November is here! 5 things you need to get done right now

Rachel Schoutsen
·4 min read
November is here! 5 things you need to get done right now
November is here! 5 things you need to get done right now

Getting ready for winter is not easy, however there are some key things that need to be done. Here are five you should pay close attention to.

1. Change batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

The first week of November is Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week. This is a great time to test detectors before we get into the winter season. And while you are at it, make sure your smoke alarms are in good working order too. As the pandemic continues people will be spending more time at home, so keeping on top of all safety measures should be a priority.

Health Canada also suggests, “write on the battery or device to remind yourself when it was installed and when it should be replaced.”

2. Tire swap! Get the snow tires installed

“The benefits of snow tires, well there are many.” says Usman Mir from Kal Tire. “And the big one to look at is breaking. Generally speaking you are most at risk when you go to stop. And a winter tire will stop much faster in those colder temperatures than an all season or summer tire.”

Kal Tire: Switching to winter tires
Kal Tire: Switching to winter tires

Courtesy: Kal Tire

Generally, winter tires should be installed when temperatures are steadily 7°C or lower. When our roads become cold, an all-season or summer tire will not grip as well. And of course, traction during big snow storms will be much better with a proper tire.

According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, “three-quarters (75%) of Canadian drivers say they equip their vehicle with winter tires during the winter season, with those in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces significantly more likely to do so compared to the rest of Canada.”

RELATED: A few tips for safe driving this winter

3. Find your home air filter, and change it

This is an easy one to forget, however, once you see a clean filter next to a dirty one, you will want to make the swap top priority.

The air filter is located indoors and usually is close to the furnace or HVAC unit. Some homes will have more than one, so be aware of what needs to be changed in your residence.

UGC: Clean your ducts, heating system. Courtesy: David Hodge
UGC: Clean your ducts, heating system. Courtesy: David Hodge

Courtesy: David Hodge/The Weather Network

An air filter helps protect the heating and cooling systems in your home. Most air filters are about 1 inch thick, but some custom filters can be 2-5 inches.

Know the exact size of your filter before you head out to the store. The change is easy, you simply slide out the old one and replace with the new.

SEE ALSO: Why the fall is a fine time for a major cleanup

4. Clear gutters, disconnect hoses and check street storm drain

Fall foliage is beautiful, however it can create issues when building up on the street. It’s time to check the storm drain. Make sure it’s completely clear so rain and snowmelt can properly drain off your street.

UGC: Clear gutters, leaf piles from sewers. Courtesy: David Hodge
UGC: Clear gutters, leaf piles from sewers. Courtesy: David Hodge

Courtesy: David Hodge/The Weather Network

Your gutters are likely filled with foliage too.

“You should ensure that eavestroughs and downspouts are properly attached and draining, not buried in the ground,” says David Lammers, President of Garden Grove. “With the ground frozen, if the downspouts are buried, they won’t flow. The heavy rain or snowmelt that comes in the winter would create a lot of issues of freezing and ice jamming. So, right now is a good time to make sure everything is flowing.”

Additionally, you won't be needing your garden hose any more, so make sure it’s disconnected and completely emptied.

“It's best to do this while the weather is still mild, adds Lammers. "Make sure you shut off the inside valve as well. Keep it open and let the hose completely drain. This water is going to freeze outside in the winter and your pipe could crack.”

5. Check your trees for any rot or weak branches

We all know how powerful some of our winter storms can be, so before they hit, make sure your trees are strong enough to withstand wind and ice.

“You’ll want to do a visual assessment, look at the 'V' crotches. Essentially, the part of the tree that looks like [the letter] 'V'. Also, look for any widowmakers. These are the branches that have been broken in previous storms,” explains Lammers. “If you do see any weak points, it's best to call an arborist to help with the situation.”

Courtesy: Tree 'V' crotch. Courtesy: David Hodge.
Courtesy: Tree 'V' crotch. Courtesy: David Hodge.

Courtesy: David Hodge/The Weather Network

Having the trees on your property looked at by a professional could save you from big trouble as the season progresses.

“You would not want a weak tree to fall on your home or a branch to land on and damage your vehicle.”

Once you're done with this November checklist, you’ll be ready to cozy in for the long snowy season ahead!

WATCH BEFORE: ICE-COATED TREES ARE A REAL DANGER, IMPORTANT SAFETY TIPS FROM AN EXPERT

Click here to view the video