Some winters it seems like the snow will never leave, as if it’ll just keep piling on and on forever. While even winter lovers can grow tired of the endless onslaught, it’s important to keep a clear mind about what you need to do after that snow is finally gone. After all, if you’ve been suffering from all the snow, imagine how your house has fared. Not that there’s major cause for alarm, but heavy snowfall can put a serious strain on your home, especially when it comes to the exterior.
When it comes to winter weather, everyone knows to make sure their heating system is up and running and to be safe about generators, but how much about exterior maintenance are you familiar with?
If you’re wondering how best to ensure the safety of your home after the snow clears, here is a list of exterior maintenance to tackle for everyone in Calgary this winter:
Working on your roof can be extremely daunting. If you’re not feeling up to it yourself, you can hire professionals to inspect your roof for you. That said, even before the pros come in, you can grab a ladder and see how it looks once the snow is gone.
Heavy snow loads can damage the structural integrity of your roof, causing cracks, even cave-ins. Given how often and heavy it snows in Calgary, heavy loads of snow are the most common cause of roof problems. The snow can also cause rot, mildew, and indoor condensation. You’ll want to have your shingles checked to make sure there’s no mold, as that will only spread with the wet spring. Checking indoors is also important, especially if you have an attic. Any damage to your attic ceiling can be indicative that there’s a leak, or that the snow caused moisture to build up inside.
While you should always make a habit of cleaning your gutters, especially in the seasons where there’s lots of natural debris like leaves and flowers, it’s also important to tend to them after major snowfall. Water, snow, and ice can build up inside of gutters, causing blockages and something known as ice dams. Ice dams are when there’s a barrier of ice around the edge of a a structure, like the roof or gutters. This stops anything from being able to be washed away, instead just accumulating.
This can cause too much weight and strain to be put upon the gutters, resulting in broken or cracked gutters, or ones that just tear away from your house all together. Make sure to fully remove all debris, ice build-up, and snow from your gutters. The best way to know that they’re clear is to run water through the system and make sure that it comes out in the end. While this is an easy task to tackle on your own, for those that are weary about ladders, hire a professional gutter cleaner.
Unless there’s been a blizzard or major wind gusts, chances are the siding of your home will most likely be okay. However, if ice dams, heavy loads, and other issues have arisen with your roof and gutter system, your siding could have suffered. The best way to get a look at the condition of your siding is to do a thorough walk around your home, looking from top to bottom. If some siding has been ripped off or has been damaged, make note of where. You’ll want to get it replaced as soon as possible.
If moisture has gotten into your home because of broken siding, that’s another issue you’ll have to tackle as well. Make sure there’s no mold inside the walls or water damage.
When winter comes that inevitably means pot holes. Snow, ice, and moisture breaks down the integrity of asphalt. This, combined with harsh rock salt, create potholes, dips, and rough roads. This can all happen to your driveway as well, and you’ll want to protect against that to avoid a costly repaving.
When taking care of your driveway, be sure to never use a metal shovel. The harsh metal can cause more damage, getting caught on existing abnormalities and making them worse, or causing them in the first place. Picking at ice on your driveway with the metal corner of a shovel is a recipe for disaster and creating holes, chips, and more. Only use a plastic shovel and use shallow, short sweeps to clear snow, ice, and debris. Also, never use rock salt on your driveway. It’s harsh, causes more damage over time, especially with newer driveways, and hurts animals and your shoes when walking over it. Instead look to more natural remedies like sand or even coffee grinds.
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