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Toronto Home Maintenance & Repair - Winter readiness



Here are some tips for getting your house ready for winter:

  • Bay windows Check flashing and shingles for proper seals (this requires professional fixing) and ensure a waterproof urethane foam sealant where a bay window meets the foundation. Hammer in nails that may have popped out, and cover holes with a waterproof sealant.
  • ChimneyCheck gas connections on gas fireplaces. Check glass panes on doors to ensure they're not broken. Check that the fules are clean and in working order. Every few years, get your chimney cleaned.
  • Doors Check that all outside doors, including sliding doors, are properly sealed. Check for broken weather stripping. The bottoms of doors should have a hair brush, not a brittle rubber one.
  • Eavestroughs Clear any debris or leaves from the eaves. Clear the downspouts, and ensure the openings drain away from the house, and away from walkways. Have a bag of sand ready for icy days.
  • Exterior moulding Inspect exterior moulding around windows and doors. Re-caulk any sections missing or in worn condition. Use acrylic-latex caulking for wood frames, and silicon-based caulking for metal or vinyl frames.
  • Furnace Check the fresh air intake for the furnace. Clear any obstruction. Clean the mesh with an old toothbrush to clear dust or grass. Check the belt is not broken or cracked. Consider installing a timer thermostat that automatically runs down the temperature at night, and raises it in the morning.
  • Garden hoses Disconnect and drain any garden hoses. Bring them inside or into a warm garage. Turn off all outdoor water faucets, and drain underground sprinkler systems.
  • Outdoor lighting Replace any broken fixtures, and all bulbs. Long winter nights require outdoor lighting to be used more.
  • Siding Check for loose siding. Any loose sections should be fixed to keep them from blowing off during howling snowstorms.
  • Shingles Inspect shingles for damage or wear. Replace curling shingles or those without a surface texture or grain.
  • Walkways Check that all handrails are firmly attached to stairs. Repair any broken steps, and patch holes and chips in walks.
  • Weatherstripping Check weatherstripping on windows, repairing or replacing as needed.
  • WindowsWash and install storm windows on older homes. Fix and replace any broken window panes. Check thermopane windows for condensation between the panes, indicating a broken seal.
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