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Winter has arrived! Some challenges of winter home inspections in the snow and ice

With all this snow and ice, it is the perfect time to discuss home inspections during winter.

Winter home inspections can be subject to certain limitations due to specific weather conditions and environmental factors.

Here are some limitations to consider:

Exterior Inspections

Winter weather can conceal specific exterior issues.


The ground may be frozen, making it challenging to inspect certain features. Deep snow can pile up against the foundation, making it difficult to inspect.

Roofing Inspections

Snow on the roof can make it challenging to assess its condition. Roof defects or damage may not be visible until the snow melts. However, your inspector will access the attic and should be able to give you some good information on how the roof is performing during the colder months.

Climbing on a snow-covered or icy roof can be hazardous for inspectors, limiting their ability to examine the roof thoroughly.

HVAC System Testing

Some heating and air conditioning system components may not be thoroughly tested or evaluated properly during a winter inspection, especially if the air conditioning unit cannot be operated in cold temperatures.

Frozen pipes are risky in colder climates, such as an Ottawa winter. Identifying this issue may not be possible during a home inspection until the thawing process begins.

Landscaping and Drainage

Snow-covered landscaping will conceal features such as grading, drainage, and the condition of a detached garage, preventing a comprehensive assessment.

Natural Light Limitations

Natural light is the best light during an inspection. Winter days are shorter, limiting the amount of natural light available for inspections. This can affect the inspector's ability to identify specific issues, especially in darker areas of the property.

Despite these limitations, home inspections in the winter are still valuable. Inspectors may use alternative methods like Infrared Technology to help identify issues. Inspectors will focus on interior components to provide a thorough evaluation.  Experienced inspectors with many qualifications can still thoroughly report the existing conditions.

All parties involved in the inspection must be aware of limitations when snow and ice are involved and take appropriate measures to address them during the inspection process.

Contact us today to book an inspection or to chat with Mark about winter inspections.

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