Living in Southern Ontario we experience all kinds of weather elements throughout the seasons. This puts a lot of pressure on the exterior elements of your home. Whether it is frigid blizzards, high humidity, hailstorms, or the threat of high winds and tornadoes, here’s how your home exterior keeps you safe through all kinds of weather.
Home Exterior Weather Protection
Properly functioning windows are designed to protect you from whatever Mother Nature throws at your home. Installing double- or triple-glazed windows can make a big difference in how warm and cool your home stays in extreme temperatures. Their low U-factor (also known as U-value) makes them extremely energy-efficient.
They maintain the desired air temperature inside while keeping unwanted temperatures outside thanks to their multiple panes. Double-glazed windows have two panes of glass while triple-glazed have three. Each pane of glass is separated by a spacer, which creates a “pocket” where inert gas is stored, allowing sunlight to pass through while also reducing and slowing the transfer of heat through the window.
These windows provide an exceptionally strong barrier from the weather outside. If you are uncertain what windows are best for your needs, triple-glazed windows are 50% more efficient than double-glazed products. These windows also help with condensation which forms when the glass is cooler than the surrounding air. Because the inner glass of your windows is better able to retain heat, your windows will not form condensation that can lead to moisture damage.
Most homes have at least two exterior doors. Doors can allow water and cold air to enter your home when they become old or when they are not installed properly. New entry doors provide a tight and secure seal to keep out the extreme heat and cold while also avoiding bowing and warping. Energy Star certified doors are available not only for your entry door but also for sliding glass doors, garden doors, side doors, etc. When the winds are howling and snow and rain try to penetrate the cracks around your door, having an Energy Star certified door protects against leaks that can cause serious damage to your home’s structure.
Rain, sleet, snow, and ice wreak havoc on your home exterior over time. Your eavestroughs work with your roof to keep water running away from your home to prevent damage to your roof and foundation. Water might seem harmless, but when it hits your foundation or roof, it can lead to leaks and structural damage.
Ensuring you have clean eavestroughs or “gutters” manages the storm and rainwater keeping not only your foundation safe, but also working in hand with your roof to prevent structural damage. When your gutters aren’t functioning properly, or are filled with debris, it can even lead to interior damage. When the water doesn’t have a clear path to follow, the rainwater or melting snow and ice has nowhere to go.
Also, with the constant changes in temperature, broken or clogged eavestroughs can lead to issues with ice dams which force ice and melting water backwards where it can penetrate shingles and lead to leaks. The weight of frozen water can also pull the gutters away from your roofline causing serious damage. Keeping your eavestroughs in tip-top condition is a must to avoid water damage.
As mentioned above you need to keep your gutters clean. For most homeowners, this means a dangerous climb up a ladder in the spring and fall to remove debris. However, you can avoid this treacherous job by installing gutter guards. The T- Rex® fastening system with built-in gutter guard prevents debris buildup so you won’t have to worry about clearing your eavestroughs twice a year. Instead, the T-Rex hanging and leaf guard system keeps your eavestroughs clear, reducing the risk for roof and foundation damage caused by ice dams or blocked gutters.
Your stone and brickwork protects your home against the elements. Unfortunately, harsh weather deteriorates the mortar that holds the bricks or stones together. This can lead to serious issues that affect your foundation as well as your home’s structure. If water penetrates the cracks, it can reach the vulnerable materials below the brickwork and enter your home.
Therefore, it is important to seal up nooks and cracks that not only allow for leaks but also interfere with your home’s energy efficiency. The small openings that appear over time worsen if not repaired. This allows water damage to occur but can also make it easier for pests to enter your home. Your home’s foundation can also form small cracks that get larger over time. Keeping an eye on your foundation for cracks allows you to arrange for parging to repair and seal the cracks and protect your foundation.
Siding is not just an exterior feature to improve the appearance of your home. It plays a very important role in energy efficiency. New aluminum or vinyl siding is a worthwhile investment as it makes your home extremely energy efficient.
Another consideration in home exterior safety is high winds that can damage your siding. The often frightening winds that occur frequently in Ontario thanks to climate change have more power to tear your siding from your exterior walls. Having new siding installed can reduce the risk of losing an entire side of your home when stronger winds start howling.
As well, heat from your home won’t escape when temperatures drop. Wind chill actually impacts your home’s energy efficiency if your walls are not protected properly. Foam-backed vinyl siding is engineered for extreme subzero temperatures generated with high winds. If you don’t have air conditioning, you can also keep your home cooler in the summer with new siding. One final threat is rising humidity levels that increase the risk for mould and mildew growth. New siding is properly vented to provide air circulation and reduce worries about mould and mildew.
Despite the various risks Ontario weather poses to your home, these exterior upgrades can help your home exterior keep you safe.
For more information on how we can help you solidify your home exterior for weather safety, click here for a quote from our experts today.