Getting chilly! How to prepare your home and yard for the big freeze

Posted on Oct. 16, 2014 by Canada Post in smartmoves

It’s time for the last of the fall chores before winter arrives. Are you ready for the snow and ice? To get your home and yard ready for winter, here are some tips to keep things running smoothly.

Make sure your windows and doors are sturdy and seal out the cold

Check your windows and doorframes for air leaks and possible water leaks. Make sure to look for signs of damage, weakened wood or window frame rot. Wooden door and window frames can be damaged by moisture, mold and sometimes insects or rodents.

Check and repair or replace your storm windows and loose screens. Make sure your doors seal in the warm air without leaks around the frame.

Protect your plants, repair and maintain your landscaping and deck

When it comes to your lawn and garden, the goal is to promote growth for spring. Fertilize your lawn, plant bulbs, trim fruit trees and hedges. Keep your yard tidy and protected from the cold as you gather leaves, cover shrubs and trees with burlap, and pull up dead garden plants.

Your walkways, driveway and deck also need some care before winter. Replace any rotting or damaged wood, ensure stonework is level, fill in any cracks in the pavement and remove any accumulated leaves or debris. Make sure runoff from your deck, driveway and walkways drains away from your home and foundation before any spring flooding!

Repair your summer tools and bring out your winter supplies

Remove accumulated cut grass from your blower, lawn mower, lawn tractor, rotor tiller and weed whacker. Spray a light coat of oil on the underside of your machinery to protect against damp and rust in the winter.

Find your winter tools and supplies for snow removal and ice, and check them over. Make sure your winter appliances are in working order, repaired and within reach.

Check your home air systems: heating, cooling, and ventilation

Repair your air quality appliances and prepare them for winter including your furnace, air conditioner, space heaters, furnace fan, and humidifier. Clean air is essential to good health, so have your air quality tested to check for mold.

Change your air filters on the furnace, make sure your humidifier works, and top-up on wood or oil if you don’t use electric heating. You’ll also want to inspect, clean, and replace any defective parts of your air ducts, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Don’t forget the batteries too.

Keep your gutters, roof, and drains clear, leak free and in good repair

Check for damage and leaks to your drainage systems like your gutters and roof. Clear your gutters of all debris and leaves so they are free-flowing for winter and spring storms.

Stay safe when maintaining your roof. Have your shingles professionally checked for damage, missing pieces, etc. Have your chimney, walls and skylights inspected for leaks, dirt, or dampness.

Ensure that all drainage leads away from your house to prevent spring flooding. Inspect your foundation for dampness and make sure the dirt grade by your foundation leads away from, not towards, your home.

Do you have any tips for getting ready for winter? What do you do to make sure your yard and home are ready for the change in weather?