Get­ting Your House in Or­der

Reader's Digest (Canada) - - Contents - BY AN­DRE MAYER

Sea­sonal tips for pro­tect­ing your home. AN­DRE MAYER

MAK­ING SURE YOUR res­i­dence is ready for win­ter isn’t sim­ply about keep­ing it cozy—it’s also about avoid­ing dam­age to your key as­set.

CHECK YOUR ROOF AND EAVESTROUGHS

Manag­ing wa­ter flow is vi­tal when freez­ing tem­per­a­tures set in. Within the gut­ters and down­spouts, min­i­mize places where liq­uid can freeze and ex­pand to cre­ate leaks, says Ryan Reynolds, of Reynolds Broth­ers Ex­te­ri­ors in Bar­rie/Sim­coe County, Ont. That also means se­cur­ing shin­gles.

SHUT OFF YOUR OUT­SIDE WA­TER SUP­PLY

Wa­ter ex­pan­sion can wreak havoc on pipes. To pre­vent them from burst­ing, the Canada Mort­gage and Hous­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (CMHC) sug­gests shut­ting off the wa­ter sup­ply to your out­side tap by Oc­to­ber.

TRIM VEG­E­TA­TION

Prune green­ery so that noth­ing touches the walls, says Erich Kel­ter, a home in­spec­tor based in Bar­rie, Ont. Wet leaves and branches brush­ing up against your house can erode brick and de­grade sid­ing.

CLEAN YOUR FUR­NACE

To en­sure your fur­nace is work­ing at max­i­mum ef­fi­ciency, the CMHC sug­gests hav­ing it ser­viced and chang­ing or clean­ing the fil­ter in Novem­ber.

PLUG IN­DOOR GAPS

Keep­ing heat inside your home means iden­ti­fy­ing drafts that are en­ter­ing through doors, win­dows or trim. Kel­ter says you can de­tect air leaks by go­ing around the house with a smoke pen­cil, a hand-held de­vice that re­leases smoke to in­di­cate drafty spots. To fill the gaps, try caulk­ing, spray foam or weath­er­strip­ping.

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