Protect your home from extreme winter weather with these helpful tips!

As Canada’s temperature hits a bone chilling low, now is the perfect time to prepare for whatever else winter has in store.

Allstate Canada has come up with helpful tips and tricks to protect Canadians protect their home and property from the harsh winter weather. Some of their top tips include:

  • Protect your pipes. To help prevent freezing, wrap your water heater in an insulating blanket and insulate exposed water pipes. Open hot and cold faucets just enough to let them slowly drip lukewarm water, as water moving within the pipes will prevent freezing.Keeping your house heated to a minimum of 18 degrees Celsius will also help keep pipes warm.
  • To help warm air circulate, change the direction of your ceiling fan. While in the summer fans should be tilted to provide an air conditioning effect, in the cold weather you can change the direction to get the warm air moving through your home.
  • Inspect before you ignite. While a roaring fire might be ideal on a cold day in January, be sure that you’ve properly inspected your chimney. Chimney sweeping should be done each year or at least every two years, depending on usage and humidity levels. Unfortunately, visual verification is not always enough, since creosote sediment caused by wood combustion can expand and block the chimney pipe. It’s best to have a certified professional inspect your chimney every couple of years. And don’t forget to check your smoke detector before using your fireplace!
  • Clear your outdoor space of loose items. Ensure toys, garden furniture, picnic tables, barbeques, and other outdoor items are somewhere safe. High winds can turn these into destructive missiles, so store or secure these items. While you’re at it, be sure that outdoor structures, such as sheds, are secured in a permanent structure, or with anchors or ground straps 
  • When clearing snow, don’t forget your balcony. The freeze/thaw cycle can be tough on housing materials, so it’s best to clear snow and ice on an ongoing basis. Plus, in the event of a fire, it will help firefighters enter your property.
  • Avoid tree damage to your property by checking trees and leaving room when parking. Inspect trunks and branches for cracks or fractures, and leave some room if you need to park near a tree with heavy snow accumulating on branches. Keep trees pruned year-round to help prevent damage.

 

  • Stay off your roof during the cold snaps, but inspect it as soon as it’s safe to do so. Once the snow and ice has melted, inspect your roof for any damage and clear out your eavestroughs if you haven’t done so already. Allstate Canada suggests having your roof professionally inspected and keeping it well maintained throughout the year.

 

  • Have an emergency kit at the ready. Extreme weather can lead to power outages, so prepare a kit with the essentials—flashlights, batteries, water, food, and more (here’s a full list)—and be sure it’s easily accessible should you need it.

 

For more tips on staying safe this winter visit allstate.ca/learningcentre

James Chung

Founder & Editor in Chief of Hello Vancity magazine. Email james@hellovancity.com

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