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With the colourful changing Autumn leaves, we’re reminded that we enjoy four wonderful seasons. On the other hand, our homes really experience just two seasons; there’s the damp, cold, and freezing of winter, and the rest of the year when we do the fixes to get our homes ready.

Trying to fix or patch in freezing, snowy weather is usually more expensive and may not even be safe nor possible. Just because there wasn’t a problem last winter, doesn’t mean there isn’t one on the horizon. Some fixes may be DIY, for others you may want to call in a handy person. So, before the weather turns to winter, use this checklist to be ready:

  1. FOUNDATION – Check that water isn’t pooling at the walls of your home. If it is, add soil so the slope is away from the house.
  2. DRIVEWAY & PATIO – Fill cracks and dips so water won’t puddle and widen the cracks during a “freeze and thaw.”
  3. YARD – Check the gate latch so the gate’s not banging in the winter wind.
    • Bald Spot on the Lawn? Sow grass seed in the next few weeks during the wet, cool weather.
    • Outside Taps – Turn them off from the inside shut-off, then open the outside spigot to drain excess water out of the pipe.
    • Deck – Inspect the ledger board where the deck attaches to the house, the support posts, and joists. Repair weak or rotted areas.
  4. CAULK & WEATHER SEAL – Look for air leaks and gaps where a cold draft, water, or critters could be making their way into your home.
  5. ROOF – Add attic insulation and ventilation to keep the roof cold. A warm roof melts snow, which flows to the eaves and then freezes, creating an ice dam.
    • Flashing – Look for cracks in the caulking and seal them.
    • Plumbing Vent Stack – It’s typically surrounded by a rubber membrane that gets brittle, creating large gaps for water to freely flow in. It’s an area where extra attention to sealing can prevent a significant leak.
    • Damaged or Missing Shingles? Skylight leak? Eaves trough trouble spot? Freezing weather will make it worse. And be sure the downspouts are pointing away from the foundation.