Winter Home Maintenance Tips from Nell Homes

1. HEALTHY INDOOR AIR
Change furnace filters once a month during the winter season. Once every 3 months is the minimum.
2. EXTRA INSULATION
Attic spaces must be properly sealed, ventilated and insulated with a minimum of 12-15 inches of blown-in insulation. Otherwise you risk heat loss and ice damming.
3. ICE DAMMING
Call a professional roofer. If eavestroughs are clogged they might recommend using a non-corrosive deicer, like a calcium chloride flake (looks like snow). Once everything is melted eavestroughs can be cleared and cleaned.
4. SNOW REMOVAL
Shovel snow away from the perimeter of your home’s foundation to prevent basement leaks. Also make sure fire hydrants, gas metres, dryer vents, exhaust lines and fresh air intakes aren’t covered by snow either.
5. PROTECT YOUR BRICK
Remove snow from any brick around your home to prevent flaking and spalling.
6. PROTECT YOUR WOOD
Removing snow from any wood structures, such as porches, decks and columns helps prolong the life of the wood and maintain its overall appearance
7. WRAP PIPES
Pipes that go below insulation or through cold zones, such as crawlspaces, the garage or along an exterior wall (not insulated) must be wrapped. This helps prevent frozen pipes or a burst pipe.
8. SHUT DOWN THE EXTERIOR PLUMBING LINES
Most homes have two exterior plumbing lines and/or hose bibs: One in the garage and one in the backyard. Make sure both are shut down for winter.
9. PLUG IN SAFELY
Make sure you’re plugging into GFCI protected circuits and avoid overloaded circuits by keeping an eye on how much load you are plugging in. Homes should be protected with a 15-amp circuit, which delivers 1800 watts of power. Inspect power bars and extension cords. If they’re frayed or slightly damaged throw them out and get new ones.
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