Safety at Home During the Winter Months

Don Kearney
January 13, 2016

There is no denying that winter is now fully upon us. Temperatures have dropped sharply, rain has turned into snow and commute times are steadily increasing as we navigate snow plows, winter storms and icy conditions.

Whether you live in a house or a condominium, winter poses its own set of challenges and they must be faced head on to ensure your property is protected and your personal safety is assured.
If you own a home, it's very important to make sure you've winterized it as much as possible by adhering to these steps:

Shut off the water to your outside hose bibs from the inside of the house. These are located in your basement towards the outer walls where your hose bib is located. Shutting these off and draining the lines will ensure that they won't freeze and burst inside your home, causing a great deal of water damage.

Put all of your outdoor decorations and plant pots away or empty the soil from them and turn them over. Wet soil from the fall weather will freeze and crack even the most expensive pottery pot. It's not something you'll want to replace each year! Additionally, ensure that you take down any sun shelter or pop-up gazebo that isn't rated for year-round outdoor weather. These will collapse easily under the weight of snow and ice and are a pricy replacement.

Keep your walkways and driveways clear and salt where necessary. With winter weather comes darker evenings and keeping these clear during daylight hours means you won't have to risk trudging through deep snow that can possibly hide ice beneath it. If you have pets, make sure you use pet-friendly salt that won't burn or damage their feet.

For high-rise condominium owners, your maintenance fees often cover the cost of snow removal from the front door of your building however it's vital that you're careful when walking in your building as wet, slippery lobby floors are hard to keep dry and many people slip when not paying attention.

You should also learn to control the humidity in your suite. If your windows are damp on the inside it means you have too much humidity building up. Too much humidity creates wet windowsills and leads to water damage and can even lead to mould if not mopped up on a regular  basis. The best way to avoid this is to run your HVAC unit or even your hood fan over your stove. You can also lower the temperature in your unit slightly.

Spring will hopefully be here before you know it but in the meantime, take some time to keep you and your house winter-ready.