As the old adage says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! To make sure you stay comfortable this winter and to avoid unpleasant surprises, we have prepared a checklist of must-dos before winter sets in for the next few months. 

 

Indoors

Doors and windows

The openings in your home are weak points compared to the walls.

You must obviously check that they close properly. Verify that you have a good insulation band around the frame and verify that the caulking is in good condition on the outside. 

Make sure the bottom of your outside doors is airtight. If you feel a draft, install additional weather stripping to prevent heat loss. 

Pro tip: Place a tissue near an opening to detect drafts (if the tissue moves, it means that the opening is not air-tight allowing air to circulate).

Indoor Air Evacuations

Ventilation hatches are to be verified as well.

It is recommended to clean the filters of the kitchen hood, the bathroom fan, the dryer and the air exchanger if you have one. Check your filters and make sure the outlets are clear and free of debris to avoid condensation.

Heating

Whether your heating is a central furnace, hot water radiators or electric baseboard heaters, a verification is never a bad idea for optimal temperature during the cold months of winter.

With electric baseboards, vacuum to remove dust from the baseboards to avoid the risk of fire or unpleasant smells when they are first turned on.

For central systems, it is never a bad idea to make a service call to verify that they are in proper operating condition, check the ducts and change the filters in the case of a forced-air furnace and check the pipes of a hot water system to avoid leaks.

 

Outdoors

Cladding

It is important to check the outside of your home for openings that could allow access for unwanted visitors (it only takes a quarter of an inch to give access to a mouse).

The roof

Make sure your eavestroughs and roof drains are free of dead leaves and debris so that water can drain properly. Good attic insulation and ventilation are key factors in preventing heat loss, condensation and ice formation at the edge of the roof, which can lead to water damage to your ceilings. 

The land

Make sure you have a negative slope around the house to keep water away from the foundation to prevent concrete erosion and water infiltration during the thaw. Clean your yard and protect your shrubs.

Outdoor furniture

Take the time to put away your outdoor furniture and decorations to keep them in good condition. Protect your barbecue. 

Water hose faucets

Before the cool winter days, be sure to check your garden hoses as frozen water could damage water lines and cause serious damage at the thaw. After checking, close and empty the water outlets. If you have a swimming pool or spa, drain the water, clean the devices and make sure the pipes are properly drained. 

Have you ever had any unpleasant surprises in the winter? Do you have more tips to add to our list? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

 

By Ana Duque