It's here. We put up our little over-winter greenhouse last weekend to protect our potted plants over the winter. It was cold, wet and windy. Now is the time, for those of us who have left it this late, to take care of the 'prepare for winter" checklist.

There are many articles and blogs on the topic, so rather than me being redundant I'll just remark on the condition of winter.

Water damage is the key issue. As temperatures drop and precipitation gathers in any place it can, the potential for damage increases.

Water finds its way into cracks in stucco, concrete and stone. When temperatures drop below freezing the water turns to ice, expanding in the process. The pressure from expansion will widen cracks and damage structures. As temperatures warm the potential for mould increases.

If leaves are not cleaned out of gutters the flow of water is slowed. Slow moving water freezes more quickly than faster flowing water. Also, overflowing gutters pour excess water directly below the spill...not always the best spot for water to insure proper drainage away from the structure or into drain tiles.

Check the roof periodically for tiles which may be displaced by high winds - it"s another common place where water finds its way and causes costly damage.

If you live in a strata property do not assume someone else is taking care of everything - if you see a potential problem report it to council and follow up to be sure it is being taken care of promptly and properly. Protect your property.

Don't forget about the cars, boat, RV, cottage, pools, etc.

Have a great month of November.