Winter is Coming..........(Surprise!)

Winter is coming (it might already be here) so it is definitely time to make sure your home is ready for those cold temperatures.  Here are a few tips to be sure your home is ready.




Put away the hoses


Take all your hoses off the outdoor taps, drain them, coil them up and put them away.  Then be sure to turn off the water supply to the outdoor taps and then open the taps to drain them too.  Leave them in the open position.


A passing grade


The snow is coming.  And, sooner or later it is going to melt.  Make sure the ground surrounding your house is sloped away from the foundation.  Sidewalks, decks, and patios should be checked to ensure they haven’t settled over time and slope the wrong way.  Over the winter clear the snow away from your home to prevent water from seeping into the house.


Roofing, eavestroughs & downspouts


These things are up high and you are not.  Use binoculars to get a better look.  If you see missing, damaged or curling shingles call a roofing contractor to have a look.


Clean out your eaves and downspouts and check for leaks.  Downspouts should extend 6 feet (1.8 metres) away from the house and be draining away.


Chimneys


If you have a wood burning fireplace, have it inspected and cleaned annually and best before the cold season.


Get Cracking


Freezing water can break rock.  So, if water gets into cracks in the foundation or driveways all kinds of damage can occur.  Repair cracks now before costly repairs are needed later.


If a tree falls in the forest... 


Snow and ice can be heavy.  Really heavy.  As many have already witnessed, falling branches can be a very real danger and can cause significant damage.  If you have larger trees with branches overhanging your home have a certified arborist trim them.  Check with the municipality to ensure which trees are your responsibility and which ones are theirs.  Also check for tree branches hanging over power lines.  Leave the job of climbing trees with ropes and ladders to the pros!


Light the way


With the days getting shorter it can be difficult to see the path.  Low voltage lighting along a sidewalk can make a big difference and help light the way.  It also enhances curb appeal!


Eave icicles


Icicles hanging from an eave may look pretty, but they are dangerous.  They can fall and hurt people and pets, they can drip onto sidewalks below and created slippery conditions.  Icicles may be an indication of poor attic insulation which can result in ice damming which can cause serious damage to your home.  Consult a professional.


Going away?


If you are going to be away for the holidays, or are planning a getaway to get some sunshine, be sure to have a neighbour or a friend check on your home.  Sweep or shovel the walks, bring in the mail and check the heat and water inside your home.  It is no fun to come home to a really unpleasant surprise.


Don’t forget about the sprinkler system


It may not be too late for this, but it’s betting close.  If you have an underground sprinkler system, have it drained and blown out by a professional.


It’s getting cold outside…


And it might be cold inside too if your furnace quits.  So, don’t get left out in the cold.  Have your ducts cleaned and have a professional furnace technician inspect and service your furnace.


Safety first


And, don’t forget to be sure all of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working and have new batteries.  Waking up to a problem is one thing.  Not waking up at all is quite another.




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