Fall in Ottawa has arrived and winter is around the corner and just like the squirrels we need to prepare for the colder months ahead. Getting our homes ready for the colder months in Ottawa is important for good home maintenance. From sealing any exterior window and door gaps with caulking to touch up painting, be ready with these tips as your guideline.
Preparing Our Homes For Colder Weather
As much as many of us in Ottawa would love for the warm, sunny weather to stick around all year round, we do need to prepare for the colder temperatures ahead. Preparing our homes for the colder weather takes a little bit of work. We need to reverse the process of the things we did for the spring and summer maintenance checklist.
Here are a few tips on what you can do to check off all the boxes so that everything is ready before the deep freeze.
Fall and Winter Home Maintenance Checklist
Start with making sure you turn off the exterior water hoses from inside the house. Drain any water left behind in the hose and remove and store the hose in a shed, basement or garage until the warm spring weather returns.
- Turning off all outdoor water faucets from the inside taps of the house will ensure the pipes in your home are protected from freezing when temperatures start to drop. Otherwise you may be looking at the pipes freezing and bursting and have major problems and property damage.
- Store the barbecue grill, and any patio furniture to protect it from harsh cold and keep it from rusting. If storage space is lacking, consider protecting them with covers you can purchase at any of the garden centres.
- Give the lawnmower are cleaning and store it to make space for the snowblower. A quick tune-up to the snowblower by topping off of all fluids and ensuring it has a full tank of gas will make it easier to have it ready for that first major snowfall.
- Clean the gutters, water spouts and eaves-troughs from all the debris. Making sure they are clear of fall leaves, dirt build up will help ensure a clear way for the water to drain once the ice melts again in the spring, and prevents any back up into the roof or siding.
- Cleaning up the leaves around the exterior parts of the house will prevent little critters like mice and chipmunks from finding ways to get inside the home. They seem to like finding areas covered in leaves to hide, and there’s always a small pin hole they can get in through. Don’t give them the invitation by leaving the leaves around the home.
- Seal any gaps around the exterior of your house with the right type of caulk so that little critters cannot get in. Caulking the gaps will help significantly in preventing the mice from finding that tiny pin point of entry. You can walk around the home with a mirror held up under the areas where gaps may be and then apply the caulk to seal them.
- Check the areas around the kitchen fan and the laundry room clothes dryer vents are to ensure they are properly caulked and sealed.
Fall is the perfect time to prune ttrees and bushes around the property. Properly caring for them before the cold months will ensure their health and survival to once again flourish in the Spring.
- Take a walk around your house and look for any signs of damage to the roof, siding or foundation. If there are things you notice that may need repairing, then you still have time to do them yourself or call in a roofing professional when winter damage is noticed.
- Take a look at the exterior paint around the house and ask yourself when the last time a touch up or repainting was done. Between 3 to 5 years is how often you need to paint the exterior of the house to keep it well maintained and looking its best.
- Check if the paint is cracking or flaking around the windows or front door. If it is now may be the right time to get some repainting done. You can do it yourself if it is minor or chose to hire a professional painting company in Ottawa to take care of it for you. Fall or spring is the perfect time of year to get the best exterior painting results, from minor touch ups to a new colour when you paint the front door, garage or any other exterior surface.
- Protect the outside of your home from harsh environmental stresses of winter with a new coat of paint for protection.
- Check with a qualified painter to see if maintenance is needed to the exterior paint. Painting the exterior of your home is good maintenance and helps prevent problems with exterior paint such as peeling or sticking. Make sure if you are painting the exterior yourself that you avoid painting soon after it rains, and if the temperature has dipped passed the -5 degrees as this will create poor adhesion of the paint finish.
- Maintaining the paint on the outside of your house will help sell faster if you are considering putting it on the Ottawa real estate market.
To ensure you are prepared for the colder temperatures ahead make sure you do the following things around the house to keep up the maintenance.
- Check the weatherstripping around the frames of the windows and doors, to make sure no cold air enters and no heat escapes. This will also help make your home more energy efficient.
- If you have a window installed air conditioner, make sure to remove it or make sure it’s properly covered and insulated to keep the cold air out. If you have a regular A/C unit outside of the house that works through the furnace then make sure you have it checked to make sure it’s ready to go again in the spring. Call an Ottawa Furnace and Air Conditioning expert to ensure that both the furnace and air conditioning units will be running properly when needed. It’s a good idea to get yearly maintenance on both the furnace and air conditioner units.
- Check dryer vents of all lint build up to ensure your dryer ducts are working properly and most importantly reduces the risk of a fire in your home.
- Check the fireplace and chimney before starting that first cozy fire this winter. Make sure the inside of the fireplace is clean from leftover build up of ashes and soot.
- For you and your family’s safety make sure you change the batteries in the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Batteries need replacing once a year to make sure that alarm is working when its needed. Check the expiry date on any home fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Find more information on fire safety from the City of Ottawa website.
Before winter officially arrives, remember to enjoy some beautiful walks around Ottawa. All the fall colours and the fresh air are precious to us before the hibernating months of brutal cold and deep freezing temperatures settle in.
Get out for a fresh air walk and enjoy the beauty of fall colours at Dow’s Lake, Hog’s Back, Rockcliffe Park, and all the other beautiful things to do in Ottawa and enjoy for as we all know we can go to sleep one night with mild sunny weather and wake up to brutal cold and drudging snow and ice the next morning here in Ottawa.
When you take the time to prepare your home for the fall and winter you will be able to sit back and relax as the cold weather moves in. If you need assistance with any painting services feel free to contact Ottawa painters.
This post was originally published on Sept 24, 2017 and edited on Apr 16, 2020