Remove low hanging or damaged tree branches
Cut any sagging or brittle tree branches before winter arrives. Heavy snow and thick ice can settle on them, and while it looks pretty, it poses a hazard. Weak branches trying to support excess weight are prone to breaking. When that happens, you run the risk of:
- Limbs crashing through windows
- Branches falling and landing on your car
- Oversized twigs sagging, breaking, and hitting unsuspecting neighbours in the area
- Fallen branches also become dangerous trip hazards, especially when one tries to step over them through thick snow and ice.
Stop ice dams before they form
There is less insulation underneath the edge of your home’s roof compared to the top. Ice accumulates around the eaves at the edges while snow melts at the top of the roof. Melted snow backs up behind the ice dam with nowhere to go. As the melted snow pools, it could leak through and seriously damage your roof. Prevent ice dams by:
- Removing dirt, grime and debris from your gutters and eavestroughs
- Getting a roof rake that lets you easily get rid of snow from the ground
- Removing any snow and ice from the gutters as soon as possible after a heavy snowfall
- Draining exterior water lines and turning off faucets
Remember that although your hose may be turned off, there could be some leftover water from the summer. Should that water freeze, it could crack the hose, burst through pipes, or rupture through any exterior faucets.
Prep all your outdoor water connections:
Take a walk around your home, find any exterior faucets, remove the hose and drain any remaining water. Find the main shut-off valve for your outdoor water supply and close it.
Go back outside and turn on the exterior faucets. The last bit of leftover water should drain out.
Get ready for snowfall before it comes
Stock up your bulk salt early. And while you’re at it, give your snow blower a tune up and fill it with fuel so it’s ready to go.
Get a furnace inspection
A furnace inspection looks at:
- Dirty filters
- Carbon monoxide leaks (CO is known to be a “silent killer” because of its colourless, odourless, and tasteless nature)
- Pilot light inspection
- Electrical connections
- Heat exchanger damage
In winter, keeping your family warm and safe go hand-in-hand. That’s why furnace inspection and maintenance are so important.
Get your chimney professionally swept
It’s wise to book a chimney sweeping service; especially if you’ll be using it often over the winter. When wood logs burn, it leaves a byproduct called creosote. The more creosote build-up there is, the greater the risk of a catastrophic chimney fire.
Other benefits to chimney sweeping include:
- Better fireplace efficiency
- Eliminates the risk of CO poisoning
- Improved safety for your family
- Reduces the potential for an expensive fireplace or chimney repair
- Soot won’t accumulate and end up on your floor, furniture, or clothing
Seal any drafty windows or doors
The biggest source of heat loss during winter is through drafty windows and doors. When this happens, your home will feel colder than it should and you’ll pay more for monthly heating bills.
When your doors are closed, little to no heat should escape. If you locate any drafts, here’s what you can do:
- Update any old weather-stripping
- Realign the hinges and ensure they are tightly secured.
- Cover any doors you won’t use in winter with thermal plastic.
- Remove any old caulk and apply new, clean caulking.
- Seal the window sash with weather-stripping.
- Cover windows with thick curtains, drapes, or other featured upgrades.
Test all your alarms
If you have a carbon monoxide detector, a fire alarm or smoke detector test and replace if necessary.
Kandice Henry is a Real Estate agent with CityScape Real Estate Brokerage. She has been in the Real Estate field for over 10 years.
Her hands-on knowledge began when she purchased, flipped, and leased her own properties. Two years ago she began her career as an agent and has had much success helping clients purchase and lease in both the residential and commercial sectors. She is a hard working agent who truly cares about finding the perfect fit for her clients. Kandice's resourcefulness lends to her full, experienced team behind her that is ready to help you close your next lease or purchase.