Preventing a damage

Disaster can strike anytime, yet prevention remains the best remedy. Following are precautions to take according to the season. Note that the list is not necessarily exhaustive, because installations often differ from one property to the next.  

Spring Summer Fall Winter All the time

Feu vol vent

Spring

Outdoors

Roof

Snow and cold weather can damage the roof of your home. Ensure that the shingles are in good repair and replace them when necessary.

Gutters

Remove dead leaves and other debris and reinstall the downspouts removed during the fall.

Cladding

Identify cracks and crevices that may have been caused by snow and cold weather. Quickly repair them to avoid any form of infiltration (water, insects, rodents, etc.) that might damage the building structure.  

Vegetation

Take advantage of this period when vegetation is less dense to prune dead and dangerous branches. This will prevent them from damaging your property.

Foundations

Inspect the foundations, brick and cement trim, and seal cracks to prevent potential water infiltration.

Exterior stairs to basement

Ensure the proper operation of the drain at the exterior entrance to the basement. A plugged drain greatly increases the risk of infiltration and is a threat to the integrity of the structure.

Indoors

Air exchanger

Because more demand is placed on the air exchanger in winter, clean or change its filter(s) every two months. You should also repeat this each season.  

Basement drain

Pour a good quantity of water into the basement drain to check that it is not plugged.

 

Summer

Outdoors

Land leveling

Ensure that slopes on your property do not direct water towards the house.

Stormwater downspout

Disconnect the downspout connected to the storm sewer and position it so that water runs at least six feet away from the foundations.

Chimney and stove flues

Clean chimney ducts and stove flues regularly to mitigate the risk of fire and prevent any backflow of poisonous gases indoors.

Indoors

Heating system

Drain the radiators of your boiler (hot water, oil or electric). To drain, contact a qualified technician. This should be done once a year.

Have your oil tank checked if you note odours, seepage or corrosion. An oil tank should be replaced every ten years.   

 

Fall

Outdoors

Gutters

Disconnect extensions connected to downspouts to avoid their freezing and preventing water from flowing (do not forget to reinstall them in the spring).

Roof

Prevent the formation of a wall of ice along the lower edges of the roof. This is created when heat from the building melts snow on the roof, creating an accumulation of ice along the lower edges.

  • Install leaf guards/ice barriers to prevent debris from accumulating in the eaves troughs;
  • Verify that there is sufficient insulation in the attic;
  • Ensure good air circulation in the attic and leave a large amount of space between the soffits and the air intakes.

Vegetation

Never plant new trees less than 5 metres from your house. The roots may damage the foundations or block the French drain.

Foundations

Inspect the foundations, brick and cement trim and seal cracks to prevent potential water infiltration.

Water pipes

Unless your house is equipped with anti-freeze faucets, you must cut the water supply indoors and drain the faucet outdoors to empty pipes completely.

Exterior stairs to basement

Ensure the proper operation of the drain at the exterior entrance to the basement. A plugged drain greatly increases the risk of infiltration and is a threat to the integrity of the structure.

Indoors

Air exchanger

Because more demand is placed on the air exchanger in winter, clean or change its filter(s). Ideally, you should repeat this each season.

Windows and window wells

Remove screens and store them in a dry location during winter. Screens prevent heat from reaching the window, leading to condensation and mould.

Ideally, replace any cracked sealant around doors and windows at lower levels of the house and in the basement.

 

Winter

Outdoors

Roof

Regularly remove excess snow on flat or low-sloped roofs. Excess weight can cause major damage to your home.

Windows and window wells

Remove snow accumulated in front of basement windows and in window wells because it may cause water infiltration during the spring thaw.

Indoors

Water heater

Drain the water heater to limit the accumulation of scaling in the tank. Regular maintenance will improve your energy efficiency and increase the service life of your water heater.

Firewood

Store indoors only the amount of wood needed for one or two days. The more wood you store indoors, the greater the risk of inviting unwanted pests into the home, as well as excess moisture and combustible material indoors. 

Air exchanger

Because more demand is placed on the air exchanger in winter, clean or change its filter(s) every two months. You should also repeat this each season.

 

To be done all the time

Water pipes

Regularly check pipes under sinks to ensure dryness and no leaking. If your fixtures are older pipes, replace plastic/rubber pipes with more flexible pipes with metallic reinforcement.

Backwater valve

Ask your plumber to install a backwater valve on the sewer drain to avoid sewer backups in the event of flooding caused by heavy rainfall. See the alternative, Aqua-Protec by Inflotrolix.

Waste pipe

Never pour greasy or oily fluids down pipes. This can plug waste pipes.

Electrical panel

Identify the location of your electrical panel and ensure a minimum free space of one metre on each side.

Main water valve

Locate the main water valve in your house. If a problem ever occurs with a pipe, you can quickly limit damage by shutting the valve.

Natural or propane gas entrance valve

Locate the natural or propane gas entrance valve. If a leak occurs, the shut-off valve must be completely accessible.

Cleanout caps and backwater valve accesses

Locate the cleanout caps and backwater valve accesses. The latter prevent sewer backups in the event of municipal network and flooring drain overflows. If you are not sure that you have a backwater valve or where it is located, contact your plumber.

In case of a long absence…

Turn off the taps that supply water to the washing machine. If a hose bursts, it can cause serious damage. Ask a neighbour or relative to visit the premises on a regular basis to check the heating, state of the plumbing and note any other anomaly.