One of the great joys of living in Canada is the change of seasons. Autumn’s colours and crispness will soon give way to winter’s first snowfall. While people react differently to seasonal changes, all homes react much the same way: climate change is hard on homes and the freeze/thaw cycles can cause damage.
Not unlike many areas in life, we believe prevention is the key to a safe and comfortable season. Here are our areas of focus and suggestions to get you through the winter months:
>>Roof – We are big believers in annual roof tune-ups, and fall is the perfect time for your roofer to address any small issues before they become big ones. The roof suffers the brunt of winter weather abuse. Correcting damaged shingles, loose flashings and torn valleys can prevent water damage from leaks and avoid expensive repairs. Tree limbs overhanging and touching the roof should be cut back, and missing mortar or loose bricks on chimneys should be repaired.
>>Eavestroughs – We can’t overstate the importance of having free-flowing, leak-free gutters and downspouts to get roof water away from the house and keep it out of the basement. If eavestroughs can’t control the rain or melting snow, or if downspouts don’t carry water at least six feet away from the home, the ground next to your home will get soaked. Saturated ground usually means a leaky basement. Poor grading is another common and easily-corrected cause of basement leakage.
>>Catch Basins – Make sure any catch basins in your driveway, garage and yard are clear. It’s also a great idea to clear any storm grates in the street in front of your house so all that rain and melting snow can get into the storm sewers.
>>Windows, Doors and Walls – Check your windows and doors for any wood in need of paint, and any joints that need re-caulking. The corners of sills are a common weak point. Check the caulking at pipes, vents and other wall penetrations as part of regular maintenance.
>>Furnace – Taking care of your furnace is very important, especially in the winter. We recommend annual service plans for heating and cooling systems. If you haven’t yet, schedule a heating system maintenance call, even if your system is relatively new.