Winter is Coming…Prepare!

If you’re from southern Alberta, you know that we often see winter during fall; “winter is coming” is very applicable here, and more importantly, now. It’s time to consider how to protect your home and property from the upcoming cold and snow.

On the outside:

  • Fertilize the grass. It may look dead, but it’s not. Fertilizer will help it survive the winter and grow new roots in the spring.
  • Add Mulch. Covering the ground under trees or perennials will help to insulate roots from the cold, and retain snow melt to keep them fed for the coming months.
  • Trees. Trim back any branches overhanging your home that might be filling your eaves with leaves or could break under the weight of snow and cause damage.
  • Clean your gutters. You want to make certain that when snow melts, it gets off of your roof and is directed away from your walkways to prevent ice damming, or future slip and fall.
  • Check the shed. Move all of your summer gardening tools to the back of the shed and keep your snow shovel and snow blower at the front for easy access.
  • Prepare your car.
  • Prep the snow blower. Don’t deal with problems at 5am when it’s -40degrees. Make sure your tire air pressure is good and that the machine will run ahead of time. Also ensure sufficient fuel is on hand to get the job done.
  • Drain the pipes and hoses. If you have a sprinkler system, it’s time to get the lines blown out. It’s also time to turn off the exterior water supply and drain any water left in the hoses or pipes to prevent them from expanding and cracking.
  • Check for leaks. If your stucco is cracked or your siding is loose it may allow for water intrusion.
  • Make room for Santa! If you have a chimney, get it cleaned. Not only does this make room for a jolly old elf, it also helps assure clean air and prevent the tragedy of a fire.

On the inside:

  • Change furnace filters. Not only does this help ensure you are breathing clean air when trapped indoors by cold, it also improves the efficiency of your furnace, so that you save money.
  • Check fire detectors/carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure that they are operating and have fresh batteries.
  • Reverse ceiling fans. In the summer having all that hot air sucked up and away was great, but now you want it coming down, so reverse the fan direction.
  • Stock up. Firewood, heating fuel, warm blankets, ice melt: if you have them ready and on hand, that is one less trip in the cold, and on icy roads.
  • Check caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors. Remember mom and dad saying “I’m not paying to heat the outdoors!”? It was good advice!

For more good advice, speak to the certified professionals at ServiceMaster of Lethbridge 24hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re here to help (but not with yard work!).