Into each Niagara winter, a little snow must fly


Love it or hate it, winter has arrived in Niagara. That means snow and ice to go along with the sometimes frigid temperatures.

Since your home is likely one of your biggest investments, it stands to reason protecting it will be one of your highest priorities. With that in mind, winter’s arrival brings maintenance chores that can protect your home and family. 

Here are a few basic maintenance tips to consider:

  • Check for excessive snow on your roof and where possible safely remove excess snow and ice from roofs, eavestroughs and overhangs.  
  • After a snowfall, take a look at your roof and check for hot spots. Some melting around venting and fireplace exhausts may be expected, but bare patches on your roof could be an indication of heat loss and the need to add, repair or replace attic insulation. It is good practice to check the roof regularly after a storm for damaged or missing shingles or flashing, as well.
  • Maintain walkways and driveway, removing snow and ice regularly. Do not pile snow against the foundation of your home.
  • Be diligent with snow and debris removal from around your entire home. This will help to keep out water and pests/critters.
  • Keep your furnace and HRV clean. Clean or replace filters regularly. A dirty furnace filter could result in higher utility bills, but it is a health and safety hazard.
  • Clean your humidifier and ensure your hot water heater is working properly.
  • Test your GFCI, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are in proper working order. Since house fires and carbon monoxide hazards are more prevalent during the cold season, fire safety should be a priority as well. Make sure you are diligent with candle safety, working detectors and fire extinguishers. 
  • Update your family’s emergency plan each season, to take into account potential hazards, weather conditions and outside temperatures.
  • Fireplaces and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected regularly by a professional.
  • Ensure exhaust fans and all vents are clean and working properly.  Keep snow and ice from covering them.
  • Ensure your exterior openings are sealed properly and do not allow air or water penetration.
  • Check for evidence of critters and block any potential entry ways.
  • Ensure road salt and snow or water are removed from your vehicle outside in order to protect your garage floor from stains and damage.
  • Ensure your entrance and exit ways have suitable flooring or mats to prevent water damage, salt damage, and slipping hazards from melted snow and ice caused by boots and outdoor clothes.  

A home may have some unique maintenance requirements. In addition to the tips above, take a good look around your home’s interior and exterior on a regular basis and address those needs accordingly. 

Preventative maintenance can save you money compared to replacement due to damage, but only if done properly. If you are unsure as to how to do a task safely and properly, or are unable to do it yourself, seek out the services of a professional.  

Wishing you a safe and happy winter from everyone at Vanderzalm Construction Inc.