As winter sets in, homeowners need to prepare their homes for the challenges that come with colder temperatures, snow, and icy conditions. Winter maintenance is crucial to ensure your home remains cozy, energy-efficient, and problem-free during the chilly months. Continue reading as we provide you with a comprehensive winter maintenance guide to help homeowners navigate the season and protect their home.

Snow removoal

Snow Removal

In Ontario winters, expect plenty of snow that can pose risks to your home and health. Whether you shovel or use a snow blower, prioritize these areas in your clearing routine:

  1. Foundation: Clear around your foundation to prevent water seepage into cracks, inspecting for any vulnerabilities beforehand.
  2. Outdoor Exhaust Pipes and Vents: Ensure exterior vents for furnace, dryer, fireplace, and stove are not blocked, preventing deadly carbon monoxide buildup.
  3. Driveways and Walkways: Besides preventing slips, clear these areas to avoid frost damage that can harm concrete and paved surfaces.
  4. Window Wells: Keep window wells clear to prevent water damage in the basement; consider safe covers for winter.
  5. Roof: Remove snow from the roof, especially near the edges, to prevent ice dams that may lead to water penetration. Consider professional help if needed.

How to avoid ice damming:

Prevent damage from ice damming this season by including your roof in your snow-clearing routine. While you may diligently clear driveways and walkways, neglecting the roof can lead to issues. Ice dams form when melted rooftop snow refreezes, creating a barrier that traps water on the roof. This can result in damage to your home’s interior and exterior.

  1. Preventative Measures: Ensure proper insulation, ventilation, and sealing in your attic to regulate temperature and reduce ice damming. Consider installing heated cables along the roof edge to melt accumulating snow and ice.
  2. Professional Help: If you currently have ice buildup, hire a professional to safely remove it.
  3. Avoid DIY Risks: Do not climb onto the roof with a shovel, as it can damage both the roof and pose personal injury risks. Avoid using salt or de-icing chemicals, as they may harm shingles.

Take proactive steps to safeguard your home from ice damming by incorporating safe snow-clearing practices into your winter maintenance routine.

Protect new plants

It’s important to shield any new or delicate plants from harsh winter winds, frost, and of course snow. You can use burlap or other specially-made protective coverings to guard any newly planted or vulnerable vegetation from the weather.

Use salt alternatives

Although handy for de-icing walkways and driveways, ice can actually be very harmful to plants – even those that are dormant during the winter. If you’re concerned about the well-being of your garden, you should consider using these alternatives:

  1. Sand is an interesting alternative, as it absorbs sunlight, which helps to melt snow/ice. It also adds traction to the ground, which will help prevent slips and falls.
  2. Sugar beet juice is more than rich in antioxidants, but it is also an excellent way to remove snow/ice from your walkways and driveways! The juice actually lowers the melting point of ice while being completely safe for pets and animals
  3. Environmentally-friendly salt compounds, like calcium magnesium acetate, are less harmful to local plants and animals, while still providing strong de-icing effects.

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