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Warm up to your first Canadian winter


Newcomers are sometimes caught unawares by how cold Canadian winters can get.

Even those who have done their research and in theory know that temperatures can stay well below the freezing point for several months, don’t know how cold that is until they have actually experienced it.

It’s not uncommon during the winter season, to experience rapidly changing weather conditions – from periods of heavy snow to fluctuating temperatures that can cause flash-freezing or melting conditions.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind during the winter season.

Personal safety:

1. Watch for falling snow and ice from roofs.
2. Inspect roofs from the inside for leaks or structural deficiencies.
3. Sand and/or salt icy areas around entrances.
4. Falls from roofs and possible exposure to electrical wires while on the roof are serious hazards – do not ask untrained individuals to clear snow from roofs.

Property maintenance for your home and business:

1. Regularly check for ice around the roof line; remove icicles and/or blocked areas where icicles may fall.
2. Ensure that floors, carpets, mats, and stair runners are clean and in good condition.
3. Clear areas around downspouts and exhaust vents so that water from melting snow has a path to flow away from the house or building. Direct the flow away from walkways and entrances.
4. Consider having a professional licensed contractor remove all snow immediately from every roof surface, including roof overhangs and covered porches.
5. Watch for signs of roof problems such as leaks, deflection of ceiling finishes or exposed beams.
6. Clear ice and debris from gutters, drains and downspouts.
7. Clear decks of snow to reduce stress on them.
8. If water enters your home as a result of ice backup, remove standing water as soon as it is safe to do so – dry the area thoroughly and remove soaked building materials, including drywall and floor coverings.
9. Look for signs of mould contamination, which can appear within 24 hours of exposure to water.
10. If you own a business, keep your parking lot clear and walkways sanded/salted.


– Courtesy The Co-operators

Posted: Jan 5, 2016

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