(And What You Can Do About It)

Written and Submitted by Natalie Jones of Home Owner Bliss

Weather is a fickle thing. It can be bright and sunny one day, and wet and dreary the next. Because of these ever-changing conditions, homebuilders must design structures that can withstand everything from extreme cold to oppressive heat. But, without proper maintenance, Mother Nature can easily find her way into the nooks and crannies of your home where she can cause all sorts of damage.

The Wind And Rain

When you think about inclement weather, rainstorms are probably what pop into your mind. There is a good reason for that. Rain and high winds are a recipe for disaster if you are not careful. And these elements take a toll where it hurts the most: the roof.

Your roof is your home’s first and most effective line of defense against the elements. Unfortunately, Esurance explains windy conditions can leave this vital component weak and in need of attention. One way that wind causes damage is by ripping the shingles off of your roof. Despite the different styles available, shingles are not a decorative feature. They work to keep water from touching the sub-roof, which is the wood paneling that attaches to the frame of the structure.

If you are planning to sell your home, keep in mind, too, that the condition of the roof can have a profound effect on your home’s selling price and speed. Have any suspected or known damage inspected, but look into replacement if leaks are a continued problem. Damage left unrepaired can quickly tank the value of your investment and make the house unsafe for an abundance of reasons, including wood rot and mold.

Snow

The rain and wind are not the only dangers to your roof. It is worth noting that snow and ice can also cause significant damage. Before the snowy season kicks in, check your roof for missing flashing or exposed sub-roof. Ice and snow can get into these areas and lead to cracks. Depending on the age of your house, you might also want to ensure that it meets current guidelines for today’s weather patterns, which the National Research Council of Canada updates every few years. The next update is expected in 2025.

Sun

As beautiful as it is, the sun also has a sway on the condition of your house. RISMedia explains that an abundance of solar radiation can cause siding to deteriorate and can also discolor wood surfaces, such as the deck. Some parts of Canada enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine every year. If you live in Ontario, Québec, or Saskatchewan, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to all the light touches. Make sure your wooden surfaces are coated with a protective stain, install new, UV-rated windows (especially in areas that receive direct sunlight), and remove any valuable works of art that might be exposed or have them reframed with specialized glass.

Before you start shopping for windows, however, make sure to visit Natural Resources Canada online. Here, you can find information on your specific climate zone so that you have a better idea of the type of windows that are right for where you live. Make sure to find a licensed and certified contractor (Check the SAWDAC site to locate an independently audited service provider) to ensure your windows are installed correctly. Another resource is Fenestration Canada, which sets industry standards for proper practices. Keep in mind that windows are a significant investment; all three of the above-mentioned resources are free to use and will ensure you have the most up-to-date information available. It is worth a few minutes of time to ensure you get the most out of your home renovation budget.

Drought

Droughts are not uncommon throughout Canada. And just as too much rain can cause trouble, so too can a lack thereof. Drought can compromise your home’s foundation; dry soil can lead to cracking, and tree roots hidden well below the ground may inch closer to the structure to compete for all available moisture. Long-term drought conditions can also lead to warped floors, cracked asphalt, sticking windows, broken pipes, and, once the rains return, basement or crawl space leaks.

Protect your home by planning to moisten the soil around your foundation during times of drought. You can also plant small trees and shrubs to offer a bit of shade. Be cautious, however, and ensure trees are far enough from the home that their roots won’t add to the problem down the road. Untamed roots can damage your home’s foundation and cause plumbing problems, up to and including a sewage backup.

If minor foundation problems occur, you might be able to mitigate some damage by adding root barriers and/or cutting down trees that grow too large too fast. Severe foundation failure requires a structural engineer for inspection and repairs. Unfortunately, roots in your plumbing system is also not typically a DIY repair, and it is in your best interest to contact an experienced plumber to rectify the problem once the offending foliage is removed.

Your home is your castle, but it is not an impenetrable fortress. Mother Nature can take advantage of conditions if you aren’t careful. Thankfully, with a bit of maintenance and a professional touch where you need it, you can prevent or reverse issues caused by rain, snow, sun, wind, and heat.

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