Winter Maintenance

How to prepare your condo for a winter trip

Temperatures have dropped, the snow is falling and winter weather alerts are becoming commonplace. It’s that time of year, when many of us flee the frigid temperatures for warmer climates. And whether you’re leaving for just a week or two of sun and sand, or heading out for the season after the holidays, there are a few essential steps every homeowner needs to take to prepare their condo home for their absence.

This video explains how to get your home trip-ready and ensure its properly cared for in your absence.

Autumn leaves and Daylight Savings Time can only mean one thing – winter is coming. And whether you’re an outdoor winter enthusiast or someone who prefers to hibernate, if your condominium home has an outdoor terrace, there is one important but simple homeowner maintenance step you need to take care of before the freezing temperatures arrive – winterize your hose bib.

A hose bib is the outdoor water tap located on the balcony or terrace of some condominium homes and while not everyone has one, if you do, it’s important that you prepare the tap for the winter season.

This simple step by step guide to winterizing your hose bib will help you prevent unnecessary damage during the winter months from a frozen pipe and protect your condominium home.

Popup Drains

At least twice each year, the popup drain in your bathtub should be unscrewed and build up of hair be removed.

Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) – Cleaning filter and core

Erv’s where installed form an integral part of the ventilation design. Without regular cleaning the filters and core can become clogged, limiting airflow throughout your home. The Core should be cleaned annually, and the filter every six months for optimal performance. Click here for detailed instruction on how to clean your ERV (link to Maintenance pdf for ERV).

Condensation & Ventilation

Today’s homes can be so tightly sealed to prevent air leakage, decrease drafts and conserve energy that we experience reduced ventilation to the outdoors. During the winter when we heat our homes, these factors may also contribute to increased condensation, which can impact health and your home’s maintenance. A significant part of the maintenance of your new home is ensuring that you create a balance of moisture content within the environment. It’s also important to be informed on the effects of too much and too little humidity. Extremes can cause potential damage to finishes, furniture and even artwork.

Insufficient ventilation that results in increased humidity levels indoors contributes to condensation. Condensation is formed when warm, moist air within your home meets cooler surfaces such as windows during the winter, condensation forms.
The need for ventilation is dependent on your lifestyle, i.e. the amount of cooking, washing you do. Cooking, showering, drying clothes (even breathing – believe it or not) all add to your home’s moisture content. To address high humidity levels, we must increase the ventilation in our homes to supply the fresh air, which is necessary to vent off water vapor.

  • How to Increase the Ventilation in your Home
  • Use kitchen exhaust fans consistently
  • Leave the fan running on the vertical fan coil unit during extremely cold weather to help the air circulation throughout the home
  • Avoid hanging wet clothes inside the home
  • Free circulation of air is important. Keep drapes open as much as possible so the air can circulate freely over the windows. If necessary you may open your windows to reduce localized condensation
  • If necessary you may open your windows to reduce localized condensation

Dryer Lint Traps

Your home is equipped with a secondary lint trap, located in the ceiling of your laundry area. These lint traps should be cleaned out each time to finish doing laundry. Blockages can increase drying time and humidity levels within your home.

Fan Coil Filters

Filters depending upon your lifestyle filters should be changed about every 3 months. Homes with smokers, pets, or residents with environmental sensitivities may need their filters changed more frequently.

Check Your Windows

Many people crank their awning windows open or closed too hard and they become “stripped,” just like a bolt. Usually, the arm (the metal piece that holds the window to the handle and looks like scissors) will come loose as a result. If over crank your window, you’ll be able to open your windows but you won’t be able to close them again. Contact your Property Management office to see if they have someone whose services they can offer.