8 Ways Cold Winters Can Affect Your Edmonton Home

Posted on: 2020-11-15

house with white trim and white stairs on a snowy day. red brick fence.

Even though winter happens every year in Edmonton, there never seems to be enough time to prepare for it.

Yet, being proactive when it comes to the safety and condition of your home during the cold winter months can make the difference between having a relaxing winter or an expensive one.

If you’re not sure exactly how cold winters can affect your Edmonton home, here are 8 things you should watch out for:

1. Plumbing Issues

Cold weather can cause the pipes in your home to freeze and burst, resulting in water damage and flooding.

This can lead to a very expensive problem. Not only will you have to repair the broken pipes, but the damage caused by the flooding as well.

To prevent plumbing issues during the cold winter months, make sure to turn off the water to any outside spouts or spigots. Drain the remaining water out and close them up.

Having pipes properly insulated in your home is another way to prevent freezing and bursting. If all else fails, you can always turn on a tap so that water drizzles during the colder days. This keeps the water moving and prevents freezing.

2. Drainage Problems

Drainage issues in your yard are caused more so by the melting of ice and snow than cold temperatures, but can still be a significant issue during the wintertime.

Keeping your property properly drained involves directing the flow of water away from your home’s foundation.

Check to see if your property slopes away from your home. This will help move the water away from the foundation.

Also inspect your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are in good working condition and pointed away from your basement.

Without proper maintenance, melting snow and ice can easily soak into the soil and leak through your foundation.

3. Fire Damage

You may not think fire damage is an issue during the cold months of winter, but the risk increases as more people spend time at home and use heating systems to keep their homes warm.

Apart from wood stoves, other heat sources can lead to fire when left unattended or not properly maintained.

Keep your home safe by ensuring your smoke detectors are operational and invest in a fire extinguisher for the common areas. It is also important to inspect your heating system and change the air filters every couple of months.

4. Weather Damage

Winter can be an exceptionally stormy season in Edmonton, bringing with it snow, freezing rain, ice pellets and strong winds.

When snow accumulates on your roof, the weight can be damaging to its structure. Likewise, ice storms can cause significant structural damage to your home – especially to windows.

While you can’t build a completely winter-proof home, you can make sure you have adequate home insurance coverage. Check your policy to see if you have coverage for weather-related damages.

5. Doors and Windows

Not only can extreme weather cause surface damage to doors and windows, fluctuations in temperatures can cause caulk to pull away and create drafts throughout your home.

If you notice your home is drafty in the winter, inspect the weather sealing around your doors and windows and reapply caulk to any cracks. This will help keep your heating bill low and your home warm.

The freezing temperature can also cause your locks to stick by affecting the lock mechanism. Moisture can enter the keyhole and freeze when the temperatures drop.

If your lock freezes up, try to thaw it carefully by either heating your key before inserting it or using a commercial lock de-icer.

6. HVAC Issues

The last thing you want to experience during the cold winter months in Edmonton is the breakdown of your home’s heating system.

Regular inspections are crucial to make sure your heating system is working in peak condition.

You also don’t want to run the heating system more than necessary. This will not only cause a rise in your heating bill but will also wear out components of the system quickly.

Invest in a programmable thermostat so you can easily control the temperature in your home. This way, the system will only kick in when necessary to maintain the interior temperature you choose.

7. Landscape Problems

Frost heaving is a real issue for your exterior space and occurs when freezing temperatures cause ice to form and penetrate the soil.

This results in the soil swelling and heave, potentially causing damage to your yard and foundation.

Thankfully, frost heaving rarely happens in heated buildings. The heat loss from your home is usually enough to keep the surrounding soil from freezing.

However, your driveway and sidewalk are still at risk of frost heaving. To prevent this from occurring, choose a coarser soil type for your property that allows for better drainage.

If all else fails, you can drain your yard yourself or hire a professional if frost heaving continues to be an issue.

8. Driveway Damage

Driveway maintenance in Edmonton is crucial during the wintertime if you drive a vehicle. You’ll likely find yourself shovelling your driveway and apply an ice melt product each time it snows.

Be wary of these products, however, since these harsh chemicals can corrode your driveway.

Also try to stick to using a rubber-bladed shovel to avoid cracks and chips in your driveway.

Are You Ready for Winter?

It won’t be long before the temperatures plummet and summer seems like a distant memory.

Protect your home by properly preparing it for winter time.

But if your home does suffer any interior damage because of the cold weather, feel free to contact our professionals at Parabola Developments. We can help fix up any damage quickly and professionally!