Preparing your home for the winter season is important. The leaves have fallen and the first snowfall is just around the corner. Are you prepared for the return of our chilly northern climate?

Here are some important points to verify before the winter season knocks at our doors.

1. Flat roof

If your home has a flat roof, it is essential to have it inspected before the first accumulation of snow.

Ensure you remove any accumulation of leaves, branches and debris from the roof. Clean all drain screens to allow proper water drainage and ensure that the roof membrane is in good condition. If in doubt, consult a roofing professional.

Neglecting to perform these tasks could result in major roof damage caused by the accumulation of water on your roof and water infiltration in your home.

2. Eavestroughs

It is a good idea to clean your gutters before winter arrives.

Allowing leaves to accumulate in your eavestroughs can clog them and prevent water from circulating properly, especially when the temperature drops below freezing. Imagine the resulting ice build-up on your roof! To prevent having to clean your eavestroughs often, it is possible to install “eavestrough protectors,” which are perforated screens that prevent leaves from collecting in the eavestrough and blocking it.

3. Garden hose

Do you think that closing the exterior water valve to your garden hose is enough? Think again! Like any other pipe, your garden hose can crack and split over the winter.

The pressure of water freezing in a pipe can cause it to burst in cold weather. In order to protect your garden hose, make sure it is empty by unrolling, draining and storing it in a dry place for the coming spring.

Also remember to drain exterior water outlets that are not protected against freezing. These outlets normally have a drain valve accessible from inside your property.

4. The barbecue

It was your best friend over the summer, but it must be kept safe over the winter. Your barbecue should be thoroughly cleaned and stored for the cold season. This way you avoid any unpleasant surprises when it comes time to fire it up next summer.

First, heat your BBQ to high heat and then clean the grills properly. After turning off the barbecue, disconnect the gas cylinders and store them in a safe place. Take this opportunity to thoroughly clean the inside of the barbecue and the burners (while at the same time verifying that they are in good working order).

For those diehards who use their BBQ over the winter months, seasonal maintenance will ensure its proper functioning.

5. Carpot (or Tempo car shelter)

Ensure your Tempo shelter is properly secured. Your carport must be marked with posts so that other vehicles have a clear idea of where to park. The same applies to your snow removal service: it would not be fun to have the snowplough smash against your car shelter setup.

6. Air exchanger filters

During the summer months, you open your windows to allow fresh air to circulate throughout the home. But in winter, an air exchanger becomes very handy. It is recommended to have it serviced at least twice a year, or following any construction work in the home.

Any dirt accumulating in your air exchanger filters could cause poor air circulation or allow contaminated air to enter your home again. The air inside your home must be properly filtered in order to guarantee air quality.

Also take the opportunity to check the unit’s condensate drain. This transparent tube should be cleaned occasionally to remove any obstructions caused by the formation of microalgae that builds up inside. To clean the drain, you can run hot water through it, flushing it in the sink, or by blowing it out using air pressure.

When replacing the hose, ensure it is properly connected at both ends to avoid any water leakage.

7. Exhaust vents

What do the dryer and the stove have in common? Both are equipped with exhaust vents to prevent unpleasant odours.

These exhaust vents are equipped with a flap that prevents air from entering the house when the unit is not running, and often the exhaust outlet is covered with a mesh grill to prevent intrusion by our rodent friends.

Check the condition of the exhaust outlets before winter. Make sure the flaps work properly and remove any build-up that accumulates, especially on the dryer exhaust vent flaps.

8. Tree branches

Branches that are dead or too close to your home can be a risk factor during a snowstorm or high winds.

It is better to prune any branches that encroach on your home. Also make sure that the exterior siding is not at risk.

9. Radiators

In order to keep radiators working properly, you must purge (or “bleed”) all radiators with hot water from your home. To do this, force the system to start by setting it to a temperature above room temperature (e.g., 27° Celsius) and go from room to room to purge each radiator. Be thorough! Some radiators may be hidden behind furniture.

All radiators are equipped with a bleed screw, usually located on the side and near the top of the radiator. Slightly loosen this screw until you hear whistling air. Allow the air to escape until grey water flows into a container that you hold under the drain tap. Then tighten the screw again.

This step helps to reduce any pipe noise and saves energy.

10. Heat pump

Your heat pump must be able to last throughout the winter.

If your heat pump has not been serviced over the past two years, bring in an HVAC professional who can check the gas pressure that allows energy to be exchanged between the inside and outside of the house. Your HVAC professional can also replace any worn or damaged components.
A faulty heat pump will not provide the desired comfort and will consume more electricity than necessary.

The general contractor : your home’s ally during winter

Don’t know where to start with winter fast approaching? A general contractor can help you prepare the right way. They can perform your maintenance work and help you finalize your plans before winter.