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Preparing Home For A Saskatchewan Winter

Yes I said it! The dreaded W word, Winter.  Whether you like it or not, winter is coming.  Every year it comes, but still for some reason, a large majority of us are not ready.  Face it, how many times do you leave the winter clothes, snow shovels, extension cords packed away only to wake up one morning with snow in the driveway, a cold vehicle, and you can't find your left glove.  While I can't help you with getting those things ready, what I can do is help ensure your home is prepared for winter.

Here is a checklist of the top 10 things to get your home prepared for winter:

1) Clear leaves and debris from around house and yard - If you have leaves and debris around your house, this can hold moisture and cause water damage.  It is also an excellent home for those pesky rodents and insects to call home.

2) Trim Trees - Ensure that all branches that overhang your roof are trimmed back far enough.  They can be weighed down by snow and ice and break off causing substantial damage.

3) Check Gutters - This is where you may get a little messy.  Roll up your sleeves and dig out any leaves/debris that have accumulated over winter.  With the gutters clean, melted snow and ice can safely be diverted away from your home.

4) Avoid Ice Damming - While we all like to see icicles dangling from the eves and glistening in the sun, this can be a sign of bigger problems.  As the ice builds up or "Dams", water then runs back under the roof and can cause serious damage. There are 3 big things that can prevent ice damming: 1) seal any warm air leaks escaping from your home to the roof area, 2) add more insulation to attic, 3) ensure adequate ventilation between attic and roof sheathing.

5) Blow out sprinklers and hoses - Drain your lawn irrigation equipment and the hose bibs on the side of the house. This can freeze early, even on those cool fall nights.

6) Weather stripping and caulking - Check caulking around windows and doors, as well as around the area where electrical and plumbing enter home.  Also check weather stripping around windows and doors.

7) Check your furnace- Ensure that your HVAC system is ready to go. Change furnace filters, cover the AC condenser to keep it protected, and ensure your furnace is operating as it should. This may be the most important thing to get ready.

8) Check smoke/carbon monoxide detectors - July 1st new rules came into effect in Saskatchewan for smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.  Click here for the latest.

9) Clean Chimney - Have a chimney sweep come clean and inspect your chimney. It's that time of year when you would like to sit around a cozy fire and you want to make sure the fire stays where in is supposed to, the fireplace.

10) Get Ready - Yes, the snow is coming. Ensure your shovels are dug out of the closet, the pail of ice melt is full and sitting by the door, and the extension cords are ready to be rolled out.

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