Winters in Alberta are tough, especially on your home. In order to keep your home snug, warm and dry here is a seasonal guide to home maintenance. With this simple checklist, you can make sure your house stays in good shape for years to come.
Preventative maintenance is key to preparing your house for winter. Before the first snowfall make sure you:
Check Your Roof
Missing or damaged shingles can allow moisture to get into your roof, causing many different problems including roof damage, as well as mould and mildew problems. Each fall you should make sure you have your roof professionally assessed, and make sure you get any repairs done before winter begins.
Check Your Eavestroughs
Debris such as leaves and twigs can cause ice dams to form in the winter. Ice dams keep your downspouts from draining properly, causing a buildup of water by your roof. Ice dams are also heavy and can cause your eavestroughs to sag and causing them further damage.
Before winter begins, make sure your eavestroughs are clear and in good repair. To make this task less onerous in the future you may also want to consider installing a leafguard.
Check Your Siding
Cracks or other damage to your siding are an invitation to water. Should water get under your siding it can cause a whole host of problems including damage, mould, and mildew. Make sure you check your siding thoroughly and get any damage repaired by a professional.
Check Your Windows
A broken or worn out window seal can allow unwanted moisture into your home and increase your heating bill. Check all of your windows, especially those in rooms you don’t use very often, and make sure they are sealing properly.
Check Your Foundation
Cracks in your foundation can let water into your basement, creating secondary damage. A cracked foundation can also be an indication of a much larger problem, so it is a good idea to assess your foundation thoroughly at least once per year.
Assess Your Trees
Large trees around your home are beautiful and can provide useful shade. However, overhanging limbs can also be a potential hazard. Wet, heavy snowfall can weigh the branches down, causing them to break under the pressure. This in turn can cause damage to your roof and phone lines.
Check to make sure none of your trees limbs hang over your house or power lines. If they do, hire a professional to come and trim your tree before winter arrives.
Check Your Pipes
Burst pipes can cause massive amounts of damage in a very short time frame. To keep the water in your pipes from freezing make sure they are appropriately insulated before the temperatures drop.
You should also make sure to disconnect any outside taps and drain them properly. If you are going away during the winter make sure your house is no colder than 12.7 degrees Celcius and have a friend, family member or neighbour check your house regularly.
Clean Your Chimney
A blocked chimney can cause a house fire and allow deadly carbon monoxide to build up in your home. Before you settle down in front of a roaring fire make sure your chimney is free from debris, creosote buildup and any unwanted residents.
Check Your Driveway and Sidewalk
Cracks in a driveway or sidewalk may seem like a purely cosmetic problem, but they can also indicate something is wrong. Asphalt or concrete that sags near your garage or home may mean that the soil underneath is eroding.
Sagging and cracked may also inadvertently allow water to pool near your home or garage, causing other secondary problems.
Throughout the Winter
Check For Pests
Winter in Canada usually signals the arrival of unwanted houseguests. Bugs, mice and other creatures are looking for a warm place to settle down for the winter. Make sure there aren’t any cracks that they can use to get in.
Shovel Snow Away From Your Foundation
This will help keep water from penetrating your foundation. Try to put your snow pile somewhere that will allow the meltwater to drain towards the sewer and away from structures.
Remove Snow And Ice Buildup From Your Vents
Blocked vents can make it difficult for your heating system to effectively heat and cool your home. This puts unnecessary stress on the whole system and can lead to moisture problems. Too much moisture in your home can result in mould or mildew problems.
Preventative and ongoing maintenance is key to keeping your home in good repair. Big 5 Exteriors can help you with all your siding, roof and eavestroughs related needs including replacement and repair.