As winter approaches here in Manitoba, new homeowners should prioritize key maintenance tasks to ensure their property remains in top condition. Proper winter care not only keeps you warm but also preserves your home's long-term value. Below, we've outlined some must-do tasks to consider before the snow starts falling.
1. Inspect Your Roof and Gutters
A thorough roof check for damaged or missing shingles can prevent potential leaks exacerbated by snow and ice. Additionally, clean your gutters and downspouts to ensure proper water flow, reducing the risk of ice dams and water damage.
2. Exterior Grading
Before the ground freezes, make sure the land around your house slopes away from the foundation. This helps to prevent water from being directed towards your house, reducing the risk of flooding in the spring.
3. Examine Hose Faucets
Check your exterior hose faucets to see if they're frost-free models. If they aren't, locate the interior shut-off valve and close it to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting.
4. Service Your Heating System
Consider a professional check-up of your heating system, including your furnace, before the temperature drops. Replacing filters and checking the unit's performance can ensure a warm and comfortable winter. If you have an HRV, make sure you clean and inspect the filters and clean off the exterior intake screen.
5. Door and Window Seals
Examine the weatherstripping on doors and windows. If they are worn out or damaged, consider replacing them to keep drafts to a minimum and reduce your heating costs.
6. Slider Windows
For those with older slider windows, applying a clear plastic film can be a cost-effective way to reduce drafts. These films can be heated to shrink, forming a tight seal that prevents air leaks.
7. Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Increased indoor activities during winter raise the risk of fires and carbon monoxide exposure. Ensure that all detectors are in working order and replace batteries as needed. If they look or are more than 10 years old they should be replaced.
8. Clear Pathways and Driveways
Having snow removal equipment like snow blowers, shovels, and ice melt on hand can keep your property safe and navigable.
9. Emergency Supplies
Keep a stash of essential items like non-perishable food, water, blankets, and flashlights in case of unexpected winter storms or power outages.
10. Book Snow Removal Services
In areas prone to heavy snowfall, it's advisable to pre-book snow removal services to avoid being stranded when you most need it.
By following these maintenance tips, you'll not only keep your home safe and comfortable during winter but also prevent costly repairs come springtime.