How to Winterize Your Calgary House
With cooler temps just around the corner, savvy homeowners are making their to-do lists to winterize their homes. Back-to-school time is the perfect reminder that it is time to prepare your home for fall and winter. If you aren't sure where to start, we have a checklist for you to make sure you can relax with peace of mind all winter long.
1. Clean your gutters
Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, cleaning your gutters and downspouts before temperatures dip below freezing is an absolute must. Various debris may have collected throughout the summer, and falling autumn leaves are a particular nuisance. You may need to clean out the gutters a couple of times during the fall season if your home is under lots of deciduous branches. If you find that your gutters are filling quickly, consider installing leaf guards. This can limit the crowding of the gutters.
Crowded gutters can become a major hazard during winter, so give yourself the gift of peace of mind by handling it before you've got a frozen gutter and damaged home on your hands.
2. Assess the condition of your roof
Your roof should be in tip-top shape before winter begins. Any cracks or leaks will be aggravated by extra moisture and freezing temperatures. Get up on the roof and do a visual inspection, looking for bent, cracked, or missing shingles. If you see any signs or loose screws or rust, investigate further to make sure there aren't any leaks.
3. Protect your deck
If you have a wooden deck, be sure to clear it of all debris and apply a coat of sealant before winter. If you did this in the spring, no need to re-seal, but clearing all leaves and dirt will still be a good call. Consider laying down a tarp to protect the deck from snow, and take care when shoveling snow throughout the winter to not damage the wood beneath.
4. Blow out your sprinklers
At the end of the watering season, be sure to hire a professional to blow out your irrigation system. Sprinklers with water left in them as the ground freezes are likely to result in burst pipes. Save yourself a major headache in the spring by getting all water out of the pipes before the first freeze.
5. Store summer essentials inside
If you have the space in your garage, basement, or other storage areas, bring in summer essentials to store for the winter away from the elements. Your patio furniture, grill, summer yard games, and other warm weather items will be best kept for next year inside.
Some people don't have indoor space to protect their patio furniture and grills. If this is true of you, consider well-fitting covers instead to extend the life of your belongings.
6. Seal gaps in windows and doors
Especially common in older homes, gaps can develop around windows and doors that result in cold drafts all winter long. Winterize your home by looking at all the windows and doors in your home and sealing up any gaps with caulking or weather stripping.
7. Clean your chimney
Does your home have a fireplace? This is one of the favourite features of a home in Calgary all winter long, but it does require an extra maintenance step before you begin using it for the season. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional to avoid any toxic fumes in the home or fire hazards. The professional will also check that your flue has a tight seal.
8. Replace your HVAC filter
Get your heating system ready for a season of lots of use by replacing the filter. If you have any concerns about your HVAC system or your home is older than 10 years old, consider calling out a professional to do an inspection and make sure everything looks good.
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