With the temperature quickly dropping and winter fast approaching in Surrey and the rest of Greater Vancouver—you could even make the argument that it has already arrived—there are several things that everyone needs to do to prepare for the weather change. You'd probably be best advised to put on winter or all-season tires, make sure you haven't lost your best winter gloves and toque, and get a flu shot. There are also a number of precautions that you should take to ensure your home is prepared for winter. With that in mind, here are five ways to prepare your home for winter in Surrey:
Clean Your Gutters
Surrey winters generally result in a lot more rain than snow, so it's essential to remove debris from your gutters to make room for the influx of precipitation flowing through them. Gutters are meant to protect your foundation from the water falling from your roof, but if your gutters are clogged they can cause the water to flow over the gutter, which can cause problems for your home's foundation.
If you'd like to check if your gutters are currently clogged, but can't safely look inside them, wait for a rainy day and then look to see if water is coming out of your downspout or if it's flowing over the top of the gutters.
Protect Your Driveways
Homes in a variety of Surrey neighbourhoods such as Clayton, Fraser Heights, Guildford, and South Surrey have driveways leading up to attached garages. The pavement on these driveways can suffer from excessive cracking during winter when water enters the cracks and freezes. This usually isn't as much of a problem in Surrey and the Greater Vancouver area as in other parts of Canada, but we've already seen temperatures dip below zero at night during the early stages on November, so it's worth being aware of.
Residents are reminded to fill the cracks in the driveway and apply a coat of sealant in order to protect it from water, but only do this project if rain isn't in the forecast for at least 24 hours.
Organize Your Garage
Not only is it a good idea to protect the driveway just outside your garage, but you should also think about cleaning out the inside of your garage and storing items that you won't need until spring and summer elsewhere. Put gardening tools, lawnoutdoor sports equipment, rakes, and lawn mowers in another storage area of your home and make sure your shovel and salt container are easily accessible.
But perhaps an even better reason to clear out your garage before winter is to make room for your car. Many home owners with a garage don't actually store their car inside, which leaves your car exposed to the rigours of winter rain and snow. There's also the issue of a lack of street parking in neighbourhoods like Clayton, which has caused the City of Surrey to crackdown on many secondary suites in Clayton homes, essentially forcing those renting the suites to find a new place to live. Creating enough room to park your car in the garage can alleviate this problem, regardless of what season it is.
Insulate Your Walls and Windows
Because Greater Vancouver has milder winters than the majority of Canada, many houses (older homes in particular) don't have the strongest insulation in their walls and windows.
Hiring a specialist to blow loose fill insulation into your walls is a great way to keep your home warmer and save money on your heating bill in the long run.
You should also put your hand near your window sills to feel for cold air and check for moisture on your windows to see if they're fully insulated. If they're not, consider sealing them by caulking the crack between the window and exterior siding, or by applying a plastic film around the inside of the window. There are many types of window insulation kits that you can buy in order to tackle this project.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Most of us know that warm air rises, so it's a good idea to reverse the direction of your ceiling fan(s) so cool air is pulled up and the warm air is pushed down towards the rest of the room. Most ceiling fans are designed to keep rooms cool, which means they generally turn in a counterclockwise direction to push the cool air down. However, there is a switch on the fan itself that can change the direction to clockwise, which will push the warm air down and make your home feel warmer.
If you're looking to buy or sell a home in Surrey, or if you're just looking for general real estate advice, get in touch with Surrey REALTOR® Robbie Johal. Robbie's experience, knowledge, and dedication have made him one of the top selling real estate agents in the Fraser Valley, particularly in the Clayton and Cloverdale area.