Soon winter will be here. That means it's time to take care of tasks that are yet undone to get your home ready for the season. As you do, keep home safety in mind in addition to preparing your home to winter weather conditions. Here are five key tips to compare to your checklist as you complete your winter-readiness routine.
Seek out and seal air leaks
Check the caulking and weather-stripping around windows and doors and make sure that gaps are sealed. And don't forget to check for and seal air leaks in places that are often overlooked such as gaps around the dryer vent, fireplace hearth, attic access door, plumbing in the kitchen and bathrooms, and the openings where utility lines enter your home.
Prevent and prepare for plumbing problems
Install or upgrade insulating products where needed to protect pipes that are at risk for freezing. Test water shut off valves to ensure they are in good working order. If exterior faucets are not frost-free, drain the lines to those faucets, shut off their water supply, and add insulated covers. Also make a plumbing emergency kit that contains basic tools/supplies you would need to handle minor problems.
Tackle any exterior trouble spots
Do a visual inspection of the exterior of your home to scout out potential problem areas. Make certain that roofing is in a good shape, that eaves troughs are clean, and that downspouts direct water away from the foundation. Repair ant driveway or walkway cracks to prevent freeze-and-thaw damage. If your home has a garage, lubricate the garage door hinges, tracks and rollers to help ensure smooth operation even in frigid temperatures.
Get the fireplace winter ready
Have a fireplace? Be sure the flue damper and doors fit snugly. Consider using and inflatable draft stopper for an even more airtight seal when the fireplace is not in use. And before your fireplace sees frequent use, hire a pro to clean the chimney and inspect the firebox and make any needed repairs.
Check safety and detection devices
If you haven't checked your fire extinguishers lately, take time to confirm that they are fully charged and replace those that are damaged or expired. Also put new batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and test them all for proper operation. remember, it is much easier to get these types of things done before snowfall begins to blanket Edmonton homes. So, make it a point to cross all those winter-prep tasks off your list soon.