Landlocked and buffeted by the Rocky Mountains along the southwestern border, Alberta features a predominantly dry, continental climate with cold winters and warm, sunny summers. Extreme weather fluctuations are common in the winter months, due to arctic air masses from the north merging with dry Chinook winds from the southwest. Such weather variability causes inevitable wear-and-tear on your home.
In Alberta, asphalt shingles are by far the most popular roofing material, says Chris Bucar, manager of Action Roofing & Siding Ltd. in Calgary. “Asphalt stands up well to the elements, including wind, and it’s the most economical choice,” he says. This type of roofing is also fire-resistant and easily repaired, if the need arises.
When it comes to siding in Alberta, vinyl tends to be the most common, with fiber cement siding coming in a close second.
“Vinyl siding is number one in terms of affordability,” says Bucar. “It’s also durable, standing up to winds and temperature fluctuations.”
Fiber cement siding is equally sturdy and also withstands weather changes. In addition, this material is thicker than vinyl and better able to tolerate harsh conditions like hail, which can be a problem in certain regions of the province. Fiber cement siding can also be painted and has a more authentic wood look.
Top Home Maintenance Tasks
-Clear eavestroughs and valleys. Keeping your roof’s drainage system working at its best is critical to preventing damage to your roof and resulting leaks. At least once a season, check for and remove debris.
-Perform regular roof inspections. Every two years, have a roofing professional examine your roof for problems like loose or missing shingles. “Finding a minor problem before it progresses into major trouble saves you a substantial amount of money and frustration,” says Bucar.
-Repaint. Check exterior painted surfaces a couple times of year and reapply a fresh coat of high-quality paint, if necessary. It is especially important that wood surfaces maintain a viable coating of paint, as bare wood exposed to the elements is particularly vulnerable to permanent damage.
-Check caulking. Moisture and the sun’s rays damage caulking. At least once a year, examine caulked surfaces such as the roof, chimney and windows. Look for signs of cracking and peeling, and re-caulk, if needed.
-Powerwash your siding. Soiled siding is more likely to stain under the summer sun’s hot rays. Wash the siding in spring before the weather warms.
Taking the time to perform routine maintenance tasks helps ensure you a safe and sound home now and in the future.