It wouldn’t be winter in Canada without snow — but while it can bring fun, it can also wreak havoc on your home and vehicle. From shoveling tips to driving checklists, Canadian Tire and Yahoo are bringing you everything you need to conquer the snowy season.
Following a big snowfall, most people rush out to clear their driveways and walkways with shovels, snowblowers and ice melt in tow.
But did you know there are many other areas around your home that, if neglected, can collect snow and ice and eventually cause major damage to your home as well as pose a threat to those who live on the property?
To avoid any impending headaches, make sure you get around to all the nooks and crannies you may not initially think of when clearing snow. Then get out there and enjoy everything a Canadian winter has to offer.
Area 1: The roof
Most people leave their roofs alone during the winter -- but this could be a costly mistake. Depending on how much snow accumulates, the design and age of your home, there might be cause to remove it.
If you start noticing blatant signs of damage like a saggy roof, excessive creaking or leaks, it’s time to investigate. Never climb up on your roof to remove snow and if your roof is too high, call a professional roofer who can do the job safely. However, if you have a low roof and can do the job with your feet firmly planted on the ground, consider using a snow rake. The Yardworks 16-ft Telescopic Roof Rake features a telescoping handle so you can reach the highest points of your rooftop.
Area 2: The gutters
Your gutter troughs also need some attention in the winter. Heavy snow and ice can weigh them down or form ice dams, which can lead to major issues.
The first thing you should do when snow is in the forecast is clear your gutter of any leaves or debris so water can flow without getting stuck and eventually freezing up.
Another preventive measure you can take is using your trusty ice rake to empty snow from gutter troughs whenever it starts to build up. Again, we don’t advise doing this if you have to climb a ladder or stand on your roof.
Area 3: Your home’s foundation
After a heavy snowfall, you might shovel snow along the foundation of your home. While you may have cleared a path on a walkway, you may also unknowingly be causing damage to the interior of your home. Those piles of snow will eventually melt and seep into your foundation’s concrete pores.
Luckily, there’s a fairly easy solution to this winter woe. When you’re shovelling or blowing snow, be sure to push it away from the foundation and keep the area as ice and snow free as possible. The Yardworks Snow Pusher features a round blade that allows you to clear a path in one pass. If you live in an area with especially heavy snowfall, the Yardworks Sleigh Snow Shovel will do just the trick while protecting your back and posture.
If you’re using a snowblower, aim the chute away from your home’s foundation and onto your lawn or another safe area.
Area 4: The balcony
Whether you live in a condo or a home, remember to remove snow from your balconies as well. It’s easy to forget about this outdoor space in the winter, but heavy snow and ice can damage its structural integrity.
Living in a highrise presents another challenge because shovelling snow and dumping it off your balcony and onto an unsuspecting person below is probably not the most neighbourly act. Instead, collect the snow into a bucket and melt it in your tub with warm water.
Area 5: Tree branches
While tree branches dusted with fresh, powdery snow certainly look picturesque, they can also wreak havoc.
In reality, tree branches weighed down by heavy snow can cause branches to snap off. In more severe instances, your tree can even topple over and that can be hazardous to your home or anyone wandering around outside. If you experience a heavy snowfall and notice your tree struggling, simply use a broom with soft bristles and brush it off. A simple broom will do the job just fine.