10 things to do around the house before winter sets in

A house or cabin behind a wintry snow covered tree
Photo by Victor Grow/Shutterstock

We’ve all been warned. This year’s winter will be one of those years: a real, blistery, cold, classically Canadian winter. It’s what we’ve all been waiting for, haven’t we? The deep freeze is just around the corner, which means there’s only a few weeks left to get prepared. While you’ve been rattling off a to-do list in your head about yard-clean-up, sealing windows, and the like, getting around to making that list… has been proving a little daunting, hasn’t it? Here is our recommended top 10 to do’s, based on Bob Vila’s Winter Preparation Check List

Seal off drafty windows

Winter landscape seen through the window, and green plant on a windowsill.

Photo by GoodMood Photo/Shutterstock

Check all of your windows for drafts; this is one way that houses lose the majority of their heat. Is the weather stripping okay? If not, replace it. You can also caulk any indoor or outdoor drafts. If you have older windows and want to seal some extra heat in, consider applying plastic window insulation.

Trim overgrown branches

Snow-covered Branches

Photo by Susan Greenwald/Shutterstock

Trim overgrown branches around the house and around any electrical wires. This will prevent any ice that may form, or any branches that may get caught in the wind, from causing any damage to the property or your power.

Clean and cover up patio furniture and BBQ

A BBQ with snow on it

Photo by BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock

Find a sunny day and wash down your patio furniture with a rag and soapy water, and then rinse it off and allow it to try. Store it inside or in a shed for the winter, covered with a tarp.

Bring all seasonal tools inside

Rusty hinge on a frozen wooden old door in the winter with snow flakes on it as a rustic background.

Photo by saaton/Shutterstock

If you have any rakes, shovels, or other gardening or yard tools outside, now’s a good time to take them in, clean them off, and spray them with a lightweight coating of oil to prevent them from rusting. If you have a lawn mower, clean off any mud, debris, leaves, grass et cetera.

Stock up on salt and other seasonal supplies

Woman is shovelling snow

Photo by PeJo/Shutterstock

Take a trip to the hardware store to stock up on anything you might need for the upcoming winter season. This includes enough salt to get you through the season, as anything else you might need to replace. Check that your snow shovel is still a good fit for you and is in good condition.

Remove or cover air conditioners

An air conditioner with ice and snow on it

Photo by Besjunior/Shutterstock

Find a hand and perform the task that no one loves to do; removing air conditioners from their windows. If you’d rather leave the air conditioner in for the winter, cover them with an insulated liner, which will help prevent drafts from coming through.

Check and clean gutters

icicles on snow covered roof of a village house in the winter

Photo by Veta Martin/Shutterstock

Inspect your gutters to make sure that they are properly fastened, and are not sagging or loose. Clean gutters of leaves and other debris, and make sure that downspouts are pointed away from the house, extending at least five feet.

Care for seasonal plants

Potted flowers and plant

Photo by Diana Taliun/Shutterstock

If your bushes need to be wrapped, your terra cotta planters need to be taken inside, or your plants need some re-potting, now’s the chance to do it. See that dead plants are cleaned up and put away, and any remaining heartier plants are cared for through to the next season.

Shut off exterior faucets

Tap on a frozen wall

Photo by lolloj/Shutterstock

Drain all of the water from any pipes that are outside of the house, including valves and sprinkler heads. Remove and put away any hoses for the season. Wrap remaining faucets to prevent them from any damage over the winter.

Take delicate decorations inside

A frozen garden gnome in winter time

Photo by jorisvo/Shutterstock

Summer tchotchkes and pottery may have made it through your fall season, but leaving them out over the winter is asking for them to freeze and break. Bring them inside before the snow and ice hits really hard.

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