Winterize your home- Tips and Tricks!

As the cooler seasons arrive, we often find ourselves scrambling to find the best Winter apparel for our families to keep them warm throughout the season. Sometimes, taking care of our homes is not on our list of priorities. It is important to also consider your homes when preparing for winter to ensure everything will function properly until spring. “Winterizing” your home does not have to be an expensive endeavour. “Winterizing”, the process of equipping your home for snowfall, can be done in good time and on a budget. Today, we’re providing you with a few steps not to forget when getting your home ready for Winter. 

 Winterizing is necessary on both the interior of your home and the exterior. For the exterior:

 

  1. Clearing your water spouts- Leaves and other debris will build up in drain spouts and gutters constantly. Before winter, it is crucial that your drain eavestroughs are clear of buildup, otherwise the risk of water backup and ice damage is high. Safely using a ladder and a broom to clear this out will do the trick, just make sure the ladder is secure and extra caution is exercised when working from heights. 
  2. Caulking- Inspecting the frames of windows and doors from the outside of your home for holes is smart before a cold winter. Any openings should be sealed with caulking before the cold and humidity is able to get into your homes. 
  3. Branch Trimming- Any branches or trees that could pose a threat throughout the winter should be trimmed. When deciding which trees to trim, their proximity to your home and potential to fall in high winds should be considered. Conifers trees (trees with needles) have the potential to carry a lot of weight in snow, as their branches do not become bare throughout the winter; this should also be considered. 
  4. Garden Hoses and Sprinkler Systems- Garden hoses should be disconnected and removed this fall. Any remaining water left in these pipes should be blown out, and the external water valve should be closed for the winter if that is available to you. It may be worthy in many cases to consider hiring a professional to blow out any remaining water in sprinkler systems. If much water remains stagnant in these pipes throughout the winter, damage is likely to occur if the temperatures sink low. Outdoor pools should also be cared for in this manner. 
  5. Patio furniture- Don't forget to store your patio furniture in a covered area to avoid damage. Depending upon the “rating” of your furniture (ie. “all seasons”, “summer”, etc), care can be modified. 

 

Now for the interior of your home:

 

  1. Heating systems- Ensure you change the filters in your central air and heating systems. Filters are generally around $10 and allow your heat systems to function more efficiently and effectively. 
  2. Window Insulation Film- It may not be the most stylish home decor accessory, but Window Insulation Film saves up to 70% of your heat from escaping through the windows! Kits usually range from $20-$35, and are definitely worth the savings on heat throughout the winter. If you’re not familiar with the concept, essentially a giant sheet of plastic wrap is adhered to your windows from the inside to prevent heat loss. Its a quick DIY that will keep you warm all season. 
  3. Draft Guards- Weather you wish to purchase a sleek draft guard to attach to the bottom of any exterior doors, or just roll up a towel and make your own, a lot of heat can be saved from leaking outside— and vice versa! 
  4. Turning off heat- Lastly, never turn off your heat if you're leaving for any period of time over the winter. Indoor room temperatures must be maintained to ensure pipes do not become frozen.  

With those steps accounted for, your home will be well prepared for whatever conditions this winter throws our way! 

 

Happy Winterizing everybody,  

HRC Insurance

 

Sources:

 

  1. www.bobvila.com 


Since the 1900's...

Born under the name George Hutcheson, Hutcheson, Reynolds & Caswell Ltd. began providing insurance policies in Muskoka since the early 1900s. Bernard Reynolds joined the firm in the 1940s and purchased the firm from George Hutcheson in 1967. Finally, in 1980, David Caswell joined the company's ranks to complete Hutcheson, Reynolds and Caswell. We have grown along with our name and provide the same dedication to superior customer service and top-notch insurance coverage that George Hutcheson was famous for over 100 years ago.