Let’s face it – Vancouver had a nice long summer but it seems like all of Canada has skipped fall, failed to collect $200 and landed directly in winter.  It is pouring rain as I write this but there are a few dry and even sunny days in the forecast – why not use them to get your home ready for winter?

The lower mainland area of beautiful British Columbia’s cold and wet winter climate can wreak havoc on your house and yard, here is our recommended Vancouver winter maintenance list.

11 Vancouver Area Home Winterizing Tips

  1. Check the attic for leaks, ensure the insulation is sitting as it should look for blocked vents. Look to see if there is any sunlight coming through the perforations in the roof, (this may indicate a leak).  

  2. Replace your furnace air filters and perform the motor maintenance as per the owner’s manual, (the latter may require a technician).

  3. Clean and test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, (change the batteries if required). IMPORTANT: Check the back of your alarm for an expiry date (most people don’t know this but these devices expire after 10 years). If it is expired (or if there is no visible expiry date, replace it with a new one.

  4. Test all the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) and all the panel breakers, (depending on the size of your home, you may have multiple panels).

  5. Once the white stuff starts to fall in the Lower Mainland, try to remove the ice and snow from porches and concrete stairs as soon as possible – don’t use salts or other chemicals that will damage the concrete to melt or disperse ice.

  6. In snowy or freezing conditions, check for ice dams on roof overhangs. If you have a metal roof (all or partial) be careful crossing under these overhangs as any buildup of ice or snow can slide down at a moment’s notice. While ice dams are rare in Vancouver, it can be dangerous.

  7. Occasionally open windows to allow the fresh Vancouver air to cleanse your home.  If you have a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) ensure this is set to ‘winter’ mode.

  8. Turn off the water supply to hose bibs, and exterior faucets well in advance of the freezing weather.

  9. If you have in-ground sprinklers, make sure they are winterized before freezing weather, (drained/blown out).

  10. Check for leaky faucets – this will save you on your hot water heating costs.

  11. Do not pile snow against the side of your home while shoveling. It is also a good idea to clear any snow drifts that have created banks against your house.

Did you find this information useful? Stay tuned for our spring maintenance post – like/follow us on social media to make sure you don’t miss any of our updates! Looking to build in the Lower Mainland or Fraser Valley?  Give us a call at 604-728-9466 – we’d love to chat.

This list is specific for Vancouver and the surrounding area and should not replace the manufacturer’s recommendations and we urge DIY homeowners to exercise safety while DIYing. For more hazardous activities (i.e. electrical work, entering an attic or climbing onto roofs) are best left to professionals.