Winter weather in Canada can be extreme and unpredictable. With icy conditions, heavy snow accumulation and intense wind gusts, exterior surfaces can take a beating. That’s why it’s imperative to inspect the exterior of your home and look for any areas that could require repairs and attention before that messy weather arrives. To avoid potential water damage and expensive repairs after the season, here are a few ways to protect your home this winter.
Make Sure All Water Sources are Drained and Switched Off
Even if you’ve disconnected your hose and other water sources, it doesn’t stop there. As the temperature dips well below freezing, it can cause any bit of moisture to freeze and expand. To prevent burst pipes and serious damage, make sure to shut off and drain any water sources outside and around your home such as the hose, pool equipment or sprinkler systems. Leaving these switched on or forgetting to drain them can lead to leaks and costly damage.
Inspect Basement Foundation
Since the basement is underground, it’s more vulnerable to water damage. It’s also susceptible to pests and rodents as they look for a warmer place to nest over the winter. To prevent unwelcome guests, it’s good practice to inspect the foundation of your basement before the snow arrives. Take a thorough walk around and if you notice any cracks or fissures, seal them up. This will minimize the risk of pests burrowing inside or from water seeping in and damaging the interior walls.
Inspect and Repair Any Damage to Foundation Walls
If you notice any damage along the foundation while inspecting the exterior walls, don’t ignore it. Once the snow accumulates and the ground freezes, moisture can percolate through as it melts, causing damage to the drywall and insulation which will require a costly repair. If in doubt, call in a foundation expert to have a look and perform any repairs before the issue escalates.
Keep the Gutters Clean
One important step that can protect your home this winter – and every winter, is keeping your gutter system clean. If leaves, mud and moisture accumulate, they can cause ice dams which collect water on the roof and cause spill off to pool around the foundation of your home. Hire a professional or if you can do it safely, get up to clean out any leftover gunk from the fall.
Check the Roof for Damage
Checking the roof before the snow arrives is another smart, preventative measure to avoid potentially costly repairs down the road. If you can do so safely, look for any missing shingles or damaged flashing. Alternatively, hire a roofing expert to do it for you. This is especially important to do if your roof is old and nearing the end of its lifespan.
Keep Snow Piles Away from the Foundation
Whether you’re shovelling or using the snowblower this winter, aim to keep snow piles as far away from the foundation of your home as possible. Ideally, the lawn and garden are better suited so when the snow and ice begin to melt, the soil can absorb that extra moisture instead of risking water damage to your home.
Seal Up Windows
If moisture seeps in around the windows, it could percolate down into the walls and cause mold, wood rot or other forms of damage. Seal up any cracks around all of your windows, especially basement windows.
To protect your home this winter, give us a call at The Foundation Experts. We can inspect your foundation, handle any repairs and ensure your home is safeguarded to avoid costly repairs in the future.