Posted on November 10, 2015

How to prepare your home for winter

Winter weather is on the way, making this the perfect time to winterize your home. Here’s what you should to do to ensure you are comfortable and your home is protected.

Seal doors and windows
Tension seals and weatherstripping on doors and windows help keep the heat in and your energy bills down. A well-sealed door requires weatherstripping, which covers the sides and top of the door. Cut the strip to the desired length and secure with screws or adhesive. Even in condo where your door doesn’t lead outside, it’s important to insure it has a tight seal so your heat isn’t escaping into the hallway. To add an extra seal to windows, you can cover them with storm film. You should also consider a sweep for the bottom of your door.

Replace caulking

Hairline cracks tend to form in the caulking, allowing water to get in. Remove old caulk around windows and replace with a new seal, a job that should be done once a year. To make the job easier, purchase a caulk softener. After it has softened, remove caulk with a plastic putty knife. Cover the area with a mildew remover, let the area dry thoroughly and then re-caulk.

Store patio furniture
Before you store patio furniture, clean it. Moisture can cause the formation of mold or mildew. Most pieces can be cleaned with hot water and soap. If your furniture is made of wood, use Murphy Oil Soap and water. Make sure any fabric cushions are clean and dry before going into storage.

Control your thermostat
Turning on the heat during winter can leave you with a high energy bill. Purchase a programmable thermostat so you can have a lower temperature at night or while you are away during the day. Turning down your thermostat five to seven degrees for eight hours a day can save 10 per cent per year on your energy bill.

Monitor your humidity
Too much or too little humidity can eventually have a negative effect on your home. High humidity may lead to condensation. Excessive condensation can result in damage to your windows, drywall and flooring. Low humidity may lead to gaps in wood products in your home and can affect your art and furnishings. Ensure that you leave some opening in your drapes or blinds to allow for circulation around the windows. This will help prevent build-up of moisture on the windowpanes.

Prevent leaks
If you are going to be away for a few days, turn off your water at the main shut-off valves. This will prevent a water leak in your absence.