that your gutters and downspouts are properly installed to avoid leakage, and have the water diverted at least 1,5 m away from the foundation to prevent water damage.
4. Screens and vents
Check the screens and vents from your home’s ventilation system. They should be strategically placed to prevent small rodents from slipping through and making themselves right at home for the winter.
5. Exterior walls and foundations
Look at the exterior walls to look for any signs that you should either repair or replace siding.
Inspect the masonry. See any visible cracks? Have them repaired.
Inspect the foundation. If cracks are also visible here, have them repaired by a specialist.
6. Doors and windows
Check your door and window joint sealings.
Focus on the basement windows where water can seep in easily during the thawing period and cause damage to your home.
7. Exterior faucets
Shut off the outdoor faucets and drain the hose before putting it away to prevent water from freezing inside and damaging your hose.
Remember to also shut off the exterior faucet’s indoor valve.
8. Heat pump
Clear the heat pump to ensure the air flow supply which is key to making it run smoothly.
9. Stairs, balconies and patios
Check the condition of your outdoor stairs and balconies or patios to prevent them from collapsing under the weight of the snow.
Make sure to also check the condition of the handrails or banisters. Strong winds can cause them to be torn off. Reinforce them to prevent accidents or replace them if they become unsafe.
If you’re unsure whether they comply with the building code in your area, check with your municipality.
10. Snow removal
Set up markers so that your lawn or landscaping is not damaged when snow is cleared.
Remember to also prep the inside of your home for the winter:
- Check the weatherstrip around the windows and doors.
- Install a weatherstrip film if ice has formed in the windows, in previous winters, when the temperature dropped drastically.
- Have the central heating system’s and air exchanger’s outlets and inlets cleaned.
Have a safe winter!