The arrival each year of colder temperatures, freezing rain, snow and ice should also be a signal that its time to do some important winter maintenance for your new home.
Here are some important tips for the winter season:
1. Replace your furnace filter — your system works more efficiently with a clean filter.
2. Please also check and clean the filters for the HRV unit in your home. During the winter season, it should be used continuously and clean filters help to keep the air fresh.
3. Make sure your hose bibs are turned off and drained for the season.
4. Ensure that all entrances, especially basement entrances with exterior floor drains, are free and clear of any snow or other debris.
5. It is imperative that certain exterior components of the home are checked on a regular basis — especially after a snowfall:
- Exterior vents and intakes, along with basement window wells and cold cellar vents should be kept free of snow and ice.
- Check the scuppers and the areas leading towards them on terraces on all levels of your home for any ice and snow build up and have ice and snow removed. The same applies to the elbows at the bottom of your downpipes.
6. Test all of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are fully operational. Replace batteries if required.
WARNING– Commonly sold de-icing products (including salt) may damage the surface of new concrete, which may not be covered under the builder’s warranty.
Some weather conditions during the winter months may contribute to ice damming, which is a common occurrence that happens when snow accumulates on the roof. Deeper snow and colder temperatures increase the possibility of an ice dam.
An ice dam will be evident when we have a short period of warmer weather and freezing rain followed by a re-freeze. Once snow starts to melt it forms slush under the snow cover. When this refreezes it can be forced under the shingles. A build-up causes water to seep below the shingle and leak into the interior. The Canadian climate is conducive to the formation of ice dams.
It is the homeowner’s responsibility to properly maintain the areas. Professional removal of ice and snow can help reduce the likelihood of water leaks.
Please remember to refer to your Homeowner’s Guide for more important information about the care and maintenance of your home.