British Columbia

5 tips on preparing your home for a winter storm

Wet and windy storms can cause havoc on people’s houses. Here are a few tips to prepare your home for the worst.

Prep work should start early in the year around spring and summertime

It's best to trim branches near power lines before a storm, says Morgan Jensen, owner of JBS Home Improvement. (Getty Images)

Wet and windy storms can cause havoc on people's homes, but one contractor says some of the damage is preventable.

Preparing for the winter often means doing the grunt work — like inspecting your roof and servicing your furnace — during the spring and summer, says Morgan Jensen, owner of JBS Home improvement.

"Unfortunately people wait until this time of the year [and] then it's difficult to get it done."

Here are a few tips from Jensen, on what you can do this season to protect your home from the winter weather, and even save money by doing so. 

1. Clean up the yard

Jensen says he once had a client who called about a broken door. The wind had actually blown the barbecue into the door and damaged it. Other things to put away for the season include umbrellas and gazebos.

2. Pressure test your home

Pressure testing helps people save money on the heating bill, says Jensen. The service requires a worker to install a temporary fan and seal in your doorway to detect any air leaks from your home. Leaks from windows, cracks, and doors can otherwise be difficult to find.

3. Government grants

The provincial and federal governments offer grants on window replacements and new, efficient hot water tanks, says Jensen. For more information, go to BC Hydro and FortisBC.

4. Watch out for trees

High wind and wet, heavy branches near power lines are a bad combination, says Jensen. He recommends taking a walk around your property before a storm and trimming any low-hanging branches close to wires. Hire someone if you are not comfortable cutting the branches yourself, he said.

5. Check your chimney

The danger from chimneys during the winter is two-fold, said Jensen. People may be tempted to use their old wood-fire chimney if the power is out, but Jensen advises against this. He warns that chimneys that have not been used in years can cause smoke problems if they are not serviced before people start them up again.

To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: How to prepare your home for winter


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