The steps you need to take to prepare your home vary greatly depending on where you live. In Alberta, we know that although the weather can be unpredictable, we can count on it being colder than -30 and that we’re going to have to deal with A LOT of snow. In fact, the average annual snowfall in Edmonton is 123.5 centimeters, according to www.currentresults.com. To prevent potential damage to your home from the cold winter elements, here are 5 steps you need to take before the snow really starts falling outside:
1. Clean Your Gutters: Most websites and resources label this exclusively as a “Spring” task but we disagree. The best time to clean the gutters of your Edmonton home is in the Fall… and perhaps again in the Spring (BOO!). Clearing debris from your gutters before they fill up with snow will create a clear path for the ice and snow to drain when it melts. While you’re clearing the debris, consider adding extensions to your downspouts. The water from melting snow/ice and early spring storms should ideally run a minimum of 4 feet away from your house.
2. Turn off exterior faucets. Using the exterior faucet shut off valve, turn the water off to all of your faucets. Next, disconnect any hoses and turn all of your outdoor faucets “on” to drain the water from them. Undrained water can freeze and cause your pipes to burst and flood your home. Leave the faucet turned to the “on” position until you turn the valves back on in the Spring.
3. Check your roof for missing shingles: Depending on the layout of your house, you may get lucky and be able to do this with binoculars… or you’ll be stuck taking a trip up to the roof. We had some pretty intense winds this year so, have a look and make sure you didn’t lose any shingles. Replace any missing shingles now so that when the snow melts, you won’t end up with a leaky roof.
4. Protect Patio Furniture: Cover and/or store your Patio Furniture, Barbeque, Planters, etc, to prevent weathering and environmental damage.
5. Lubricate Door Locks: To prevent your locks from freezing in the winter, spray a small amount of Powdered Graphite Lubricant into each lock.
Once you’ve finished all that off, you can put your feet up and enjoy a warm apple cider… until next week when we post our interior home maintenance checklist!