One of the great joys of living in Canada is the change of seasons. Autumn's colors and crispness will soon give way to winter's first snowfall. While people react differently to seasonal changes, all homes react much the same way: climate change is hard on homes and the freeze/thaw cycles can cause damage.
 
I believe prevention is the key to a safe and comfortable season. Here are the top areas of focus and suggestions to get you through the winter months:


 
Roof - Just like your car, an annual roof tune-ups is really important. Fall is the perfect time for your roofer to address any small issues before they become big ones. The roof suffers the brunt of winter weather abuse. Correcting damaged shingles, loose flashings and torn valleys can prevent water damage from leaks and avoid expensive repairs. Tree limbs overhanging and touching the roof should be cut back, and missing mortar or loose bricks on chimneys should be repaired.

One of my favorite roofers is Boston Roofing: http://www.bostonroofing.ca/

 

 
 

Eavestroughs - Free-flowing, leak-free gutters and downspouts help to get roof water away from the house and keep it out of the basement. If eavestroughs can't control the rain or melting snow, or if downspouts don't carry water at least six feet away from the home, the ground next to your home will get soaked. Saturated ground usually means a leaky basement.
 

 

 

Catch Basins - I had water in my basement about a year ago because of this very issue. The catch basin at the bottom of my basement walk out was clogged, and we had a heavy rain that couldn't drain away. Since that "swimming pool in the basement issue" I make sure that the catch basin is clear. If you have them, keep the catch basins clear on your driveway, garage and yard. If you want to go the extra mile, it's also a great idea to clear any storm grates in the street in front of your house so all that rain and melting snow can get into the storm sewers.

Windows, Doors and Walls - Check your windows and doors for any wood in need of paint, and any joints that need re-caulking. The corners of sills are a common weak point. Check the caulking at pipes, vents and other wall penetrations as part of regular maintenance.
 
Furnace- One of the most over-looked and taken for granted systems in our homes is the furnace. But just one episode of a furnace break-down in winter will emphasize the importance of taking care of your furnace, especially in the winter. I would suggest an annual  If you haven't yet, schedule a heating system maintenance call, even if your system is relatively new.