Getting Your House in Order
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.
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.