Close the blinds, eat your storm chips, turn up the fire and listen to the “beep, beep, beep” of the snow plow re-arranging piles of white stuff outside your window! T’is the season to be jolly, queue up your Netflix favourites, and be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way. Here are some tips for keeping your home safe during and after unpredictable Atlantic Canadian snow storms.
Keep an eye on your roof – how much snow can it handle? Here are some guidelines:
- Most roofs can sustain about 20 pounds/square foot of snow (according to our friends at the Institute for Business and Home Safety)
- Fresh snow – weighs about five pounds per square foot on the surface of your roof. Most roofs can handle about four feet of fresh snow.
- Old Snow – is often packed, and icier than fresh snow. About three to five inches of packed snow is equivalent to one foot of fresh snow. Most roofs can handle about two feet of old snow.
- If your roof is in danger, put away your ladder and call a professional. If you can’t resist, use a snow rake but stay safely on the ground and watch for falling ice/debris.
Protect those pipes
- Water in pipes can freeze during extremely cold temperatures and storms, causing your pipes to burst and future leakage problems
- Keep your home warm and use a generator or alternate heat source like a fireplace or wood stove
- Insulate any areas that could let the outdoor air inside, and seal doors and windows to keep the indoors warm
- If a particularly cold spell (think deep freeze) is expected, it’s recommended to:
- Keep the temperature inside your house above 21 degrees Celsius
- If you have a garage, keep it heated to 15 degrees Celsius
- Leave your bath-tub faucet on slightly so it’s dripping cold water – you don’t need to use hot
Get the necessities
- Stock up on those storm chips! (kidding, but not really)
- Keep items on-hand that can keep your home safe:
- De-icing salt and sand: If the forecast is showing heavy snow, pour this stuff on your sidewalk before the snow falls
- Snow blower: Make sure your snow blower works ahead of time. Also, stock up on extra gas as you never know when the roads could be shut down.
- Snow shovel: This is an obvious, but here’s a tip: spray the shovel with non-stick cooking spray prior to shoveling. This will help the snow slide right off!