When the days tend to get shorter, and nature is adorned with shimmering colors, it’s a sign that it’s time to start preparing your home for winter. To help you with this task, Williams Remodel has drawn up a winter home checklist to check before the onset of cold weather.
Simple to carry out, these small actions will not take you more than a day. But by adopting these reflexes each year, you will become able to better anticipate the elements to be maintained in your home, and you will also avoid having multiple emergency interventions, which are often very expensive.
Here is your winter home checklist to follow and start this new season with peace of mind.
Winter Home Maintenance: The Actions to be Carried Outside
Start your winter home checklist by taking care of your garden and the exterior structural elements of your home.
The Actions to be Carried Out in The Garden
If the fall season has kept you busy with pruning and tending to plants, there are still a few things to do to prepare your garden for winter. Start by cleaning and storing your outdoor furniture in a place protected from the weather. If possible, inside a garage or shed. This way, you will only have to take it out and put it back in its place when the good weather arrives.
Next, mow your lawn one last time. Leave 5 to 7 cm of grass so it can withstand the cold and frost. Finally, if you plants that are sensitive to low temperatures, cover them with a winter veil.
Things to Check Outside
Some outdoor elements must be inspected to prepare your home for winter properly:
- Check the roof: Be sure to check its general condition, and replace defective tiles to avoid possible leaks. The presence of moss can also become problematic and promote water infiltration. The intervention of a professional may be necessary to proceed with its elimination.
- Clean the gutters: after fall, they can quickly become cluttered with dead leaves and other plant residues. Be sure to keep them clear and in good condition to evacuate rainwater properly.
- Inspect the exterior facades to detect any cracks that could be the cause of water infiltration inside your home. Take the opportunity to check the condition of your shutters, if you have any, and replace the hardware if necessary.
- Prepare your exterior pipes and your water meter, as these elements can be put to the test during the winter. If you spot any leaks, remember to repair them before the cold weather arrives. You can also place pieces of polystyrene in the trap door of your water meter.
Winter Home Maintenance: The Actions to be Carried Out Inside
Have you reviewed all the exterior elements of your home? Perfect! So the next step is to take care of the inner part.
Maintain Your Heating System
This task will, of course, be different depending on the type of heater you have. In any case, be sure to test its operation before the temperatures begin to drop to be sure to maintain an optimal level of comfort inside.
- If you have a chimney: you will have to sweep it, which will prevent any risk of accident or smoke in your home. In addition, be aware that this action is part of your annual obligations regarding your home insurance. After the intervention, remember to send your insurer the certificate given by your craftsman.
- If you have a wood stove, the sweeping step is also mandatory. Likewise, it will be necessary to carry out a complete cleaning of your stove and empty the ashes.
- If you have a gas or oil boiler, you will need to make an appointment with a professional for an annual review.
- If your radiators run on hot water, be sure to bleed them to remove any air that may have gotten in during. It is also advisable to carry out a complete sludge removal once every 5 years in order to optimize their energy performance.
- Finally, if you have electric heating, remember to dust off your radiators before turning them back on to avoid generating unpleasant burning odors.
Check Walls, Windows, and Doors
As with the exterior, it is always a good idea to check the condition of your interior walls before winter arrives. This will ensure no water infiltration or capillary rise, which can cause serious humidity problems in your home.
If you have easy access to the attic, take the opportunity to check the insulating materials’ condition. Likewise, remember to inspect all your exterior openings (entrance doors, windows, skylights, etc.) to detect any infiltration of cold air and caulk the areas concerned.
However, be careful never to block the vents, as they are absolutely essential for adequately functioning your ventilation system.
Check The Status of The VMC or HPV
During the winter season, your ventilation system will be the most stressed. However, its role is crucial because it is what allows you to breathe clean, healthy air every day. It also takes care of evacuating the overflow of humidity in your home and thus protects you from condensation problems.
To properly maintain your ventilation system, it is important to check its operating condition and clean the circulation ducts if necessary. This is also the ideal time to clean the bathroom exhaust vents. If you have an HPV-type system, it may be time to replace the filter.
Preparing your home for winter doesn’t have to be exhausting every year. However, creating a winter home checklist with the items above will be a great way to quickly run through the things that need to be done when the weather starts to turn.
Stay warm this winter!