How to Keep Your Home Safe This Winter: 6 Tips from CAHPI Home Inspectors
Don't look now, but winter is on its way in Canada. It is bringing with it cold, ice, sleet, snow, and rain, if you're on the East or West coast. We know the urge is strong to stay inside until everything melts, and April is showing on the calendar again. Unfortunately, that's not possible.
As CAHPI home inspectors, we are out and about inspecting homes in all kinds of weather We've seen it all! So, we've taken this opportunity to put together a list of maintenance and safety tips. These tips will help keep your home and family safe this season.
Keep Your Walkway Clear
It sounds simple, but it's the first (literal) step in keeping your home safe for you, your family, and your guests. Keep snow cleared and throw down salt or sand on icy patches.
Replace Burnt Out, Outdoor Lights
Thanks in part to a return to Standard Time in much of the country, we have many more hours of darkness than we do daylight this time of year; making it extra important to ensure your outdoor lights are functioning and shining bright. There's nothing more dangerous than coming home from work and shuffling your way to your front door over an icy walkway in the dark with an armful of groceries.
Keep an Eye Out for Icicles
Icicles might add a magical wintery look to your front porch, but they can be a sign of something more serious - ice dams. Ice dams are ridges of ice that can form at the edge of your roof, preventing melting snow (water) from draining off the roof and eventually causing water to enter your home.
Not only that, but the icicles themselves can be incredibly dangerous and can cause injury if they fall. If your home has the signs of ice damming, contact a CAHPI qualified inspector to investigate and provide you with a recommended solution.
Watch Your Space Heaters and Block Heaters
Space heaters can come in handy on a chilly day, especially for those of us working from home, to heat our feet in a makeshift office. While they're great to have, space heaters can also pose a fire hazard if left unattended. Always plug them into the wall directly and avoid the use of extension cords, keep the area around them clear, keep them off the carpet and furniture. And never run a space heater overnight! Also, never use your block heater inside the garage.
Keep Your Christmas Tree Away From Your Fireplace
If you celebrate the holidays with a Christmas Tree - real or artificial - be sure to place it away from your fireplace or any other source of heat.
Have Your Furnace Inspected
Your furnace should be inspected each year. An early inspection will address any issues before winter arrives. Don't forget to change your furnace filter on a regular basis to keep your furnace working properly.
As CAHPI inspectors, the home hazards we have seen over the years always surprise us. But with a little bit of preparation before the temperatures get too cold, you can ensure your home stays safe for everyone this winter.