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If you are lucky enough to live on the West Coast, we are just starting to really get some winter-type weather. It is time to make sure your home is ready for the winds, rains and what else Mother Nature delivers this winter. Here are a few helpful tips to get your home ready:

  1. Inspect your Roof – Carefully, get on your roof for a visual inspection. If you are not comfortable going on a ladder, look from the ground with binoculars or hire a local roofing company to complete the inspection for you.  Look for bent, cracked or missing shingles, inspect caulking around skylights and while you are up there….
  2. Check your Gutters – pull out your ladder and clear those roof gutters so rainwater can flow smoothly through the downspouts rather than spilling over the sides and running along your foundation.
  3. Disconnect your outdoor hose and shut the tap off – even though we do not get much frost in Victoria, put your garden hoses away and turn the taps off to prevent freezing and cracking.
  4. Furnace and heat pump maintenance – chances are you have turned your furnace on for the first time since last year. Remember to have yearly furnace maintenance done to ensure your furnace is working efficiently. Change your filter, check your heating ducts for dust or debris and if you have natural gas, make sure your carbon monoxide monitors are working.
  5. Exterior check – walk around your home and check the caulking, look for cracks or gaps in siding, look at all your doors and windows to ensure all points of entry are well sealed. It is easier to caulk on a dry, warmer day.
  6. Clean up the yard – put away any furniture, pots, toys or other equipment you will not use until next spring. Store them in a dry, warm place to avoid rust or other damage over the winter.
  7. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  8. Clean your fireplace and have your chimney swept.
  9. Get the humidifier humming – clean the plates or pads in your humidifier to keep it running smoothly.
  10. Fire extinguisher – check your fire extinguishers and make sure the pressure gauge shows it is charged. The pin should be in place and the discharge nozzle free and clear. Many fire safety supply stores will do this service for no charge but call first to be certain.
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