Now that the snow is just around the corner now it the time to prepare for Old Man Winter.  A little preparation now can prevent discomfort or even damage to your home once the snow flies.  Here are some tips we think will help you be more prepared:

Furnace Tune Up

Your home furnace is like your car,  it needs a tune up to ensure it is running at optimum performance.  Ensure you use a company who is well known and has a good reputation,  many rip off companies will install unneeded equipment just to increase profit margins.

Attic Insulation

Adding extra insulation to your attic can prevent ice dams which can damage your roofs shingles.  Ensuring your attic has adequate ventilation is also very important.  If you have had anyone working in your attic it is probably worth while popping your head up and having a look around.  Many times contractors will not replace insulation after their work is completed.

Ceiling Fans

Having your ceiling fans rotate clockwise will help move any heat collecting on your ceilings down to floor area allowing you to reduce heat required to maintain the same comfort level.

Exterior Windows

If you have brick or split concrete window sills it is very important that you seal any cracks in mortar prior to winter.  Water will penetrate cracks, be absorbed by the brick and freeze when temperatures drop.  Clay fired bricks will typically spall in this situation and you will end up having to replace brick when sealing and caulking would have prevented damage.


If you have had a home inspection or energy audit then you will have already been told about replacing and adding caulking on the exterior of your home.   Caulking not only protects your exterior but also seals those drafts which increase energy  required to heat your home.  Recommend buying the contractors grade of caulking to extend life cycle and extend time to replacement.

Roof Inspection

Check your roof for loose shingles, gaps in flashing and gutters are clean.  Ensure any tree branches close to roof are trimmed back as the weight of snow and ice can bring them into contact with your shingles causing early failure.  If you are not comfortable on a ladder then hire a professional maintenance company to perform this task.

Chimney Inspection

Prior to firing up your wood stove or fireplace the fall is a good time to inspect and clean your chimney.  Professional chimney sweeps are busy every fall so booking your chimney cleaning should not be put off.  If you have a masonry chimney have it inspected to ensure all flashings and seams are sealed to prevent damage from water penetration and expansion due to freezing.

Exterior Water Supply

Turn off your exterior water supply valves from inside your home and open exterior valves to drain water.  If you have a exterior sprinkler system ensure all water is turned off and system is blown out using compressed air.  Drain all garden hoses and place in storage for the winter.

Sidewalks & Driveways

If you have gaps between your driveway and garage floor, fill the gaps with caulking to prevent expansion.  Asphalt caulking will prevent water penetration and the eventual sagging that occurs on older driveways.  If your concrete sidewalk has a gap between foundation ensure that gap is also filled as the force of expanding water will actually move your sidewalk creating a wider gap.

If you have questions about protecting your home call the Barrie Home Inspector for more information.