Snowy residential street in Greater Toronto Area

The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder! If you’re a Durham Region resident, you know that winters can be tough. From freezing temperatures to heavy snow, a lot of us aren’t looking forward to the season ahead… but we can be prepared for it!

Before the snowstorms and the freezing rain, before scraping ice off your windshield and shoveling the driveway in the morning, there are few things you can do around the house to help with the oncoming winter weather. Here are our best tips for winter home maintenance.

Check All Windows

As a general rule, you’ll always want to check up on your windows. Drafts can cause your heating bill to skyrocket—so you’ll want to take a look every once in a while.

Ensure your windows are fully closed and that there aren’t any cracks or drafts. You’ll also want to check the condition of your window frames in case they will need to be replaced. Pay close attention specifically to basement windows. If you have bug screens, you might consider removing them for the winter months, too, as  snow can sometimes get trapped here. 

Note Trees And Landscaping

Winter storms can wreck havoc on both your home and the trees outside. Take note of any mature trees on your property that could be impacted by heavy snow or ice. Older trees are especially prone to having branches snap in certain weather conditions, so you’ll want to be aware of problem areas before this can happen.

You may also want to wrap some of your trees, specifically evergreen trees, in burlap. This will help protect them from the elements, but will also help prevent damage (to the tree or your home!) in event of a big winter storm. 

As well, take a note of walkways that may get slippery with ice, and areas around your roof/gutters where icicles may form (and later potentially fall). Remember that salt will melt ice, but sand is a good alternative for traction—although it doesn’t have any melting capabilities.

Make Sure Your Heating System Is Working

Before the really cold weather arrives, you’ll want to test your heating system to make sure it all works well. If you have any filters that need to be changed, this is also a good time to do that! In any case, if you require maintenance from a professional, then it’s better to get in contact with someone sooner rather than later.

If your heating system includes a fireplace or chimney, the same rules apply. Check to make sure everything is clean, and/or schedule maintenance from a professional.

Clean Up… Thoroughly!

Winter settling in is a great opportunity for you to clean up clutter around the home. You’ll also be able to swap around the things you need for the warmer months for the things you need for the colder months. This includes anything from coats, boots, and scarves to blankets and bedsheets.

If you have a garage, this is also a good time to clean up in there, so that you are able to easily park your car. Parking your car inside saves on time when you’re in a rush; it’s easier to clear snow from the driveway and you won’t have ice build up on your vehicle's windows. 

When cleaning up, you’ll also have the opportunity to take note of things you don’t have or things you should replace!

Have The Right Equipment

Take inventory of the things that you’ll need for the winter ahead around the home. This means anything from candles to snow shovels! You want to be prepared for the weather, and all the things that come with it. The best time to buy a snow shovel and snow blower is summer, but the second-best time is before the first storm hits!

Consider also stocking up on batteries, flashlights, and/or candles in the case of a power outage. While we might not see anything to the extent of the ice storm of 2013, it's a good idea to be ready just in case!

Are you interested in moving to the Durham Region? Contact a Dan Plowman realtor today! We can help you find the home you’ve been dreaming of.

Steven Slinn Durham Region Realtor

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