Pre­pare your home for win­ter this fall

Mike Holmes Jr. lends his ex­per­tise on the best ways to get ahead, and stay ahead, of the game

North Toronto Post - - Homes -

Fall is here and, whether we like it or not, win­ter is right around the cor­ner.

The loom­ing weather of­ten brings many per­ils to home­own­ers, so here are a num­ber of things you can (and should) do to pre­pare your­self and your home for what's to come.

First and fore­most, one of the most prob­lem­atic things that can hap­pen to your home is wa­ter dam­age.

It can cause mould, rot and a lot of health is­sues for you, your fam­ily and your home.

One thing that peo­ple need to think about and of­ten for­get to do is to prop­erly drain their ex­te­rior hose bibs and shut them off.

When it gets very cold, and there is wa­ter in your hose bib line, it can freeze and burst, caus­ing a lot of dam­age and un­nec­es­sary ex­penses.

No­body wants to clean their eave­strough; how­ever, it is very im­por­tant to do so be­cause it di­rects the wa­ter shed off your roof and away from your foun­da­tion (or at least it should).

It can also be a nest for bugs. I al­ways rec­om­mend that home­own­ers clean their eave­strough and make sure that their down­spouts drain prop­erly.

As an added pro­tec­tion, I’d also sug­gest in­stalling a “smart screen” on your eave­strough.

This will al­low pre­cip­i­ta­tion in and keep things like leaves and other un­wanted ob­jects out of your eave­strough.

The last thing you want dur­ing the win­ter is for your fur­nace to fail.

And your fur­nace can fail for many rea­sons.

Whether you have an old fur­nace, one that has been ne­glected or just a cheap clunker, a func­tional fur­nace plays a cru­cial part in keep­ing your fam­ily warm dur­ing the win­ter months and keep­ing your pipes from burst­ing.

Be­fore it gets too cold, I sug­gest clean­ing your ducts, and get­ting your fur­nace in­spected.

This will en­sure that you have clean air for your fam­ily to breathe, that your fur­nace isn’t leak­ing car­bon monox­ide and that it’s not on its last legs.

Do this be­fore it’s too late be­cause, when it’s cold out and there’s a prob­lem, the HVAC spe­cial­ists are go­ing to be busy fix­ing every­one else’s fur­nace. Stay ahead of the game!

Last but cer­tainly not least, be­ing in Canada we never know what our weather is go­ing to throw at us.

Even if we pro­tect our home and main­tain it prop­erly, we can still be caught in a bad po­si­tion if we lose power, which seems to be hap­pen­ing more fre­quently across the GTA.

In the spring and the sum­mer, we have to worry about not hav­ing air con­di­tion­ing or per­haps los­ing lots of money on food in the re­frig­er­a­tor that’s gone bad due to a power out­age.

But in the win­ter, we have to worry about our pipes freez­ing if we lose power.

My best sug­ges­tion for any­one is to in­stall a standby gen­er­a­tor.

A standby gen­er­a­tor’s job is to de­tect when the power goes out, and then, within min­utes, it will kick on and power all of your im­por­tant ne­ces­si­ties, like your fur­nace, lights, re­frig­er­a­tor, etc.

Don't wait un­til the last minute, get ahead of the game and get your home ready for the win­ter now! Catch Mike Jr. along with his dad, Mike Holmes, in their series Holmes + Holmes pre­mier­ing Sun­day, Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. on HGTV Canada.

L–R: Mike Holmes and Mike Holmes Jr. on the set of their show

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