How Winter Weather Can Impact Your Home’s Structure

How Winter Weather Can Impact Your Home’s Structure

In Quebec, we’re used to dealing with the rigours of winter. But what about our houses? The cold does in fact adversely affect our residences’ structure in many ways.

Each region of the world is subject to its own particular climate, and properties are constructed with durability and weather resistance in mind. In Canada, buildings must contend with temperatures that regularly fall below zero as well as freeze and thaw cycles. And sometimes the resulting mischief is difficult to detect!

Stress to the Roof

Winter conditions not only bring their share of freezing temperatures, but also come with periods of heavy precipitation. On our homes, it’s the roof that get weighed down by the build-up of snow and ice in addition to feeling the brunt of strong winds and storms. Remove icicles and ice dams, then replace broken roof shingles as soon as spring appears to safeguard your property. 

Those Notorious Structural Cracks

It’s normal for houses to settle; however, as temperatures fluctuate from freezing to thawing, cracks can begin to appear. Get into the habit of inspecting your property in the fall and spring to detect them as soon as possible and carry out repairs. The last thing you want is for water to seep into your walls!

Components That Are Sensitive to Dry Conditions

In an effort to remain comfortable in our homes, we crank up the heating … increasing the amount of hot air circulating through the rooms and at the same time drying out the air inside. Overly dry air can split wood furniture, deteriorate walls, or cause the floor, and door and window frames to warp. Wallpaper, paint, and plaster may also crack when the walls start to significantly dry out.

Ideally, the humidity level should be maintained between 32% and 52%. A humidifier, especially in the bedrooms, can be a great help. Otherwise, you can improve air circulation by opening the windows for a few minutes every day, which will naturally raise humidity levels.

Burst Pipes: A Nasty Surprise Upon Your Return From Holiday

Subzero temperatures pose a major risk to plumbing. They could burst once frozen and cause serious damage inside the residence. Take action to prevent this from happening before winter arrives. Protect pipes in exterior walls with heating tape or foam insulation. Are you planning on being absent from your home for an extended period during the winter? All the pipes should be drained and disconnected, and if possible, the water supply to all outdoor taps shut off.

Moreover, so that interior pipes don’t freeze on very cold days, open cabinet doors beneath sinks to allow the warm air inside your home to keep them above zero. Additionally, letting the tap run at a bare drip will also prevent the water from freezing. 

Unintentional Damage to the Driveway and Exterior Steps

First comes snow, then comes shovelling. The most common tools used to clean up after a winter storm are snowblowers, shovels and commercial products (such as sand and salt). The issue is that many of these de-icing agents wear down the surface of paths and steps.

In conjunction with your shovel’s repeated impact, your winter snow removal routine can result in cracks, chipped asphalt, and loose paving stones. To remedy this problem, choose a safer product, that is to say a chemical-free one which will be both eco-friendly and harmless for your pets! And use a shovel with a rubber or plastic covered blade, not bare metal.


Winter is upon us. Proper preparation will ensure your home remains beautiful as well as prevent any potential damages! 

RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

A leader in the real estate industry since 1982, the RE/MAX network brings together the most efficient brokers.