As most Canadians know, winter weather can be extremely unpredictable. Residents of our northern nation have a great deal of experience with this as of late, with the recent trend of wide temperature swings and seemingly endless precipitation.
Which is why it is so important at this time of year to prepare our homes for these conditions, guarding ourselves against future mishaps and ensuring that we get the most from our living environments. Here are a few basic winter maintenance tips that will ensure that you aren’t looking at a disaster, or a mountain of repair bills, after the snow recedes.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
Anyone who has been through this knows what a nightmare it is. Not only does it reduce the livability of your space (who needs water anyway?), but it can actually force your plumbing to burst, resulting in a major, costly repair. To prevent this, you can ensure that all your exposed pipes, or those near the exterior of your home where ambient temperatures are lower, are properly insulated. This costs very little and can save you a lot of future headache. You can also disconnect your outside hoses and drain that water line, if you are able to do so.
Save Your Eaves, Save Your Roof
This one is especially relevant this year, when Canada has been pelted with ice, heavy winter rains, snow, and virtually every other kind of nasty precipitation that the sky can throw at us, often in the same day. When ice builds up in your eaves on the edges of your roof, it can form “ice dams”, causing the remaining snow and ice on your roof to build up without release, which can lead to major damage: roof leaks, tile problems, even larger structural damage due to the increased weight.
Make sure your gutters and eaves are free of ice by clearing them out regularly. If that’s not an option for you, you can install heating cables to run the length of your home, which when activated will help melt that accumulation of ice, allowing the water to flow safely off of your roof. This won’t completely solve the problem, but it will prevent the dams from forming, so it’s a good relatively low-cost option.
Taking these simple steps can help prevent your home from suffering from the winter blues!