How to Prepare Your Home for Cold Weather In 5 Easy Steps

Jene J. Long

Fall ushers in beautiful leaves and cozy days spent at home with your loved ones. But before settling in to enjoy everything the season has to offer, Canadian Tire and Yahoo Canada are here to help you complete your Fall to-do list. From how to prepare your yard for fall to garage storage tips you need to know, we’re bringing you everything you need.

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

Canadian Winters are hard on homes. Unless your home is properly prepared, snow, sleet and sub-zero temperatures can result in structural damage, costly repairs and expensive monthly energy bills. Although there’s still a few weeks to go before Winter is officially here, Fall is the perfect time to inspect, detect and repair any issues with your home before the cold front is here to stay.

To help you, we’ve rounded up a step by step guide to Winter-proof your home, so that you can settle in for a comfy and cozy season worry-free.

Step 1: Walk the perimeter

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

Inspecting the perimeter of your home is one of the easiest ways to prevent issues with your house. In the Fall and Spring, check your home’s foundation for any changes to existing cracks or new cracks that could potentially grow as the weather gets colder. While some cracks are common, others can cause severe structural damage if left untreated — so make sure to contact your local basement and foundation repair company for an evaluation.

A perimeter check can also help you identify potential drainage issues that could result in pooling water. Look for any areas where the soil has settled, and fill with new soil. Be sure that all downspouts are in working condition and pointing away from the foundation of your home. Downspout extenders, like the Flex-A-Spout, can help ensure water from your gutters is safely diverted away from your home, helping you to avoid potential water damage.

Step 2: Seal cracks in your patio or driveway

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

Just like you would check for cracks in your foundation, it’s important to identify any cracks to your patio stones or driveway. Driveways are an expensive home investment, and as the temperature drops, concrete and asphalt can crack, decreasing the curb appeal of your home.

If you’re looking to fully reseal your driveway this Fall, it’s important to make sure you do tasks in the right order to avoid hassle down the road. First, inspect your driveway for any cracks or other damage — it’s integral to fix that damage before sealing the driveway.

Sealing requires a clean surface, so you’ll want to make sure it’s free of any weeds that were growing in cracks. After that, we suggest pressure washing your driveway to get rid of any dirt or debris. Don’t forget to wear safety goggles during this step to avoid any particles ending up in your eye.

After that, cracks can be repaired by applying products like Stone Mason Concrete Crack Filler to any problem areas.

Once cracks have been filled, you can go ahead and apply the sealant. Asphalt driveways can be resealed using do-it-yourself products like Ultimate Driveway Sealer, which actually strengthens with UV exposure, to help prevent any future damage and water seepage.

Using the brush side of a sealant applicator, apply a thin coat of sealant the entire length of the driveway and allow a few hours to dry. While the Ultimate Driveway Sealer only takes four hours to dry, other sealants can take up to 24-36 hours — so be mindful of what brand you’re using. After your first coat has applied, apply another thin coat on top and let dry again. Make sure the driveway has fully dried before use.

Step 3: Clean your gutters

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

Cleaning your gutters is another easy, but important, task all homeowners should aim to complete twice a year (Fall and Spring). Months of wind and rain cause gutters and downspouts to become clogged with leaves and debris, impairing their ability to collect and clear water away from your home.

In the Winter, ice dams can form on your roof, causing water to seep into your roof, potentially causing water damage and even mould to form. If your gutters fill with ice, they can pull away from your home, leaving your roof and fascia vulnerable to ice damming.

Depending on your home and comfort level with heights, you can clean your gutters yourself using a ladder, a hose and a trowel to collect debris. With the right extensions, you can even use a shop vac or a leaf blower to safely clean your gutters

Step 4: Prevent frozen pipes

Photo via Canadian Tire
Photo via Canadian Tire

A burst pipe can be an expensive home repair and a headache for homeowners. Foam pipe wrap is an easy fix for areas that are prone to freezing such as your attic or garage. Apply foam wrap to exposed pipes to regulate temperature and prevent heat loss, which allows you to keep your water cost down in the cold Winter months.

If you’re looking to prevent Winter plumbing issues in your cottage or RV, WinterProof Water System Antifreeze is also a great liquid option that prevents freezing.

Step 5: Weatherproof your windows and doors

Photo via Getty Images
Photo via Getty Images

Damage to the seal surrounding your windows can drive up your energy bills during the Winter. Inspect the trim around your windows from both the exterior and interior of your home and assess your needs.

You can easily remove and replace exterior caulking with a 100% silicone caulk, like the GE Silicone II Window & Door Sealant that’s weatherproof, freeze proof and waterproof. For interior repairs, stick to a paintable, non-toxic caulk, such as DAP Alex Plus Latex Caulking. For more affordable fixes, use draft stoppers like the Frost King Double Draft Stop on windows and doors, or shrink film insulation kits to help prevent any cold air from entering your home.

Canadian Tire and Yahoo Canada are helping Canadians seize the everyday this Fall, with tips, tricks and everything you need for the season. Click here for more!

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