Getting Your Home Ready for Winter
Tuesday Nov 03rd, 2020
The season of snow is upon us! Freshly fallen snowflakes, the laughter of children building snowmen, and a delicious hot chocolate... there is plenty to love about the winter season! Wouldn't it be nice to love all of those things, without needing to worry about whether your home is ready for the cold? Well it's still early, and you have plenty of time to get things prepared!
Of course, we are here to help! Here are some things that you can do NOW to make sure you are as prepared as possible for the winter weather.
Pest-Proof Your House
Just like humans, rodents and bugs want to stay warm and cozy too. As the weather gets colder they will start to search for a warm place with a good food supply to call home for the winter. Your house can provide the perfect nest for them, so if there is a way inside they will find it.
Make sure to screen any vents leading outdoors, check the chimney opening, and seal any cracks that you find. You can also invest in pest-deterrent devices that use technology such as sound waves (unheard to the human ear) which help to scare the pests away. Avoid using poisons or toxic measures if you have children, pets, or there are any pregnant women in the house, unless you are already facing an infestation. Get into a habit of not leaving any food out where bugs or mice might find it, and keep an eye out for any signs that pests have moved in such as droppings or dead bugs.
*Pro Tip: If you are facing a bug-infestation such as cockroaches, Borox makes a great management system. You can buy it at the grocery store, it is non-toxic to pets and humans, and it works wonders in killing bugs due to the way it dries out their bodies. A small dusting along baseboards, behind kitchen appliances, or in crawlspaces will go miles in getting rid of these pests.
Make Sure Your Winter Tools are Working
You don't want to get caught after the first big snowfall with a broken shovel or snowblower! Make sure before the blizzards begin that you know where your shovel is, check it to make sure it's not broken, and replace it if it is. Pull your snowblower out of storage and ensure it is in good working order.
It's also a good time to stock up on rock salt, sand, or any other form of ice protection you prefer to use. Establishing a good storage system will allow you to purchase in bulk and make sure that you won't run out when you need it. Make sure storage containers don't have any holes or leaks if you are keeping them outside, as any water that gets in will typically ruin the salt or sand inside. The average person will wait until the first storm to purchase these items, which means that is when stores are running low on their supplies. Get them now so you don't need to stress about it later!
Repair or Replace Weather Stripping
Go around your house and look at all doors and windows. Is the weather stripping in good condition? If it is not, this is the time to replace them.
Broken or missing weatherstripping will allow cold air and wind from outside to come inside your house. This increases your heating and energy bills which costs you more money in the long run than simply replacing the weatherstripping would in the first place. You'll also enjoy sitting warmer and comfortably in your home!
Winterize Your A/C Units and Hot Water Tanks
Another way you can save money over the winter is to make sure your appliances are ready to withstand the winter conditions. Simply covering your air conditioner for the winter can save you the expense of needing it to get repaired or replaced in the spring. You can buy good covers at any local hardware store that will fit any type of unit you may have.
You can also save on energy by covering your hot water tank. This is especially important if it is located near a door to outside, in the basement, or somewhere that gets particularly drafty. Hot water tank blankets are also sold in home hardware stores and fit nice and snug around the tank, making sure that the water on the inside isn't cooled down by any cooler conditions.
Check the Condition of Exterior Stairs and Handrails
Before things start getting icy and dangerous, it is best to make sure that your stairs and handrails are strong and in good condition.
For wooden stairs leading from a patio, make sure none of the planks are weak or about to break. With stone steps make sure that there aren't any areas that the stone is cracked or could start to break.
Handrails should be secure and unable to move if you try to shake them. You can either do repairs yourself or hire a contractor to fix any problems that arise.
They say the best way to handle an emergency is to be prepared, and peace of mind by getting ready for the winter will mean more time to enjoy the holiday season and less time stressed out.
What ways are YOU preparing yourself and your home for winter? Let us know!
It may be getting cold outside, but the
Ottawa Real Estate Market is still HOT!
Are you looking to buy or sell a home?
Call Moe McIlwain at 613-299-3100
to see how he can help you
Move Forward with your Real Estate goals!