Throughout Canada and the northern United States, many regions get hit hard by winter. Heavy snow, ice storms, and/or extreme cold are the norm in these parts. These types of weather conditions can take their toll on a home.
Even if you are adequately prepared, there’s still no telling what the weather may bring with it. This could include a loss of electricity, heat, and other services for sometimes days at a time. Prior to the beginning of every winter, make sure your home is set up to handle whatever may come.
Throughout the colder months, ensure walls and attics are properly insulated, and that doors and windows are caulked or weather-stripped.
Ensure that rain gutters are cleared so that they don’t freeze during colder bouts of winter. If left filled with leaves and other debris, they may be prone to snapping from the added winter weight.
Any tree branches that could potentially snap off and fall on your home should be trimmed. It’s always recommended to have a professional do this, especially if branches are close to power lines.
Heating equipment and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected every year, ensuring they work. Foam wrap or similar products should be used to insulate water pipes to prevent freezing. Also, ensure that all fuel burning equipment has vents to the outside that are clear of debris and snow.
If you don’t already know, learn how to shut the main water valve in the case of pipes freezing or bursting.
Finally, hire a contractor before the winter sets in to check the integrity of your roof if you suspect that it may require a repair, have a leak, or appears worn.
Throughout winter, some households use alternative heat and power sources. Though some of these alternative sources are amazing finds, others open up the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning or a house fire. It is important to keep a fire extinguisher in the home in case of emergencies and understand to never use a generator, grill, or any sort of gas or propane burning device inside the home. Doing so in an enclosed area of somewhere near a door or window where carbon monoxide can seep into the home opens up the possibility of poisoning.
These are some of the rules that we like to use when getting our homes ready for winter. Please feel free to come up with your own. Admittedly, there is a lot to think of when it comes to updating the home for winter. There’s routine maintenance that needs to be done, energy efficiency questions to ask one’s self, safety procedures that need to be established, and other annual check-ups that should be done to ensure a home is properly cared for.
The good thing about going through these processes is that you will know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency. Also, if you run into any problems such as a leaky roof, at least you’ll know before the winter sets in so you’ll have a sufficient amount of time to get it fixed. This winter, before the wind turns cold and snowy, protect your home by following this checklist.