With the cold temperatures and the snow already on the ground, it’s important to go over your winter home checklist to ensure your Toronto home is prepared for this winter season. In order to help you prepare, I have put together this winter home maintenance checklist which includes tasks to consider prior to winter as well as ongoing tasks to complete throughout the winter season in order to protect your home and family.
- Inspect your home’s heating system – Make sure your furnace and any other heating systems are running properly and servicing all rooms of the house.
- Check for drafts – Look around windows, doors, vents and attics to see if there is any air leakage that could cause a draft. It is important to seal up any drafts to keep your home warm and prevent a higher energy bill.
- Insulate water pipes – Water pipes are especially susceptible to freezing during cold weather. Make sure your pipes are properly insulated or heated to avoid any potential damage.
- Clean ducts and filters – It is important to clean out all of the dust, dirt, and debris from your air ducts and change the filters to ensure you and your family are cleaning clean air while your doors and windows are closed for the winter season.
- Stock up on winter supplies – Make sure you have enough fuel, de-icer, salt, shovels and other items necessary for tackling cold weather.
- Check roof for damage – Look for any missing shingles or signs of water leakage. Have a professional come in to assess the damage and make any necessary repairs. It’s also important to keep and eye on your roof throughout the winter season to make sure your roof hasn’t been damaged by ice.
- Install ice melting roof wires – Many hardware stores such as Home Depot sell these types of products. The wires are installed overtop of your roof shingles and heat up in order to prevent ice damming
- Keep an eye on snow accumulation – Make sure areas near your home are free of excessive snowfall. This can help prevent foundation issues, flooding or other water damages.
- Keep snow away from your furnace exhaust and intake pipes – You will find these pipes at the side of your home in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Check on these pipes after you’ve had a heavy snowfall.
- Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear – Inspect the eaves troughs for leaves or other debris. Clear them out so water can easily drain away from the foundation of your home.
- Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors – Change the batteries and test these devices regularly to make sure they are in proper working order.
- Check weather stripping around doors and windows – Check the weather stripping on your doors and windows to make sure it is not worn or cracked. Replace any old weather-stripping with new materials for better insulation.
- Clear pathways of ice and snow – Make sure all walkways, driveways, and steps are cleared of ice and snow to avoid potential slips and falls.
- Consider installing window film – Window films can be applied to windows to help prevent heat loss and reduce glare from the sun.
- Inspect your fireplaces – Have a professional inspect and clean out your wood or gas fireplaces to make sure they are safe and functioning properly.
- Stock up on extra firewood – Invest in a good amount of firewood for the season to have on hand for cold winter nights.
- Invest in a smart thermostat – Programmable thermostats can help keep your home warm while saving energy and money
- Check for pest activity – As temperatures drop, pests may try to enter your home in search of warmth. Look around the exterior of your house for any entry points and take measures to seal them up.
- Maintain outdoor equipment – Winterize your outdoor power equipment and store them away safely until spring. Make sure you add fuel stabilizer to your gas powered lawn equipment so you don’t have any issues starting them in the spring.
- Service your snow blower – Schedule an appointment with a professional to make sure your snow
Although this list may seem overwhelming, the potential harm that can be done to your home, equipment and family would surely be even more overwhelming. Take the time to tackle as many of these winter home maintenance tasks so that you can sleep well at night.
Are you thinking about buying or selling this winter and have questions about the buying or selling process or questions about the market in general? Contact me any time with your questions, I’m always happy to help.