When you live in a region that has cold winters with snow and ice like Canada, there are steps you can take to better prepare your home and property for the harsh winter months to reduce the risk of home emergencies.
Winter-time emergencies can be particularly frustrating and expensive. Additionally, they can cause more problems that are even more expensive. For example, the heat may go out and cause the pipes to freeze, which can cause them to burst, leading to potentially costly water damage and ongoing plumbing work to be done. Depending on where you reside in Canada, a technician even getting to you in the snow may be a challenge.
Here are five tasks for your winter home maintenance checklist to help reduce expenses and eliminate emergencies.
Address seasonal HVAC problems with a preventative maintenance appointment
You are having your heat go out when it is -20 degrees out, and there are four feet of snow on the ground if miserable and dangerous. Depending on the time and day, you may not be able to get someone out to your house right away. It may also cost an excessively high amount of money if it is in the evening or over a weekend because technicians will charge more. If you’re used to experiencing seasonal HVAC problems, have an HVAC tech come out and look at your system before winter to identify any potential problems. They will also be able to change out the filters and replace any worn down parts.
Make sure your water lines are properly insulated
Pipes that do not touch an exterior wall are generally not at risk because they are kept warm from the heat in the house. However, when a water pipe runs along an outer wall, it is going to be influenced by the temperature outside the home. When you have freezing temperatures, the water in those pipes can also freeze, causing the pipes to burst. Often, people think to turn their faucets slightly on to let the water drip will prevent them from freezing. However, that is not the case. The water can still freeze even if the water is dripping, and leaving the water dripping can dramatically increase your monthly water bills. A better option is to insulate the pipes to keep them from getting too cold.
Check attics and crawl spaces for unwelcome visitors
As the temperature lowers, small creatures, including mice, squirrels, raccoons, and chipmunks, are going to be looking for warm places to live for the winter months. If they get into your house, they can cause extensive damage to your installation, rodents can chew through electrical lines, and they can leave feces and debris behind. Making sure there are no ways into your house will help. If you find signs that there is an animal already living in your home, you can set traps or call an exterminator to get rid of them.
Do preventative maintenance on your snowblower
When there are three feet of snow on the ground and you’re already late for work, you don’t want to discover your snowblower has bad oil or needs a new belt. Doing a preventative maintenance check on your snowblower will ensure it is running when you need it to be working. Keeping it in a sheltered, dry place between uses will help ensure it keeps running all winter. Depending on where you live in Canada, you may also have snowmobiles, tractors, and snowplows that should also be maintenance prior to the first snowfall.
Winterize your yard
To get your yard ready for winter, you need to make sure your hose is unattached, drained, and put away. Any bird feeders or fountains you have in the yard will need to be drained and covered. If you have a playground, plastic swings and slides should be removed and stored in a dry place for the winter, and all other yard toys should be stored. Snow and ice can cause extreme damage to anything porous or plastic, costing you money as you will need to replace things that broke in the spring.
If you forgot to take winter preventative maintenance steps or you made them but had an extreme winter that still caused problems, you may have unexpected expenses that you can’t put off. When it’s below zero and your heat goes out, you can’t just wait until payday to call a technician.
When that happens, you can use online payday loans in Canada to get money fast for an emergency. Payday loans can provide the advance you need to take care of your home. With the availability to get a loan online, you won’t have to worry about getting to a bank.