6 Bad Things That Can Happen to Your Old House in the Winter
Winter is coming. We know, that’s a played out way to intro the season but to be honest, it’s a running joke here in Manitoba as the statement can reign true for three-quarters of the year. While there’s a lot to love about the literal winter wonderland of Winnipeg, the season strikes fear in the hearts of owners of older homes. Sound the horns three times folks (sorry, last Game of Thrones reference, we promise).
Yes indeed, maintaining the property year after year and winter after winter can be a tremendous burden, as harsh weather worsens exterior and interior conditions alike. Today, we’re going to list the common threats so that you know what you’re getting into by holding on to a rundown house when instead it may be time to let it go.
Top 6 Concerns Owners of Old Homes Have to Face Each Winter in Winnipeg Manitoba
1. Air Leaks
Older homes have one or more rooms with a draft or cold spot that becomes more noticeable in the winter. These are the result of air leaks. While the lack of comfort is certainly a negative, there is a more concerning risk that comes from the freeze-thaw cycle that can occur when freezing temperatures give way to warming during sunny days. Air leaks invite frost to collect, and when the frost thaws after direct exposure to the sun, moisture enters. This moisture chips away at the integrity of trim, baseboards, doorways, roofing, flooring, and more. Pretty soon the water damage becomes unmanageable, and as spring approaches, mold and mildew will grow creating not only an unsightly scene, but a health hazard to boot.
2. Frozen Pipes
The freeze-thaw cycle also impacts the pipes and plumbing of an older home, causing them to expand and contract, weakening their construction until one day, a fracture causes a leak. Or, in extreme but not uncommon occurrences, a pipe outright bursts and results in water damage that cannot be ignored. Try living with wide scale water damage in the thick of a Winnipeg winter. Not cool.
3. Ice Dams
The gutters of older homes are often ill-prepared to manage the snow fall and subsequent melt that can come at the tail end of winter. Gutters that do not properly catch and expel snow melt into the downspouts will flood, and when the freeze returns at night ice dams will form. This weighs down your gutter system to the point of collapse, allowing snow collect at the foundation of your home and permitting moisture to enter, once again compounding your water damage concerns.
4. Roof Collapse
Snow accumulation on the roofs of older Winnipeg homes can become so great that the pressure can collapse entire sections. You may return home one day to find a pile of snow on your attic (as applicable) or living room floor. Unless you’ve always dreamed of building a snowman in your house, this is a disaster that will have you displaced at the worst possible time of the year.
5. Furnace Malfunctions
Given air leaks and poor air circulation in older houses, furnaces have to work overtime. This is fine if you have a brand new furnace and you change your filters often, but if you’re living in an old home there’s a good chance your furnace hasn’t been replaced in about 10 years. When your antiquated furnace is excessively tasked to manage the winter heating requirements, it often overheats to the point that the risk of fire becomes ever-present through the season. In addition, a poorly functioning furnace increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, a threat that requires no further explanation.
6. Pest Infestation
When it’s cold outside the rodents and critters found about the rural, suburban, and urban communities of the greater Winnipeg area seek a place to nest and hibernate. We’re talking raccoons, rats, mice, squirrels, birds and other creatures that can wreak havoc in the basement, under the floorboards, and in the walls of your house. Older homes have more entry points given the cracks, fissures, and ways to burrow in. Unless you’ve always had some Disney-esque fantasy about living amongst such critters in your space (and you can teach them to sing and do chores) these pests are unwelcome guests that you will need to evict, and at great expense.
Don’t let another winter season (4-6 months in Winnipeg) pass without alleviating your burden. Sell your old home, no matter the condition, for market value today. Contact 5 Day Cash Offer at 204.222.0022 to get cash in hand for your property in time to enjoy it for the spring to come.