Everyone agrees that summer went by very quickly. With a snap of the fingers, we are back to the sometimes-comforting routine of fall. When the colourful season is well-established, it allows us to engage in many exciting activities, while preparing ourselves for winter. October is the perfect time to prepare your home for the year’s coldest months. Here is a short guide of the main things to prepare for winter.
Make sure you have shut off exterior water outlets. To do so, empty their water content completely and ensure that only air is present. The same goes for garden hoses; use an air compressor to dry them thoroughly before rolling them. Then, store them in a place where they will be protected from the weather.
Take time to observe your house’s doors and windows. Make sure there is no air leakage. If necessary, caulk any dried or cracked edges. Keep a small tube of caulking in the house, in case you need to do some touch-ups during winter. Also, check windowsills and door weatherstripping. Fall is the perfect time to seal small air intakes for a warm winter while reducing your electricity bill!
Remove any firewood that may have been stored near your house’s flooring. It is carpenter ants and field mice’s ideal environment. The same goes for branches that are too long. Be sure to prune trees near your house. It avoids them from rubbing against your home once it is icy, and from damaging its exterior covering.
Prune your annual plants, so they are ready for cold weather and can grow back correctly in the spring. Fall is also the ideal time to start preparing your grounds for the following year. Some perennial bulbs can be planted in the fall rather than after winter when the soil is too wet. To ensure a beautiful bloom, add a good organic compost when you plant. One less step to make when opening your garden!
Store your wooden garden furniture indoors and cover your PVC garden furniture with a tarp. It can spend the winter outside without any problem, if not directly exposed to snow and cold.
If you are among the lucky ones who have a swimming pool, October is also the perfect time to close it. If you do not hire a professional to prepare your pool facility for winter properly, make sure you empty your pool to a third of the water level, store the motor in the shed (if you have one) or cover it well (if it must spend the winter outside). Empty the pipes, pour antifreeze, cover the pool with a tarp if necessary, and that is it!
Fall is also a good time to empty the house’s eavestroughs. Remove leaves and debris that could get stuck in the gutters to save you troubles in winter.
Most work is done outside. However, there are some things inside that also deserve your attention.
Cold weather’s return makes us want to get our home up and running again. In addition to warming up our living space, the fireplace provides a calm and relaxing atmosphere. To avoid trouble, make sure to have your chimney swept in the fall. Call a professional who will clean the accumulation of soot, which prevents unpleasant odours and fire hazards.
To avoid unwanted visitors (such as field mice) looking for a little heat, check that the doors of the dryer, range hood, central vacuum and some fans are appropriately closed. Replace the grids if they are damaged. Take advantage of your inspection to clean and empty the various ducts. Make sure the air will circulate properly throughout winter.
Be prepared and take advantage of the time change, on the first Sunday in November, to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Ensure they are working correctly. You can never be too careful when it comes to your family’s safety!
Your home is now ready to face our winters. Fortunately, we still have more beautiful fall days before the first snowflakes appear in the sky. Enjoy them!