Serge Guenette



Winter in Ottawa can be beautiful. From snowy landscapes and Christmas lights sprinkled throughout the city, it brings a certain kind of joy, especially leading up to the holiday season.
But with the arrival of snow, ice and the cold, our homes tend to suffer, especially if they aren’t prepared properly to handle the drastic change of weather.
Although prepping our home for winter may not be a fun task, doing it now can help avoid new and bigger problems that could pop up when winter is at its peak. Here are 5 easy tasks to get your home winter ready.

  1. Make sure your heating system is ready for the season: Ideally, this would be done before the heating season starts, but if you have not done so, take care of it now. That means booking a service call for your furnace to get it checked and cleaned. Fireplaces and chimneys — even gas ones — should also be cleaned and checked for debris, as buildup can become a fire hazard in your home.

  2. Check for air leaks in every room: Walk through your home and check doors and windows for any air leaks by inspecting weatherstripping and caulking for cracks. And run your hands near window and door edges to feel for drafts. If you have air flow from the outside entering your home, your heating system will have to work harder, driving up heating costs. Make sure to fix any areas that seem to be leaking or that are cracked.
  3. Clear gutters and check the roof for leaks: If you haven’t had a change to clear out your gutters, this is a must-do to prevent snow and ice buildup. You’d be surprised how quickly your eavestrough can fill with falling leaves, even if you have few trees on your property. And you may need to check more than once. When you are checking your gutters, take a close look at your roof for any missing or loose shingles, as they could result in leaks from melting snow. Contact a professional roofing company in your area if you are unable to complete these tasks yourself.
  4. Inspect pathways, railings and steps: After shoveling, ice tends to build up around our entranceways and pathways. To prevent accidents, inspect pathways, railings and steps before the first snowfall to look for any cracks that could cause tripping, unsafe railings to hold on to, and dangerous loose boards to step on. Fix these issues to make sure your family is safe when coming and going from your home.
  5. Get your snow removal tools ready: Yes, doing this tasks means we’re accepting that winter really is right around the corner, but it’s better to do it now than to have to scramble to find what you need in the midst of a snowfall. Check shovels and snowblowers, have your driveway salt or other ice removal options ready, and if you hire a professional to remove your snow, make sure they are contacted and ready to roll.

It’s important to make sure your family is safe and comfortable all winter long. By checking off these tasks now, you’ll be prepared and ready to embrace an Ottawa winter.