As the crisp autumn air nips at our heels, we begin to prepare for seasonal change inside and outside our home. Before we dive into multicoloured leaf piles and warm up with a pumpkin spice beverage, there are several tasks that shouldn’t be overlooked before the temperatures start to fall below zero and the snow blankets our lawn.
Keeping Out the Cold
Before the autumn chill arrives, keep the draft out by following our tips to repair window seals in your home. This will not only help keep your house cozy through the winter months; it could also help reduce your home heating bills.
If you feel a draft or see moisture around your window sill, the best place to start is to determine if it’s one of two common window seal issues: a problem with your caulking or a problem with your weather-stripping. Here’s how to recognize—and tackle—both issues.
If you’ve given your windows a thorough inspection and there seems to be no issue with the sealant or the weather-stripping, there may be a greater problem to solve: perhaps with the window frame itself, the insulation, or the siding of the home. Give a renovation company a call and let them help you determine how the best way to keep the cold weather where it belongs—on the outside.
Withstand Extreme Weather Conditions
With inclement weather, most often the result is damage to the home’s roof, exterior walls, and windows. It is important to be aware and educated about your home’s vulnerabilities. Have a building inspector evaluate your residence is key. Because every building is different, building inspectors can offer important insights into your home’s capacity to withstand certain weather conditions.
Store Summer Items
Being prepared can protect your family and property are against severe damage. Before inclement weather hits, remove loose items such as trash cans, and lawn furniture. Have ample storage for all outdoor items such as trampolines, playground equipment, gazebo, and patio decor. If storage isn’t possible, consider securely covering these outdoor accessories to avoid direct contact with sleet or heavy snowfall.
Inspect Your Roof
To help minimize severe damage, check any areas that might be particularly vulnerable to the elements, such as the roof. Look for warped areas, missing shingles, or popped roofing nails. If the roof is old or showing signs of damage or decay, re-roofing can significantly strengthen a home’s defenses against inclement weather.
Don’t Get Bogged Down by Water Damage
Water can enter homes and gradually deteriorate the interior and contents. Runoff can quickly overwhelm natural and manmade systems, leading to flooding and property damage. Extend your gutter downspouts away from the house to keep moisture from seeping into your basement or foundation. Replacing impervious areas with pervious surfaces, such as permeable paving stones or pavers, can also help.
Have someone experienced and qualified check the roof, foundation, and gutters for any build-up or signs of deterioration that occurred over the summer. When washing the exterior of your windows, walk around your home to look for any holes that could potentially let critters into your home.
Consider Ways to Transition the Inside of Your Home
One of the ways you can prepare for the change of seasons is by sorting through clothing and donating items that were unworn this past season that you may have been holding on to. If they seem to take up real estate year after year without much or any use, it may be time to let go. This frees up space and declutters as you prepare for potentially more time in the home as the cold gets colder. Another way to transition seasons is by creating a checklist of items that may need replacing or checking. For example:
- Batteries (in flashlights, smoke detectors and other carbon monoxide detectors).
- Filters such as furnace filters and even dryer and water filters
- Test out your winter items such as snow blowers, humidifiers, and safety detectors.
- Update your inventory of fall and winter items, such as sand or salt (depending on your location and local bylaws) for ice removal, and water or canned goods in case of a blizzard or major storm.
One final way to transition is with décor and living spaces. Adding some different colours and decor to the home can help to create a new feel to the space that prepares you for a new season ahead. Finding space for a workstation in a quiet area can help students focus on homework throughout the school year. Additionally, consider adding new textures and warmer blankets to the bedroom or living areas to keep cozy on cooler evenings. And, if you truly want to transform a space, consider changing any potpourri, candles or aromatherapy you may have throughout the home. Scents can revive memories of seasons’ past and create another level of ambiance for creating new ones!