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The First Big Snowfall: Are you Prepared?

The season’s first snow fall can catch many Canadians off guard. It’s important to take steps to winterize your house before it’s too late!

Taking a weekend to prepare is worth the effort. It can prevent long-term damage, and can even help save you money on your energy bills. Below are some steps to take to keep your home in top shape during the Winter season.

Check Drafts – Check all doorways and windows, and even power or vacuum outlets! Drafts can make it between your walls from cracks outside the house, especially if there is no insulation. Use caulking or foam spray to seal all window drafts and if necessary use some sealant tape on doors. Sizing can vary depending on the gap in the door.

Check Insulation – Make sure to check your attic, walls, and basement for vulnerabilities in your insulation. Check for mould and if necessary have a professional add some extra insulation. It can save you money in the long run.

Energy Efficient Windows – In 2011 it was estimated that only 15% of homes have energy efficient windows*. Having windows designed to help trap warm air during the winter months can help save hundreds of dollars on energy bills throughout the life of the window. Double pane windows are a must for any house that experiences fluctuating, seasonal weather conditions.

Check your Furnace Air Filter – Keep it clean throughout the winter. Purchase an extra one for easy replacement if necessary. Having a heating expert check your furnace annually is recommended.

Clean your Chimney – Hire a professional to make sure your chimney is cleaned before lighting your first piece of firewood. This ensures proper ventilation and even helps the fire breathe, giving you better, longer lasting fires.

Turn off Outside Water Supply – Always! Don’t forget about underground sprinklers, let them drain. It only takes one cold winter to burst a pipe! If you are unsure on how to properly drain your outside water supply, consult an expert to be safe.  Not taking the proper steps could lead to thousands of dollars in damage repair!

Clear out gutters and spouts from Fall leaves – Leaves can build up in your eaves troughs from the Fall. Anticipate snow buildup on your roofs during the Winter. Ensure that the melted snow can properly drain. A flash of warm weather in the spring can cause quite an issue! When snow melts and it cannot drain it can cause leaks in your roof, erosion, and mould.

Many of these strategies can also help you save money on your energy bills during the winter months! Preparing your house for the Winter season is something every home owner should consider.