Winter Home Maintenance in Calgary

by | Jan 1, 2024

As a seasoned home inspector in Calgary, I’ve seen firsthand the challenges our harsh winters can bring to your homes. The importance of home maintenance escalates in this harsh weather, where temperatures plummet and snowstorms are frequent. I’m here to share my knowledge and help you safeguard your properties during these cold months. Seasonal maintenance not only protects your home but also saves you from costly repairs in the long run. With that, let’s dive into some essential winter home maintenance tips that will keep your home cozy, safe, and well-protected.

Snow-covered home in Calgary with a well-maintained exterior, demonstrating effective winter home care.
Roof Gutter; Filled with Snow during Calgary's Winter Months
Inspecting Window Caulking for Weather-tight Seal
Piping Insulation Sleeves to Help Prevent Water Line Freezing During Calgary Winters
An Older Draft Induced Furnace; Budgeting to Replace the Furnace

First Line of Defense: Exterior Home Maintenance

  • Your home’s exterior is the first line of defense against winter weather. Start with a thorough inspection of your roof; look for missing shingles or potential leak spots. Clean out those gutters too – clogged gutters can lead to ice dams, which can cause significant damage. And don’t forget to check for cracks and seal them up to prevent heat loss.

Keeping the Warmth In: Interior Preparations

  • Moving inside, the key to comfort is keeping the warm air in and the cold air out. Ensure your insulation is up to snuff, particularly in the attic and basement. A well-maintained heating system is also crucial – have it serviced by a professional to avoid any mid-winter surprises.

Clear Views: Window and Door Maintenance

  • Drafty windows and doors are common culprits for heat loss. Check the seals and weather stripping, and consider upgrading old single-pane for at least double-glazed windows for better insulation. This can make a big difference in keeping your home warm and reducing heating costs. Keep an eye on the humidity levels in the home. Lowering the humidity can help prevent excess moisture from freezing over any glazing. 

Breathe Easy: Indoor Air Quality

  • With doors and windows sealed tight, indoor air quality is key. Calgary can be exceptionally dry in the Winter. Consider using a small humidifier to maintain comfortable humidity levels, especially while you sleep. Ensure your homes ventilation systems are clean and functioning properly as well.

The Plumbing Puzzle: Avoiding Frozen Pipes

  • Frozen pipes can be a real headache. To prevent them, insulate pipes in colder areas of your home, like those along exterior walls, garages or in basements. Remember to have your water heater checked – no one likes a cold shower in January! Well, except maybe the growing cold plunge crowd. 

Smart Heating: Managing Costs

  • Heating bills can skyrocket in winter, especially in recent years, but smart practices can keep them in check. Programmable thermostats are a game-changer, allowing you to control your home’s temperature efficiently. Simple things like keeping your blinds open during the day can also help warm your home naturally. Calgary is the sunniest city in Canada, so take advantage! 

Safety First: Winter Safety Measures

  • Safety should never be an afterthought. Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Also, keep an eye on your fireplace and heating systems – these are common sources of winter house fires.

Stay Prepared: Emergency Preparedness Kit

  • In Calgary, winter weather can be unpredictable. Staying with safety, it’s advisable to keep an emergency kit handy, including items like flashlights, batteries, blankets, and a first-aid kit. Preparing for power outages and having a family emergency plan is also wise. If you can afford to, consider a form of back-up heat to have on hand. Should you lose power, you’ll want to keep your family warm and systems in your house from freezing. 

Expert Help: When to Call a Pro

  • While DIY is great, some tasks are best left to the professionals. This includes anything to do with major roofing issues or complex plumbing problems. Knowing when to call in a Calgary expert can save you time and avoid potential hazards. A down and out furnace in minus 40 degree weather may not be the best time to decide to learn how heating systems work.
Winter Home Inspection in Calgary

Snow & Ice: Be Proactive

  • Regular snow removal is essential. If you live in a high foot traffic area, it’s best to remove snow before it gets packed down. Use appropriate tools to take care of icy patches promptly to ensure safe access to your home. Remember, piling snow against your house can lead to moisture problems. Always make an effort to move snow away from your home and foundation. Winter home maintenance in Calgary shouldn’t be the cause of Spring time basement flooding. 

Wildlife: Keep Critters at Bay

  • Winter can bring unwanted visitors seeking shelter. Seal up any potential entry points and keep your trash secured to avoid attracting pests.

Monthly Check-Ins: Stay on Top of Your Home

  • Regular home inspections can catch minor issues before they become major problems. Make a monthly checklist and stick to it – it’s a small effort that can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Make use of the Chinooks, and get outside when things warm up. Monitor the snow as it’s melting, and review how your home is performing. 
Roof Maintenance Inspection on a Sunny Day in Calgary
Exterior Home Damage Observed During a Home Inspection in Calgary
Hot Water Heater Failure During the Winter in Calgary
Early Morning Snow Removal in Calgary

Financial Planning: Budget Wisely

  • Winter home maintenance can be costly, so it’s smart to budget accordingly. Review your insurance coverage and set aside funds for potential repairs. Prioritize heating systems, and be proactive with maintenance or replacements. 

Best Practices for Winter Home Maintenance in Calgary

  • Here are some best practices for winter maintenance based on the findings of your home inspection:
    • Regular inspections: Schedule annual home inspections to catch issues early.
    • Professional expertise: Rely on professionals for tasks beyond your comfort level.
    • Timely repairs: Address issues promptly to prevent them from worsening.

Stay Warm & Stay Safe Calgary

  • Remember, regular winter home maintenance in Calgary is the secret to keeping your home safe and warm during the winter months. Learn to use our unpredictable weather to help aid your homes upkeep. Stay proactive, and don’t hesitate to call in the experts when necessary. Stay warm, Calgary!