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Alu-Rex > Eavestroughs and rain water management blog

fall_houseAs fall settles in and the days get shorter, it’s time to start getting your home ready for winter to avoid any nasty surprises. You want to be sure it will withstand not only the wind and cold temperatures, but also the spring thaw.

Preparation of the outside of the house

  1. Wash the windows and remove the screens to let in more light. Ensure weather stripping is watertight so no water or cold air can get in.
  2. Purge the outdoor taps and close the hose pipe valves. If water is left in the pipes, it can freeze and cause them to burst.
  3. Remove leaves and dead branches from around the perimeter of the house as they tend to attract rodents and ants, which can then attempt to find a way into the house.
  4. Clean out the gutters and make sure downspouts are free of debris if you don’t have leaf guards installed. Buildup of leaves and debris can cause blockages, which can lead to water seeping into the roof and foundation.
  5. Check that the home’s air extractor vents (range hood, bathroom fan, etc.) are in good condition. Small rodents will often try to get in through the vents.
  6. Make sure skylights are watertight.
  7. Sweep out the chimney if you have one, to reduce the buildup of pipe-blocking creosote.
  8. Check the roof and repair or replace any damaged shingles, which can allow water to seep into the roof.
  9. Prune and cover perennials and shrubs so they don’t get damaged by the weight of the snow.
  10. Close up and cover the swimming pool so it doesn’t fill with dead leaves.
  11. Stow or cover patio furniture to protect it from the elements.

Preparation for inside the home

  1. Clean the heating system. If you heat with electricity, wipe down the baseboard heaters to avoid nasty odors when they are first turned on. If you have a furnace, replace or clean the filter. It’s also a good idea to make sure your heating system is in good working order and ensure you have a full supply of fuel (wood, heating oil, or other).
  2. If you have an air exchange system, change or clean the filter.
  3. Check whether the windows require additional insulation. A weather strip film can substantially boost their insulating factor.
  4. Clean the home’s air intake vents to ensure they are in good working order.
  5. Replace smoke and CO2 detector batteries and replace any smoke detectors that are more than 10 years old and any CO2 detectors more than 5 years old (normal lifespan). The manufacturing date is usually marked on the device.

Once you’ve completed these jobs around the house, you’ll be ready to face the rigors of winter, from the warmth and comfort of your home!

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