Fall is a beautiful time of year — the air is cooling and the leaves are changing colour — but in Canada, it’s also a warning that freezing temperatures and snow could be upon us before we know it. Beat Jack Frost to the punch — and possibly save yourself from aggravation and costly repairs — by ensuring your home’s ready with our fall preparation checklist.

Fall Preparation Tips for Inside Your Home:

  • Check windows and doors for drafts and repair caulking and replace seals where needed. For extra protection from the cold, seal windows with clear thin plastic and waterproof tape.
  • Heat your home safely. Have your furnace inspected or serviced, and replace filters to keep the air clean and fresh. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat to save on heating costs.
  • Have your chimney professionally cleaned to prevent smoke and soot from backing up into the house.
  • Make sure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.
  • Get ready for potential power outages. Stock up your emergency kit with at least three days of supplies for each member of your household — including your pets.
  • Generators can be invaluable for providing heat and preventing frozen pipes and food spoilage during a power outage, so if you have one, test it before the cold weather hits and ensure you have enough gas on hand. Gas should always be safely stored in an approved tank, away from fire sources and out of children’s reach.
    Remember, never use a generator inside, even in an attached structure like a garage.
  • Take the time to inspect basement walls and floors, sealing any cracks that could admit moisture during thaws.
  • If you’re planning to escape the cold with a sunny vacation, be sure to set your thermostat for no less than 13°C (about 55°F) while you’re away to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.

Fall Preparation Tips for Outside Your Home:

  • Disconnect garden hoses from outdoor spigots, drain them and shut off exterior water valves. If you have a sprinkler or lawn irrigation system, call in a professional to drain it.
  • Inspect the roof, and repair or replace any missing, loose or damaged shingles that could let water in.
  • Check your drainage system. Clean out the eavestroughs and downspouts, and don’t forget to point your downspouts at least six feet away from the foundation, walkways and driveways.
  • Stock up on sand or salt to melt ice on walkways and porches.
  • Check the condition of your shovels and snow blower. If there’s any of last year’s gas left in the tank, it’s best to safely dispose of it before refilling with fresh fuel and fuel stabilizer.

Stay covered with Hudson’ s Bay Insurance.