Reducing the Risk of Property Damage in the Winter

Feb 1, 2016

We Canadians spend the entire winter season yearning for the sun and curse away the snow and rain. The outside freezes us to the bone, the days are gloomy and there is no end to it.

We do everything we can to prepare for the winter season, but we usually forget that our houses can get affected by it too. If you are a homeowner and the area around your house is going to freeze when the temperatures drop, then you need to make a list of all the things to do in order to winterize your house and get them done. Otherwise, the consequences will be disastrous.

Protecting Your Home in the Winter

A little daily dose of maintenance is also important if you want to keep your house safe from damage. Here is a list of a few things that you can do to reduce the risk of property damage in the winter:

  • Make sure all the drains in and around the house are clear of debris and leaves. The blockages can cause clogs and water that was supposed to drain safely will find another route: likely right to your foundation.
  • Check all the faucets and pipes in the house for leakage. If anything is leaking, then a repair or replacement has to be made. An annoying leaking tap doesn’t just waste money and keep you up at night, it could also damage your home.
  • If you are planning to get away from the cold for a vacation down south, then make sure you drain all the plumbing. Failure to do so can cause the water in the pipes to freeze. You’ll also want to keep the heat on (minimum 53°F/12°C or so) while you are away. To be on the safe side if you are gone for more than a few days, ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your house. The last thing you want to come home to is a burst pipe or flooded basement.
  • Check all the windows and door frames in the house for leaks or cracks. If found, seal then temporarily and get repairs or replacements done once the cold season has passed.
  • Check the attic and keep an eye out for frost accumulation.
  • Always remember, gas meters, gas vents, oil tanks etc. must not come in contact with ice. If ice has accumulated on any of these devices, speak with your gas utility provider for safe removal tips.
  • Trees, shrubs, and plants are a welcome sight, but they must be kept far from the house. For one, branches may snap off due to wind or ice accumulation. Also, tree roots may cause damage to the foundation.

Follow these tips and your home can be a problem-free zone until the temperature warms. Until then, cuddle up next to the fireplace and stay warm!


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