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5 Ways To Winter Proof Your House

It’s never too early in the season to start thinking about how you’ll winter proof your house. These expert tips will help protect your key asset from the ravages of ice, snow and freezing temperatures.

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Winter proof your home: Check roof and eavestroughsPhoto: ShutterStock

1. Check your roof and eavestroughs

Managing water flow is a top priority to winter proof your house for freezing temperatures. Within the gutters and downspouts, minimize places where liquid can freeze and expand to create leaks, says Ryan Reynolds, of Reynolds Brothers Exter­iors in Barrie/Simcoe County, Ont. That also means securing shingles.

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Shut off your outside water supplyPhoto: Shutterstock

2. Shut off your outside water supply

Water expansion can wreak havoc on pipes. To prevent them from bursting, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) suggests shutting off the water supply to your outside tap by October.

Bonus: 11 Ways to Pick Up the Pieces After a Flood.

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Winterize your home: Trim vegetationPhoto: ShutterStock

3. Trim vegetation

Prune greenery so that nothing touches the walls, says Erich Kelter, a home inspector based in Barrie, Ont. Wet leaves and branches brushing up against your house can erode brick and degrade siding.

Check out these 5 Great Ways to Bring Your Garden Indoors for Winter!

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How to winter proof your home Photo: Shutterstock

4. Clean your furnace

Another important task when you winter proof your house is thinking about the heat you’ll be using. To ensure your furnace is working at maximum efficiency, the CMHC suggests having it serviced and changing or cleaning the filter in November.

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Winter proof your home: caulk windowsPhoto: ShutterStock

5. Plug indoor gaps

Keeping heat inside your home means identifying drafts that are entering through doors, windows or trim. Kelter says you can detect air leaks by going around the house with a smoke pencil, a hand-held device that releases smoke to indicate drafty spots. To fill the gaps, try caulking, spray foam or weatherstripping.

Check out 5 More Home Maintenance Tips for Winter!

Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada