9 Ways to Winterize Your Home
- Air conditioning
It's a godsend during the hot but fleeting summer months, so you should protect it before winter hits. During the fall you should remove debris from the fan blades and condensing coils of your condensing unit by spraying it with a garden hose. To get the best results use the highest water pressure available. Next, cover it with a breathable cover to protect it from rusting and freezing. This will extend the life and improve the efficiency of your air conditioner.
- Tree protection
When the temperature starts to drop, remember to ice and snow-proof your trees. For instance, many elms, poplars, birches and willows have difficulties handling the weight of ice on their branches. Prevent a winter disaster by cutting all dead and unhealthy branches. Here's a helpful tip: Prune inward towards the centre of the tree.
- Tree planting
The best time to plant trees is either in the late winter or early spring. If your schedule can't accommodate this, the fall will suffice. Just remember to plant new trees at least 45 feet away from utility wires and to properly water them during the fall.
Burst and frozen pipes during the winter can cost you a pretty penny. So be kind to your wallet by insulating exposed piping. Insulate all exposed water or drain piping (e.g., attic, crawl space and exterior walls) with electrical heating tape and foam insulation.
- Cut the connection
Cut the connection
Always disconnect your garden hoses and sprinkler accessories, and install outdoor faucet covers. By dog so, you will prevent frost and prevent moisture from escaping.
- Ice dams
Don't forget to insulate your roof and crawl spaces as winter approaches. If not, snow and ice will melt and refreeze. Should this occur, you could find an unwanted build up of water (a.k.a. ice dams) on your home. Melted snow is blocked on the eave and in the gutter, which can leak through the roof space, damage the roof structure, insulation, ceilings and walls.
- Driveways and walkways
Driveways and walkways
Salting your drive way and walkways is a must during the winter. Unfortunately, your trees and shrubs won't be big fans of salt. So protect them using a burlap wrap. To find the best options for your plants ask an expert at your local garden nursery.
As part of your fall landscaping checklist, you'll want to remove broadleaf weeds and have a soil test done to check the soil pH of your lawn. This will help you to improve the health of your lawn for the next year. If necessary, give your deck a fresh coat of sealer before the winter. As well, tie down and cover your lawn/patio furniture, and drain your water fountains.
- Heating system
Ideally, you should give your heating system a test run during the month of October.
And you should also check for carbon monoxide leaks. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, which can be easily detected by using a test badge or a battery operated alarm. Both are inexpensive devices that can be purchased at your local hardware store.