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Winter is here and it’s time to put away your summer tools and get out your snow shovel and other cold weather tools.

Winter in Vancouver is a time when many of us hibernate from the wet weather and cold. We enjoy warm fires, comforters, watch Netflix and generally wait for Spring to arrive. Winter brings with it cold air, snow, and ice – all elements that can damage your house.

The following guide provides you with some great tips to prepare your home for winter and ensure its safe and free from damage.

Exterior Home Maintenance Tips
Let’s start with the outside of your home – the area that has to deal with the brunt of the winter weather. Here are some autumn house maintenance tips :

1. Repair Exterior Caulking Before Winter
Cracked caulking can cause damage to your windows and sills. They’re also a source for water to get into your home. Repairing exterior caulking will make your home less drafty and more comfortable while protecting your windows and helping you save on your energy bills!

3. Fix Cracks In Your Weather Stripping
Cracks from summer sun and aging reduce the effectiveness of weather stripping to keep the cold out. Weather stripping should be replaced every few years. A yearly inspection before winter will help you to keep tabs on how well it’s doing its job.

4. Repair Any Loose Roof Shingles
Your roof is critical to the integrity of your home. Damaged shingles can cause water leakage into the attic or the space between the roof and your top floor. The section of the roof that receives the most sun requires your closest attention. These shingles become worn more quickly from heat exposure. Also take notice of missing shingles – an indication you have a potential roof vulnerability. If you notice a roofing issue, have it looked at by a professional.

Interior Maintenance Tasks
Once the exterior is taken care of, it’s time to make sure your interior is ready for winter. Winter home maintenance tips – frozen pipes

5. Turn Your Furnace On
Best way to make sure that you’ll be comfortable this winter is to test your furnace before the really cold winter weather hits. If you’re not sure how well your furnace is working, you’ll have time to have it inspected. Don’t forget to change your air filters too.

6. Check And If Necessary, Replace Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
Winter is the season when we are indoors almost all the time and your furnace – and other heat sources – generate carbon monoxide as they heat your home. A carbon monoxide detector monitors levels in your home and will alert you if levels ever rise. So make sure you test your detector regularly and change the batteries.

7. Ensure Your Smoke Alarm Is Working
Most home fires occur during the winter, an important reason to check your smoke alarm. Don’t forget to change your batteries on a regular basis too!

8. Protect Pipes In Unheated Areas Around Your Home
Frozen pipes can cause some serious damage. Look around your home, especially areas where it is not heated and where pipes may run through such as crawlspaces, basements or garages. Wrap the pipes with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. This will reduce the likelihood of your pipes freezing in the winter and bursting.

Tips For Fall Exterior Property And Garden Maintenance

9. Garden Cleanup
Use leaves from your trees and shrubs for mulch to cover your garden, or bag them and put them curbside. Your municipality may do compost giveaways and your leaves will contribute to the spring mulch! Your gardening friends will thank you.

10. Store Your Patio Furniture
Protect that outdoor living furniture by storing in a shed or wrapping securely.

11. Seal Your Driveway
You’ll protect your driveway and add years to its life by sealing it from cold winter damage.

12. Turn Off Your Exterior Water & Drain Hoses
This is a must do! If you have water in your lines, hoses or pipes and they freeze, you can have an expensive problem indoors. Burst pipes can mean flooded basements and ruined flooring and furniture.

Home Maintenance is time consuming and sometimes uncomfortable. But the time investment is worth it. You’ll protect your home and get more out of what you’ve invested in it. More importantly, you’ll avoid potential problems that winter weather can create – freeing up more time for you to do the things you enjoy – like spend time with your family, or binge watch the latest series on Netflix.