Long Cold Winter Days Means Time to Cozy Up Our Winter Nest - How to Winter Ready Your Home


There I sat in front of the computer screen, 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning, nursing a hot cup of coffee in my hands and then out of nowhere, there was this chilling phantom breeze that curled around the back of my neck. As I turned around I noticed snow billowing down outside the dining room window turning everything in sight white and crisp as the month of November began.

As I rushed hastily to turn up the thermostat, I paused, staring at the half torn wallpaper that laid in patches across plaster walls of what was now my dining room. The chill as I stood next to those walls of this old 1920's home spoke to me as my mind raced with thoughts of how I was going to transform this old home back to its original glory. I spend so much of my time renovating client's homes with my husband that it's easy to neglect the one place we call home.

It's a cozy home, but as I look around it's in desperate need of repair, from the old windows that look like pieces of intricate contemporary art from cold meeting warm to the beautiful beam of light that shines from the top of my back door, this home could use a little TLC.

Winter in Alberta can be harsh, but the last thing you need is a costly bill to rectify the damages that winter has left behind such as mould and water damage either through your roof or in your foundation. Thankfully, sometimes the best fixes are the easiest. It doesn't need to necessarily take a lot of time or money. There are so many things that you can do in your home over the winter season to make your home more efficient, simple changes that can make an impact all year long. It doesn't matter if you're in a new build or an older home all it takes are a few supplies and a little time.

So as the winter season is upon us once again it's time to winter-ready our homes.

Personally, I like to do a full "spring-clean" of sorts throughout my whole home and garage, it's a great way of cleaning up clutter and bringing forward all of those winter items that have been tucked away. You can organize yourself really well by putting away everything that you don't need for the season and focusing on the season ahead. For the garage, this could mean bringing out shovels and ice picks, skiis, snowboards, and most importantly salt and gravel, or even kitty litter so they're readily on hand.

While you're outside cleaning out your garage take a few minutes to clear out your gutters, this is something that is very important at the end of the season and can prevent leaks and damage to your foundation and/or landscaping, not to mention the fact that the less eavestrough you have dripping around the perimeter of your home means better safety as there are less likelihoods of ice build-up.

For your home spring-clean this could simply mean bringing out winter boots and clothing, winter bedding, Christmas decorations/lights, etc., really basic step here.

When we head inside the home we want to check all of the windows and doors, seal any cracks that you notice with caulking and any areas where there is leakage coming from outside - use a sealant foam at the top, bottom and middle of the window.

For window panes apply a clear film to insulate, this can be tricky and sometimes it's helpful to have two people, you'll need double-sided tape as well as a hair-dryer to heat the film and stretch or form it to the window.

For drafty doors you can either use rubber or vinyl weather stripping fastened to the door with nails or staples at 6 inch intervals, or for a more temporary fix you could use a vinyl gasket which you can find in various types, but my favorite are the slip or snap on, you don't need any tools for this, very quick and simple fix.

Next check and change your furnace filter and perform any necessary routine maintenance and look for exposed pipes. If you do, simply pad any exposed pipes with tubular insulation sleeves.

With just a few simple and quick fixes your home is now ready to keep you warm and cozy over the winter season. Preparation and maintenance are key to keeping your home your sanctuary.

Posted by: Kristina Gilmer
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