The weather in Winnipeg is always full of surprises. Between the flooding, intense rain storms, humidity, strong winds, and searing heat of the Summertime AND the bitter cold, blizzards, and freezing north winds in the Wintertime - our weather is anything but dull. Your home is susceptible to all kinds of wear and tear as a result of our weather. However, a little preventative maintenance and 'TLC' will help keep your home looking like new longer.

Is your home ready for Winnipeg weather? Below are some suggestions for preparing and maintaining your home throughout the year.

SPRING AND SUMMER

  • Drainage Systems - Your home has been graded for proper drainage away from your home. Ensure that debris such as leaves and garbage are always cleared from drainage areas around your home (wales and catch basins), including your eaves troughs, gutters and/or downspouts. Intense and prolonged rains may result in some standing water (ponding in depressions) for a limited period of time when the soil is saturated. Do not change the grading of your lot to release this water. Your grading system was originally designed to encounter these situations. However, should your grading become disoriented as a result of intense weather conditions, take the time to restore it to its original condition. If you do not, you may be faced with flooding in your basement or of your neighbour's property. If you have any questions about your drainage system, contact your Builder.

  • Sump Pumps - Check that your sump pump is working. This is something that you should do throughout the summer to avoid flooding in your basement. If you have experienced any heaving of your basement floor or water seepage, this is a sign that your pump may not be running.

  • Roof - If your home was built in the colder months, the shingles on your roof may not yet have bonded completely. The summer heat warms up the shingles allowing them to completely adhere to your roof. Therefore, some of your shingles may come loose or come off due to strong winds during the months prior to summer. Check that all your shingles are in place and replace any as necessary. Intense winds will also cause tree branches to break off and land on the roof of your home and garage. After a storm, clear any debris from your roof and the eaves troughs to ensure proper drainage. If you notice any shingles starting to curl or become loose as a result of intense weather, replace them immediately.

  • Air Conditioner - Be sure you have removed the cover to your air-conditioner before using it.

  • Windows and Doors - As your home gets older, you may notice that the seal around your windows and doors is starting to deteriorate. This is usually a result of moisture (condensation) and heat. Before the intense Summer storms come, ensure that all your seals are in good condition.

FALL AND WINTER

  • Drainage Systems - Before it snows, check around the foundation where back-fill might have settled and fill in the slope away from the foundation.

  • Yard - Clear snow drifts regularly from your yard to avoid drainage problems in the Spring. Keep a bag of sand or salt handy to put along your steps, walkway, and driveway.

  • Outside Hose Connection - Be sure to disconnect your garden hose as the ice forming inside may damage either the hose or faucet. If the garden hose connection has a valve inside the house it has to be shut off and drained from the inside before winter to prevent freezing and possible bursting.

  • Sprinkler System - If you have a landscaping sprinkler system, make sure it is properly drained and winterized.

  • Leaky Faucets - Repair any faucets that may be leaking or not operating correctly. Don't let your money go down the drain!

  • Sump Pump - A common malfunction of your pump occurs if the pipes freeze causing your pump to overheat and burn out. To prevent this during the winter, disconnect the flexible pipe outside and place a splash pad (such as a sheet of plastic) under the discharge hose.
  • Gutters & Downspouts - Before it snows, it is important to clear all debris from your gutters and downspouts. The Fall time brings lots of leaves, branches, and debris that can clog your gutters. A build-up of debris will cause poor drainage in the Spring, leading to costly water damage of your roof.

  • Roof - Inspect your roof for missing or damaged shingles, loose fascia, eaves troughs, or downspouts. The weight of the snow can further damage any loose materials, and may cause water damage in areas where shingles are missing. As a preventative measure, clean the snow from your roof regularly.

  • Air-conditioner - Cover your air-conditioner to prevent snow and ice build up. Melting snow in the winter may cause damage to your unit.

  • Windows and Doors - Clean your window sills so that your windows close tightly. Before it gets extremely cold outside, check for drafts as any necessary caulking needs to be done before the temperature drops below freezing. Replace weather-stripping and install door-sweeps if necessary. Keep weather-stripping lubricated with petroleum jelly or a silicone lubricant (available in aerosol cans). Be aware that during cold weather, it is normal to feel some air movement over windows - which may not be caused by inadequate installation or a poor seal. The draft felt may be due to convection - the vertical movement of air caused by warm air rising and cooler air dropping.

    Condensation is normal during cold weather, and is may be more extreme during the first winter when the house is "drying out" (many materials in construction contain moisture that will naturally dissipate during the first year, adding to the humidity level of your home). Even double glazed windows will show some condensation during extreme cold conditions. Wipe moisture away from windows regularly to prevent the build-up of mold and damage to seals. By lowering humidity levels and increasing ventilation in your home, you can reduce the amount of condensation.

  • Chimney/Fireplace - Your chimney should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a professional Chimney Sweep. If you do not use your fireplace year-round, be sure it is cleaned before its first use in the winter! A damaged, blocked, or dirty chimney can lead to toxic chemicals and residual smoke entering the home, chimney fires, and backdrafts caused by the flue not closing properly.

  • Furnace - Clean or replace your furnace filters. This will improve the air quality in your home, increase the life of your furnace, and improve its efficiency. Be sure to check your filters regularly during the Winter months.

  • Dryer - Clean out your clothes dryer vent. A build up of lint can cause fires and reduces the efficiency of your dryer. And a damaged or plugged outside vent that does not close properly is an invitation to critters seeking refuge from the cold weather!

  • Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector - Is your detector working properly? Be sure to test and clean your detector(s) and replace the batteries if necessary. If you do not have a smoke detector, get one! Consider purchasing a Carbon Monoxide Detector if you do not have one. During the winter months when your home is closed up tightly, harmful carbon monoxide gas can build up and go undetected (as it has no odour), eventually causing health problems.

Is your Builder a member of our Program?

Membership with the New Home Warranty Program of Manitoba Inc. is not mandatory. Builders must apply for a membership and are accepted into the Program based on certain criteria. Please click here to find out if a particular Builder is a member.

 
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