Winter Maintenance for Your Home

Feb 2, 2018

Winter home maintenance tips

The north wind doth blow and we will have snow, but snug inside a Dunpar Home, with your winter maintenance package, and latest building code construction, you can stay snug inside without lifting a finger.

But if you don’t have such services, here are a few things to consider:

Exterior Winter Preparation:

  • An easy way to find out if your house is insulated properly is to check the roof. If there is still snow on it, (as opposed to the neighbours’ roof which is clear of snow) that’s a good sign – it means you are keeping the heat in, rather than having it melt the freshly fallen snow. Melting snow or no snow on a roof indicates poor insulation, but it also contributes to ice dams (melting layers snow that become ice underneath and weigh down the roof), and those heavy icicles you see forming on the eavestrough.
  • Regardless of attic insulation, (which you will get blown in at the earliest possible time|), you need to remove snow from the roof as soon as possible after a storm. The extra weight isn’t good for a roof’s lifespan and durability. This can be done with a roof rake – best to hire a pro though to avoid a DIY-induced fall.
  • Keep an eye out for the trees in your yard since ice and very heavy snows will weigh down branches and if it’s weak will break easily. This can be especially dangerous if the tree is close to the house, so hire someone to take down the weaker branches.
  • In the GTA, you’re responsible for keeping your part of the sidewalk clear of snow and ice. Clear stairs and driveway. In addition to an ergonomically designed snow shovel (better for your back), keep sand or salt on hand to melt snow or give it some traction. If you’re going to be away, hire someone to remove the snow. (Just FYI: this is covered as part of the maintenance plan included in every Dunpar Homes purchase)
  • Keep snow away from the foundation of your house, to prevent damage and flooding to the foundation. Check the outside vents that they’re clear of snow and ice – such as dryer vents, roof vents, and furnace outlets.

On the inside:

  • Check and repair caulking and weather-stripping around windows and doors
  • Have the fireplace cleaned by a certified chimney sweep. In wood-burning fireplaces, creosote builds up inside the chimney and can cause a fire. Gas fireplaces should be checked in case of nests blocking the chimney.
  • Have pipes insulated, especially those near windows, doors, or in unheated parts of the house. When water freezes it expands and can cause burst pipes. Disconnect the outside hose. If you’re going to be away, set the temperature above 13C.
  • It’s Murphy’s Law that the furnace will break down on the coldest day of the year. There’s actually a logical reason for this – that’s the time the furnace is working its hardest. Keep your ear open for any new noises or colder areas of the house. Have your furnace or boiler checked and cleaned regularly, every year for oil, and every three for gas. Air filters need changing every three months.
  • Protect your entryway floor with rubber backed floor mats and a waterproof tray for boots. These can be washed, or swept clean, and they keep moisture away from the floor.
  • With increased chance of power outages in the winter, have emergency supplies such as flashlights, fresh bottled water, batteries.
  • Check batteries in your essential items like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

 

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