On the Lower Mainland of BC we don’t expect to get the large amounts of snow that are seen in other areas of the province. Here we fight the battle of moisture. Preparing your home for Winter usually means preparing for a lot of rain. Here are a few tips from our expert Steve.
- Check the condition of your roof. Are repairs needed? Do you need to have it cleaned? Remember that most work on your roof should be done by a person qualified and equipped to do so.
- Clean your gutters. Whether you have standard or hidden gutters, pitched roof or flat roof, you need to be sure that water is cleared away from your residence. This is especially important in the late Fall as the blowing leaves will block gutters and roof drains. In the case of a flat roof this can add hundreds of pounds of weight to your roof that it was never designed to carry. When it freezes, overflowing gutters can cause ice to build up on exterior stairs and walkways creating issues not only for your home but for your safety as well!
- Get ready for possible ice by having a supply of de-icer ready. Be careful to read the label of the product you are purchasing to ensure it is suitable for the surface that you want to use it – Salt is not a good option for concrete as it will cause pitting over the years, however it usually is acceptable for paved driveways.
- Drain and put away your garden hoses. If you leave them out over the Winter, a good freeze will crack them. You should also turn off your exterior hose bibs. If you have an older residence, it might be wise to get an insulated cover to put over your hose bib. They are usually available from your local hardware store and are pretty inexpensive.
- Have your heating system checked, this is a great time to ensure that it is in proper working order and to change the filter.
- Check to see that weather stripping and caulking is in good condition around doors, windows and all other openings. Check that the flashings are in good repair. Remember water is always looking for a way to get into your home! Water “ingress” into a home is always an expensive problem to fix so stay ahead of the game!
- Have a quick look at all your plumbing fixtures including inside of sink cabinets Take all of that stuff you keep, and hardly ever see, out from the cabinet and have a good look. If you see water staining, minor mold, or condensation around a pipe etc you have the start of a problem. Take care of it now! There is nothing like getting out of a nice warm bed onto a floor full of water!
Finally, after you have checked off your Winter home prep to-do list – kick back, enjoy a cup of cocoa and soak in the loveliness of the Season!