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December is not just about holidays

If the stores have hung their ‘Happy Holiday’ signs, then winter is just around the corner!... And we all know that a Niagara Region winter usually entails snow, ice and frigid temperatures…that is if the year brings a true Canadian winter.  The Farmer’s Almanac seems to suggest that it just might!

For most, your home is likely one of your biggest investments. Therefore it stands to reason that protecting that investment is one of your highest priorities.  Those ‘Happy Holiday’ signs also serve as a reminder that there are some home maintenance chores to do that may help you protect your home and family.

Here are a few basic home maintenance tips to consider:

  • Check for excessive snow on your roof. Remove excessive snow and ice from roofs, troughs, and overhangs.   
  • After a snowfall, you should 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 lifted or lost shingles, etc. as well.
  • Maintain your walkways and driveway removing snow and ice regularly.  Do not pile snow against the foundation.
  • Be diligent with snow and debris removal from around your entire home to keep out water and pests/critters.   
  • Keep your furnace and HRV clean.  Clean or replace filters regularly. A dirty furnace filter is a health and safety hazard, which could also result in higher utility bills.
  • Clean your humidifier and ensure your 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, and emergency planning.   
  • Fireplaces and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected regularly by a professional.
  • Ensure exhaust fans and all vents (including the dryer vent) are clean and working properly.  Keep snow and ice from covering them.
  • Ensure that your exterior is still sealed properly and is not allowing air/water penetration.
  • Check for any evidence of critters.
  • Ensure that road salt/water is removed from your vehicle outside in order to protect your garage floor from stains and damage.
  • Ensure that your entrance and exit ways have suitable flooring or mats to prevent water damage and slipping hazards from melted snow and ice from boots and clothes. 

This is simply a starter list…take a good look around your home’s interior and exterior on a regular basis and address the requirements for your home’s upkeep.  If you see something that is going to require maintenance or does require maintenance, don’t put it off.   Preventative home maintenance can save you a lot of 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 effectively or are unable to do it yourself, do not hesitate to hire a professional to do it for you. 

Wishing you a safe and happy winter from everyone at Vanderzalm Construction Inc.  If you are planning a custom home renovation /addition or considering custom home builders in Niagara, call us at (905) 562-4463 or (905) 684-5823.