We all know how harsh the winters in Canada can be. However, Calgary poses a whole new group of problems for home owners due to it chinook weather and constant swings in temperature throughout the winter.
This harsh winter weather can cause severe damage to your home, or worsen problems that haven’t been properly addressed. A Home inspector is trained to recognize signs of winter damage and give you time to resolve minor problems before they grow into larger, more expensive ones. The team of Calgary Home Inspectors at Red Seal Inspection has compiled a list of techniques to help you identify which parts of your home you should check for signs of damage, and how to protect your home from ice and snow. [If you want to know cost of inspection, read our blog Home Inspection Cost]
1. Water Pipes
Bursting pipes is one of the most common problems in home during the winter and is an expensive problem. Turning off water to outdoor pipes before they freeze and insulating them properly is the #1 way to prevent this major issue. If you lose heat during a cold spell, leave your taps slightly open so water can flow through until the heating issue is fixed.
2. Roofs & Gutters
Roofs are one of the most important components that protect a home from the earths elements, however, they are often forgotten about since we cannot see them easily. Therefore, we often leave them until it’s to late and there is a leak or obvious issue. Quite often as a Calgary home inspector, we will find roof issues caused by the constant wind, freezing, and thawing cycle of winter.
During heavy snowfalls, remove the snow off of your roof with a long-handed rake, and ensure gutters are cleared to prevent ice dams from building up, and causing water damage when it melts. Too much snow can cause serious structural damage. Please remember to do this safely as sloped roofs can be dangerous in the winter.
We suggest you inspect your roof for ice buildup and icicles throughout the winter months. Icicles are often an indicator of heat escaping from your roof and that thawing and freezing is occurring.
3. Proper Insulation of Windows & Doors
Proper insulation is essential in winterizing and protecting your home from the cold winter weather. Signs of a poorly insulated home includes cold floors and walls during the winter, and hot air during the summer. Mold growth, high energy bills and uneven heating or ineffective cooling are also indicators of poor insulation.
The most common area for heat loss is windows and doors. A quick way to reduce your energy bill and reduce the chances of issues due to poor insulation is to tightly seal all seems around windows and doors.
4. Cracks, Holes, & Exterior Damage
Maybe its from old age, maybe its from a hockey puck…. either way, a hole or crack in your homes siding can quickly lead to more serious problems. These cracks also provide a safe place for critters and rodents to hide from the wind and weather, which is something none of us want! However, rodents are one of the most common finds for our Calgary Home Inspectors.
You may also have cracks in the foundation of your home. It is important to ensure all down spouts and the lands grade lead away from the house so that water doesn’t surround your foundation and then freeze. This is a major problem found in many homes by our home inspectors in Calgary and is one that is easily preventable. If it is not prevented, a foundation repair can easily cost upwards of $20,000 – $50,000.
5. Sidewalks and driveways
Icy Driveways and sidewalks are a major hazard for your family. They also pose a threat to any guests you have visiting during the holiday months. An easy way to protect your guests from slipping is to salt your driveway. There are many environmentally friendly products out there that work great and protect your homes lawn in the spring.
By removing snow from your driveway and salting it, you can also reduce the chances of a crack or uneven settling from occurring. These repairs are not as expensive or urgent, however, it is an added cost you would like to avoid should you decide to sell your home in the future.
We hope these tips from our home inspector helps you keep your home safe this winter. If you would like to book a complete house inspection to ensure you detect any problem areas before they cause a major issue, you can book a with one of our Home inspectors in Calgary here. We also offer acreage inspections for farms and large properties around Calgary and South Central Alberta.
A bad home inspection may cause homeowners to overlook major issues. Make sure you are prepared and that you’re home is properly inspected.