Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Home for Winter!

With the chilly weather of the last few days, there is no doubt, winter is fast approaching.

Before the big winter freeze up, it is important for the homeowner to carry out several duties to protect their home.

1. Storm / Thaw Water Management
With the freeze, then thaw type of climate that we experience in Calgary and surrounding areas, it is essential to remove debris from the roof and then thoroughly clean out the gutters and downspouts. This will ensure proper drainage and prevent damage. All of the downspout extensions should be in position to carry the roof melt away from the foundation. If water is allowed to pool next to the foundation it could seep into the basement. Cleaning stairwell and driveway drains will also prevent backups during the winter.

2. Winterize Outside Taps
Winterizing the outside hose taps is important to prevent freezing and splitting of the pipes. Failure to do this could cause leakages that may go undetected until spring. Winterizing the taps is accomplished as follows:
-shut off the outside tap from the isolating valve inside the house
-drain the outside tap by opening the drain cock on the tap on the supply valve inside the house
-lastly, close the drain cock after draining the line. Some types of outside hose bibs are frost-free and will not have an indoor shut off. This type self-drains and is not prone to freezing.

3. Chimney Caps
All chimney caps and flue covers should be checked for damage and ensure that they are properly in place.

4. Heating System
The most important part of our home during the winter is the heating system.
The furnace filter should be changed at least twice a year. A clean filter means better performance of the furnace no matter what age the furnace is. Furnace fan belts should be checked for damage and proper tension. The humidifier should be cleaned and serviced to ensure proper performance. The heating system should be serviced on a regular basis to ensure safe, reliable heating of the home.

5. Weather Stripping
Examine all window and door weather stripping for any damage and replace as necessary. This will prevent cold breezes from getting in and heat escaping out.

Stay warm out there!