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Winter Maintenance Tips For Your Home

Posted on Nov 23, 2021 in Blog

Now that winter has arrived, it’s time to do some winter maintenance to ensure the long term care of your home. Here are some tips and reminders to assist with some of the challenges Mother Nature has put into place, keeping in mind that these are considered to be extreme weather conditions that are out of the builders’ control.

Check and Adjust your Interior Humidity Levels:

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Change your Furnace Filters

A dirty filter can lead to the motor on the furnace burning out as it blocks air flow, especially with our furnaces working some what harder in these temps to keep our interiors warm. Filters should be checked at least every 2nd month at this time of year. Repairs needed due to reduced air flow from a dirty filter, can be quite costly and are not considered to be warrantable.

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Video courtesy of Legacy Heating and Cooling

Keep Windows and Doors Dry

For windows & doors, frost or ice will occur where any warmth from the interior meets the exterior. Frost on handles/locks is not a defect of the product but can occur dependent on interior/exterior conditions meeting. Do ensure to dry up these areas when any melting occurs & never use heat to do so as damage may result.  Glass frosting/icing is a direct result of interior humidity meeting the exterior cold. Again, ensure to dry up any areas where dripping may occur as damages to inside the home from this are not warrantable repairs. In extreme cases, glass may crack.

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Ice/frost build up on Garage overhead doors. A garage, regardless of heated or not, is not considered a ‘controlled’ environment as the opening/closing of the door does allow extremes do meet. Ice may build on hinges or glass, regardless of insulation values of the product installed.

Take care to check that the bottom seal on the door is not iced down as might occur with heat from a recently parked vehicle causing pooling at the garage door. Low, indirect heat such as a hair dryer, may assist to melt the area where any weather stripping is stuck in ice on the floor.

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Keep Exterior Vents Ice Free

Exterior vents need to be kept clear of snow or ice build up. Ice usually only needs a light tap for it to drop off when it build up on exhaust vents.

Always ensure that snow levels are not blocking exterior venting as well.

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Potlights in exterior soffit do heat where located & drips may occur when ice/frost melts off. Use of LED bulbs does help with less heat that causes the ice/frost to occur. A drip or melt of any frost accumulation here, with weather conditions, is not a defect of workmanship.

Concrete Care and Maintenance

With excessive cold & snow comes ice. One of the foremost causes of damage to concrete surfaces is road salt & other chemical contaminants. Road de-icing compounds that are currently being used in the Greater Edmonton Area have been shown to have strong detrimental effects on automobiles and residential concrete surfaces.  As a result, road slush which contains these substances, should not be allowed to melt on the concrete. Always shovel off where able to. When spring rolls around, it is recommended to wash down the drive & sidewalk areas that may be affected. A good alternative to de-icers, is sand or clay kitty litter, for increased traction on icy sections of the driveway or sidewalk. Salts of any form (even if they state they are “safe”) should NOT be used.

Stay warm & stay safe!