Every fall, when the brisk winds begin nipping our noses, many homeowners ask themselves: “Did I do everything required to prepare my home properly for winter? “

Indeed, there are many things to inspect before the first snowfall:

  • The flat roof
  • The gutters
  • The garden hose
  • The barbecue
  • The carport
  • The air exchangers
  • The exhaust vents
  • Branches
  • The radiator
  • The heat pump

Last year’s post covered all these points in detail. However, to ensure you’ve got everything covered, here are a few additional things to consider during your inspection.


1. Door and window insulation

Did you know that poor insulation contributes to nearly 32% of heat loss in a home? Often, doors and windows are the culprits.

What to consider:

  • If your doors and windows are less than 20 years old, you can install new weatherstrips.
  • If your doors and windows have reached their end of life, it’s better to have them replaced.

You may want to consider reaching out to the Rénoclimat program, which can help you find an expert to perform a blower door test. With that said, it’s worth noting that corrective measures are likely to be undertaken after the thaw.

All this to say, a comprehensive analysis of your home is a crucial part of optimizing its energy performance.


2. Pests

Not every outdoor critter hibernates during winter. Often, small rodents look to your home for warmth once the frost hits!

To deter these unwanted guests, check your exhaust vents:

  • Your dryer vents
  • Your range hood
  • Your air exchanger vents
  • Your bathroom vents

If you spot spaces where pests might enter, consider installing suitable grating. Additionally, any building envelope holes must be sealed using metal coating and mortar.


3. The garden

Your summer love affair with the garden has finally come to an end. It’s time to prepare it for the winter weather.

Specifically, your garden’s irrigation system must be drained of all accumulated water to prevent pipe deterioration. The same goes for the pool, which also requires antifreeze before winter (follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you don’t forget anything).

You’ll also want to consider a visit to your local garden supply store to learn how to keep your perennial vegetation protected.

Lastly, all garden furniture should be covered and stored to prevent natural pollutants from clogging.


4. Drains

It’s easy to forget, but your drainage basins often accumulate debris during summer. Remember to empty them to avoid potential water damage!

However, this type of maintenance is not seasonal and can happen during any time of the year, including summer.


5. The chimney

Has your chimney been swept this year? If not, be sure to do it before winter arrives. Ensure gas and smoke properly exit your home when you’re cozying around the fire this December.

Also, be sure to remove soot and creosote build-up, commonly the cause of chimney fires.


6. Masonry

Brick and stone-wall degradation are often the results of freezing and thawing.

The phenomenon can cause joints to crack and eventually leak. It can also lead to structural problems such as beef belly.

To correct these problems, you may require the expertise of a mason either before or after the winter season.



So, are you ready?

You’re probably quite familiar with the number of steps involved in preparing your home for winter. Indeed, you may even be able to perform several of these steps yourself. Nevertheless, there are always more complex areas where the expertise of a general contractor is crucial.

Winter’s coming fast. Is your home ready for it?