Follow these tips to winterize your home and stay warm

The weather is getting colder and with Old Man Winter around the corner, it’s important to make sure you and your home are prepared. Use these tips to stay cozy and know you’re protected until the spring thaw.

Exterior

Empty exterior pipes To keep your pipes from freezing and bursting, empty all exterior taps and shut off the valves until next spring.

Inspect gutters, roof and exterior walls Empty leaves or any other debris from gutters, and make sure they’re still firmly attached. Now is the time to replace any shingles on your roof that are broken or loose to avoid any leaks that could happen when the temperature drops with a pile of snow on the roof. Inspect all walls for developing cracks that need to be sealed to keep water out; the freezing and thawing of water can cause major damage.

Clean and store outdoor furniture If you haven’t already, ensure your patio tables, chairs and barbecue are cleaned and stored away. Avoid rust on your grills by brushing them with vegetable oil and wrapping them in newspaper.

Interior

Protect pipes from extreme cold Water expands in the cold, which means when a severe cold snap hits, pipes can be at risk of bursting. Seal any air leaks surrounding plumbing indoors to keep out cold drafts. On very cold days, keeping faucets running just enough to drip can prevent water from freezing inside the pipes.

Insulate doors and windows If you feel a draft around door and window frames, it may be time to install (or replace) the weather-stripping. You may also want to seal windows with inexpensive yet effective weather-strip film. You can find DIY insulation film at your local hardware store.

Clean heating and ventilation systems Before turning your heat on, clean electric baseboards to prevent bad odours when they come back on and test each one to ensure they’re all working properly. If you have an air exchanger, clean it before using it too, or you’ll find yourself in a house full of the dust that’s accumulated in the ductwork over the summer months.

Now is also a good time to check in with you home insurance provider to make sure your optional coverages account for your needs. This can include risks like water damage from in-ground or above-ground sources and water service pipe damage. But rest assured, if you run into problems, your insurance provider will be with you every step of the way. Some providers like Belairdirect even offer home claim forgiveness, which can protect your premium from increasing after your first claim. Find more information at belairdirect.com.

credit – newscanada