Tips to prepare your North Vancouver Home for Winter
Winter is a time of year when we are all reminded of the importance of being prepared. With cold weather comes a host of issues that can affect your home and family—everything from frozen pipes to carbon monoxide poisoning. The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from these hazards. Here's what you need to know about getting your home ready for winter:
Clean your gutters.
Gutters are the first line of defense against water damage. They divert rain and melting snow away from your home, which reduces the likelihood that you'll suffer from ice dams during winter. Ice dams can lead to water damage in your attic or crawlspace, putting you at risk for mold growth and other costly issues if left unattended. If you don't clean your gutters regularly, it could be considered negligence on your part if any damage occurs because of water or Ice. You will also want to make sure downspouts are draining properly.
Caulk any Drafty windows or doors.
Caulking is a cheap, easy way to make your home more energy efficient. It can be used to seal windows, doors, and other openings that may allow cold air into your home. Caulk comes in different colours so you can match it with the colour of your walls if you want to for an even more finished look. It's easy to apply but you need to do it right or else it won't work as well or last as long as it should.
Test CO2 and smoke detectors
Test CO2 and smoke detectors
Make it a habit to test your CO2 and smoke detectors once a month.
If you have pets, the best time to test is when they're asleep or at least not around.
What happens if your CO2 or smoke detector is not working properly? You may be in danger if this happens! Replace it immediately!
Get your furnace serviced and replace air filters
Get your furnace serviced
Replace air filters
Use a vacuum to clean out the furnace
Vacuum refrigerator coils
Vacuum the refrigerator coils once a year. This might sound like a strange task, but it's actually very important for your refrigerator's performance. A vacuumed refrigerator coil can help keep it running efficiently, prevent mold and mildew from growing inside (which can cause unpleasant smells and even health issues), and keep you safe by preventing fires caused by overheating coils.
To do this safely, turn off all power to the appliance before starting work on it: unplug or turn off breakers as necessary. Next, remove any foil covering from around the coil and use a vacuum cleaner hose with an attachment made specifically for cleaning vents or dryer vents (or use an old mop handle) to gently pull out any dust bunnies that have collected there over time—don't push too hard on them; they'll come right out if you just pull gently back towards yourself! Once you've removed all of the dust bunnies and debris in this way, go ahead and replace whatever protective covering was covering up your coil before taking care of another part of your home!
Make sure the room you stay in the most is warm enough.
Make sure the room you stay in the most is warm enough.
If your room isn't as warm as you'd like, consider wearing more clothes or putting on a sweater.
If you're still cold, consider turning up the heat!
Clean sediment from shower heads
If you haven’t cleaned your shower head in a while, it’s probably time to do so. The mineral deposits that collect on the inside of your shower head can be difficult to remove with just water and scrubbing. If you have hard water, they may even be impossible to get rid of with manual cleaning. In this case, you should consider getting an electric shower head that includes a built-in filter or descaler so that you don’t have to worry about removing the buildup yourself.
Sediment buildup on faucets can lead to poor flow rates because it blocks water from flowing smoothly through faucet valves and pipes throughout your home plumbing system (not just kitchen fittings). You should clean any kitchen or bathroom fixtures where there is visible sediment buildup at least once per month during winter months since these areas see more use than other parts of your house
Keep window treatments open on sunny days to let in warm air.
Keeping your windows open on sunny days is a great way to let in natural sunlight and take advantage of the warm air that it brings. It's also an excellent time to dust and clean any surfaces that you can see from outside, like the front window or sill area. Be sure to close your window treatments when there's inclement weather or clouds blocking out the sun! You don't want your home getting too hot or cold, so be mindful of any drafts that may come into your home from having open windows.
Don't worry about condensation forming on the inside of your windows either—this is normal after opening up a room full of cold winter air into a warmer space indoors!
Seal leaky ducts.
You may not know it, but you’re wasting money on your heating bill. That’s because of all the air that escapes through cracks around vents, pipes and registers in your ductwork. Seal up these leaks before winter sets in by applying a product called duct sealant to those areas with leaks. If you need help installing this product or want advice about other home improvements, ask a contractor or check out programs offered by Fortis.
Block drafts from under doors.
Use a draft snake. A draft snake is generally a long piece of plastic or metal that you can install in place of your door sweep, which will help block out drafts from under your door. Draft snakes work wonders for keeping the air moving in your home warm and cozy, even when it gets cold outside.
Use a door sweep. If you want to add something more permanent than a draft snake without doing any major renovations on your home, consider installing an actual door sweep on each side of the door frame to create an effective barrier between outside and inside temperatures.
Use a door wedge or stop. Another simple solution is using one of these two products—a wedge or stop—to prevent excess airflow from entering through small gaps around your front entrance doors (and other potential areas where drafts may sneak into).
Check to make sure there are no gaps where pipes enter or exit the home and caulk if necessary.
Crawl space vents provide the perfect environment for mold growth. If you have a crawl space, check to make sure there are no gaps where pipes enter or exit the home and caulk if necessary. In addition, make sure your sump pump is in good working order and that its battery backup is charged.
Basement leaks can be particularly problematic because they're often caused by water coming in through cracks in foundation walls or floors instead of simply draining out via drains. Check around windows, doors and other openings for signs of moisture accumulation (black mold). If you find any areas that are moist enough to support mold growth, dry them out as quickly as possible using fans or dehumidifiers until they're completely dry before caulking them up again with silicone caulk. Also make sure your basement doesn't have any leaks from outside—if so, seal up those holes with special weatherproofing tape from a hardware store until springtime when it's safe to do more permanent repairs outdoors. Garages: Garage leaks tend not to cause significant structural damage like basement ones sometimes do; however, garage leaks can still lead to costly repairs due to water damage on high-value items kept inside cars parked inside garages throughout winter months (such as boats). They also increase risks of vehicle theft since thieves know that unattended vehicles are likely unlocked due to owners' desire not risk damaging themselves while entering/exiting cars during cold weather conditions! Make sure all windows are secure before leaving this area unattended overnight during winter months—and don't forget about doors too (they may not lock automatically after being opened)!
Insulate pipes, especially those that are near exterior walls or in crawl spaces.
Insulating pipes helps keep them warm and prevents frozen pipes.
You can insulate your pipes in many ways, including adding insulation to walls, wrapping the pipes in foam or using pipe sleeves or wraps. Insulation will also help prevent condensation from forming inside the walls of your home when cold air hits hot water or vice versa.
We hope these tips have been helpful to you, and that you’re ready for the winter ahead. Winter is a great season to stay indoors with family and friends, and even though it can be tough, it’s important to stay warm by using all the resources available.