Winter Maintenance Tips

Winter weather has arrived and the first official day of winter is just a week away.  As a follow up to our post last month, we thought we would offer some reminders for preparing your home and yard for the cold months ahead.  By ensuring your home and yard are winterized, you could be preventing potential loss or damage from those heavy snow falls and windy days!

 

  • Have your furnace inspected to ensure it is clean and in good working condition.  There are many great furnace companies out there and it always helps to get a recommendation from someone that has used them.  A couple local companies that you could try are Alberta Furnace and Heating or Action Furnace.
  • Check your roof for damage or loose or missing shingles that may leak during Winter storms or from melting snow.  Remember when using a ladder, always follow proper safety procedures.
  • Caulk around windows and door frames to prevent drafts and leaks, and apply weather stripping around doors as needed. There are many how-to guides available on-line, or you could hire a professional.
  • Clean gutters of leaves and other debris to avoid water backing up, leaks, or ice build up.
  • Add extensions to downspouts so water runs at least three to four feet from your foundation. Extensions can be purchased at most hardware stores, including Canadian Tire which sells them for less than $3.00/extension.
  • Turn off exterior faucets and disconnect and drain the hoses to prevent freezing.  If your faucets are not frost proof, you may want to consider turning off the valve in the basement. (Note: most Homeowner policy wordings contain a clause that if you are away from your residence for 3 or more consecutive days, you are required to turn off your water and drain your pipes, or arrange for a reliable person check on your home daily while you are away.  For more information, please refer to your specific policy wordings or contact our Office).
  • Drain your lawn irrigation system to avoid freezing or leaks.
  • Instead of raking, mulch your leaves and as they decompose they will nourish the lawn over Winter.  Most hardware stores, including Canadian Tire, sell mulch blades that you can attach to your mower.
  • Have your chimney and vents cleaned to ensure they are in good repair before use to prevent fires and carbon monoxide from getting into your home.  As with furnace companies, there are many great chimney/fireplace companies that can provide inspections.  One of the local ones you could try is Alberta Chimney Sweep. As well, remember to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home… they save lives.
  • Restock your Winter essentials, such as salt, ice melt, and shovels!

 

Hopefully you have found these Winter maintenance tips helpful, and if you have any tips or suggestions to add, we would love to hear your comments!

Thank you,

The Costen & Associates Team