Trying to fix or patch in freezing, snowy weather is either more expensive, or not as effective – and often both!
Before winter weather takes hold, use this check list to be more ready:
• Drafty Windows Last Winter? Caulking is often a fix. Check weather stripping around doors too.
• Damaged or Missing Shingles? Skylight Leak? Eavestrough Trouble Spot? Freezing weather will make any of them worse. And be sure the downspouts are pointing away from the foundation.
• Pressure Washer? Electric or gas, flush it and put plumbing antifreeze into the pump. Even a small amount of water will freeze, expand, and likely crack the pump.
• Gas Lawn Mower? Add Fuel Stabilizer. Today’s “green fuel” with Ethanol will gum-up a small engine after a few months, if left untreated.
• Dryer Vent ? Clean it out, a clogged vent increases drying time which means higher energy use.
• Grimy Gutter? Be sure it’s secure and free of debris, so water drains off the roof.
• Ice Dam at the Roof Last Winter? Add attic insulation and ventilation to keep the roof cold. A warm roof melts snow, which flows into the eaves, and if the eavestrough is blocked, water seeps under the shingles and into the house.
• Furnace Ready to Start? Once the cold weather sets in, you want to know the furnace is running reliably. An unexpected breakdown could mean more than a chilly night.
• A/C Wrapped? Water that gets in could freeze, damaging the fins. Before you wrap it, blow out the leaves.
• Fireplace Clean? Schedule a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote build-up in the chimney.
• Outside Connections Drained? Winterize underground irrigation systems. Drain hoses. Turn off the water supply at the inside connection and then open the outside tap to drain it.
• Fresh Furnace Filter? Clean filters will keep the air moving.
• Humidifier Healthy? Say good-bye to dry winter air. A properly working humidifier makes a home feel warmer.
• Bathroom & Kitchen Exhaust Systems Clean? Ensure they actually vent to the outdoors. If they vent into the attic, you’ll soon have to deal with a mould issue.
• Smoke Alarm & CO Detector Tested? Check the replacement recommendation for each – usually 5 to 7 years.