(NC) As Canadians, we are fortunate to experience nature's splendour through all four seasons. However, extra steps need to be taken to protect your home against damage that could be incurred with cold temperatures, ice and snow.
“Preparing your home for old man winter's arrival will help you to protect your investment,” says Royal LePage broker Carla Bouchard. “A few simple steps can restore your peace of mind and have your home winter-ready.” Bouchard recommends the following tips for winter home preparation:
1. Clean out your gutters and install gutter guards. Reduce the chance of an ice dam by removing debris from your gutters. Ice dams form when indoor heat melts the ice on your roof. If there is nowhere for the melted ice to flow, it will collect in your gutters and re-freeze, causing potential water damage when warmer temperatures return. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation also recommends using electrical de-icing cables or low-corrosion chemical de-icers.
2. Use a chimney sweep service at least once per year. Many Canadians enjoy a crackling fire on cold winter nights. Chimney sweep services remove soot, blockages and any accumulating creosote, a highly flammable substance, from your chimney, thereby reducing the potential for a chimney fire.
3. Protect pipes located near the exterior of your home. Frozen pipes are one of the most common problems caused by freezing temperatures. It is important to ensure that pipes running through your garage or other exterior areas are well insulated. If you plan to be away, set your thermostat at 65 degrees Fahrenheit and open cupboards under your sinks to allow heat to flow through. You can find more information at