Compared to the rest of Canada, Vancouver Island’s winters are mild. Temperatures rarely dip below freezing, snow-blanketed streets are almost non-existent, and the sounds of puddle jumpers can be heard all winter long. This means that local homeowners must follow different rules than the majority of Canadians when prepping their homes for winter.
Let’s take a look at what expert house painters in Victoria have to say about winter home maintenance tips for homeowners on Southern Vancouver Island.
Trim Trees Near Your House
As much as islanders love seeing the curling gnarls on a Garry Oak or the towering branches of a Douglas fir, trees cause a lot of damage to homes in Victoria, BC every year. Powerful wind storms common in winter can cause tree branches and debris to fall and damage homes. Windstorm damages often cost homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs.
Trimming trees in the fall is a great way to prevent a house from tree damage in the winter months. After a hot, dry summer, tree branches can become brittle and weak, making them more likely to break during the winter months. Trimming trees close to a house of its dead and overgrown branches will reduce the likelihood of tree damage from occurring.
Inspect and Clean Gutters
Clogged and dirty gutters can cause a lot of damage to a home’s exterior and foundation as well as the home’s gutter system. Considering Victoria sees more rain in the winter months than any other time of year, it’s essential to clean and repair gutters before those seasonal showers arrive.
Poorly maintained gutters can lead to the following problems for homeowners:
- Foundation problems
- Damage to exterior surfaces, including siding, stucco or wood.
- Interior leaks
- Roof damage
- Landscaping problems
Refresh and Protect Entryway Walls
A home’s entryway is subject to a lot of unavoidable wear and tear and an entryway’s walls are especially susceptible to becoming damaged. This is a result of doorways being a place for heavy traffic, changing temperatures and robust activity.
Winter can be harsh on a doorway’s walls. From November to March. Most Vancouver Island home’s doorway walls are exposed to wet footwear and winter clothing, soggy umbrellas, and unsteady hands seeking support when bundling for the outside weather.
Giving a home’s entrance area a professional refresh using high-quality, durable paint applied by expert residential house painters will protect the bustling space from winter damage and serve as an inviting vestibule that welcomes you home.
For ideas on how to spruce up your home’s entryway, read our recent blog on how to choose the right white for an entryway.
Update Fireplace & Wood Burning Stove Maintenance
While islanders may rarely experience sub-zero temperatures, residential homes still require heat all winter long. It’s not uncommon in the winter months for homes in the city and surrounding areas to be heated with wood burning stoves and fireplaces. While heating a home with wood is largely inexpensive, if the stove or fireplace isn’t working properly or well-maintained, serious damage to a home and its occupants can occur.
Woodburning stove and fireplace chimneys should be cleaned and serviced annually by a WETT certified chimney sweep technician.
Prepare for Power Outages
Power outages are a reality for Vancouver Island dwellers. The island’s rugged landscape and rocky terrain make burying power lines extremely difficult and costly which makes them vulnerable to damage from falling leaves, branches, and even trees. Being without electricity for a few hours or even a few days is a normal part of island life in the winter and residents would be wise to be prepared for these events.
When preparing a power outage kit, consider the following guidelines from BC Hydro:
Start with a good emergency kit. It should be one that is easily portable and will keep you and your family safe in the event of a prolonged power outage. Ideally, plan a kit that is able to provide enough food, water, and other essentials for 72 hours.
Equip Rooms With Flashlights. No one enjoys being plunged into sudden darkness in a power outage. As you can’t predict when an outage may occur or where you’ll be when it does, equip each room in your home with an easily accessible flashlight.
Make a Power Outage Entertainment Kit. Prepare an activity kit for you and your family to keep busy when riding out a power outage. Ideas can include a deck of cards, board games, or craft and art activities.
Moloney Painting – House Painters in Victoria
Since 1991, Moloney Painting has been the top choice of professional painting services for homeowners in the Greater Victoria Area. Not only does our team work in the area, but we also live and own homes in the region. We understand the unique challenges that come with caring for a home in the Pacific Northwest, and our professionalism and expertise reflect that. For your next residential painting project, reach out to Moloney Painting.