Winter has finally hit us, the snow is not melting away anymore. Homeowners across Canada are preparing their homes for the cold weather. If you are a new homeowner, winter maintenance is a new responsibility. Preventing any potential damage is necessary. You never know what cold air, melted snow and freezing ice can do to your home, and home insurance doesn’t cover everything. For those new to homeownership, how to maintain your home in the winter might be a new matter of concern.
Protecting your recent purchase and your real estate investment investment is essential. Winter is the time for home maintenance tasks. You can avoid disasters by preparing your home for the winter. You’ll be able to spend the holidays in peace if you take care of your home. Most of the tasks you can do yourself, while others require some professional help.
Get your home ready for the winter with this home maintenance tips.
Clear paths of snow and ice
Shovelling snow is one the most common home winter maintenance tasks. It’s something you have to do almost every day, and even some nights depending on the snowfall. If snow and ice are not cleared from driveways and sidewalks, you risk the chance of slipping. You need to keep the traction on the paths where you walk and drive. Just remember to shovel the snow where it won’t bother anyone.
Shovel snow away from the foundation
Shovelling snow is not only for your car to get into your driveway. The snow can actually damage your home’s foundation. Snow turns into water causing flooding and water damage.
Try to shovel the snow away from the foundation often and keep an eye on basement windows and steps. Time to grab your shovel and start digging!
Remove ice dams
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms in the edge of your roof. They form because the edge usually is colder than the upper part of the roof. When the snow melts on the top of the roof, it starts accumulating, and it forms an ice dam.
Ice like this one can cause damage to your roof, either in the roof shingles or by water leaking into the house. If water gets in, your walls, ceilings, insulation and more can be harmed, and the damage can even be permanent.
To prevent ice dams from giving you a headache, you need to watch out before they even form in the first place. Grab a roof rake (or your shovel again) to clear off all the snow you can from the roof, try to break any ice that forms, and make sure that to remove any debris in the gutters. Remember to do this especially after a storm. If you witness the beginning of an ice dam, clear the snow off as soon as possible!
Prevent blocked vents
During the winter time, your home needs to be heated. But that might not happen if you vents are blocked with ice. Your heating system will be damaged, and then moisture issues such as mould can invade your home. Grab your shovel again and brush off the snow and ice formed on your roof. Do this, and you’ll keep warm for the rest of the season. If you notice that the heat is not working as it should, it could mean that something is up.
Maintain your furnace filters
Your furnace needs to be taken care of regardless of the weather or season. Every three months you need to replace furnace filters to keep it running smoothly. If you don’t replace them, all the dirt like allergens and debris can obstruct heat from coming out and your heating costs to go up. To change your filter, just slide a new filter in as per your furnace’s manual instructions. While some filters require replacement, others simply need to be cleaned. Check your manual to be sure which type of filter you have.
Drain the oil of your yard equipment
Some garden gear needs oil for the motor to function properly. To get it ready for winter, simply drain the oil and throw away the waste in a local hazardous waste facility.
Protect your patio furniture
Your patio is the perfect spot in the summer, but during the cold months it needs to be protected. Patio furniture can last many years if it’s taken care of. Store the furniture in a shed, the garage, or inside your home. If you lack the space, you can cover it to reduce exposure to the snow.
Brush snow off trees
When a winter storm hits, snow of unbelievable amounts can fall onto tree limbs. Since snow can be heavy, trees can break. Just use a broom to brush off the snow carefully.
Avoid frozen pipes
Frozen pipes are one the most common issues during the winter. Pipes freeze because when water freezes, it expands. This can cause your already frozen pipes to burst, which can be costly. However, frozen pipes can be easily prevented.
First, insulate the pipes that are close to doors, windows and unheated areas with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass. The heat inside the house needs to be 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Never lower. Another way is to disconnect the hose bib or the faucet outside your home where the hose is. Water can freeze in this area and cause pipes to freeze and burst. There is one more solution, but it might just be a theory. Some say if you keep the faucets dripping, water won’t freeze.
Protect your floors
Winter is filled with snow, salt, and ice, and it all can get in your shoes. Your floors could slowly be suffering from damage caused by this dirt, especially in the entryway. One easy solution is to buy floor mats and waterproof boot trays, and cleaning regularly.
Don’t let cold air get it
One day you might be walking around your home and notice a cold freeze creeping into the house. To stop cold air from getting indoors, apply caulking and seal cracks around doors and windows. You can also install weatherstripping in these areas.
By following these tips, your new home will be ready for the winter time!