November is the time of year when we celebrate the coming holiday season by getting ready for December. It’s usually the last opportunity to do maintenance before the snowy months in the Blue Mountains that are ahead.
Before the first snowfall, ask a licensed roofing contractor to inspect the roof for missing or loose shingles. Ice and snow are heavy and can cause loose roofing materials to shift resulting in a mid-winter water leak. They will also check the flashing and seals around corners and vents. If your bathroom vent exhausts from the soffit, this is a good time to ask the roofing company to redirect it to the roof surface in order to prevent mold.
Look in the attic to see if there is enough insulation. Spending a little now may save a lot of money later on heating costs. Attic insulation keeps the structure warmer in the winter by preventing heat loss through the roof. In the summer, it keeps the heat from warming the inside of the house. The federal and provincial governments have energy saving grants available in the Blue Mountains area.
Tree branches and should not reach over the house or electrical wires. Ice and wind can cause otherwise healthy branches to fail, and at worst, cut off power to your home for several days or weeks. Trim branches at least four feet (1.3m) away from these areas to be safe.
The perimeter of the foundation should have a slight slope away from the structure so that rain and melting snow will flow to areas where it cannot do any damage. Add extra dirt to low areas so water will channel itself away from the house to the garden, for example. Read this article on drainage the This Old House website for some interesting ideas.
Dusk is early during the winter and good lighting keeps everyone safe from falls and other hazards. Were there areas of your property that felt too dark last winter? Consider adding some lighting to dark corners of the yard, along pathways, and anywhere you want more light.