Outdoor Sauna Maintenance Tips for Edmonton Residents

Outdoor Sauna Maintenance Tips for Edmonton Residents
Don’t we all need a little escape from the stresses of daily life?

For many people, it’s as simple as entering their backyard sauna.

Need to relax and detoxify? Step into your sauna.

Looking for a way to relieve your aching muscles and improve circulation? Open the door to your sauna.

Want to clear up your airways and your skin? You guessed it—your sauna understands that assignment too.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to be so grateful that saunas exist. And to show gratitude, it’s only right to give them the proper care and maintenance they deserve. For those who live in Edmonton, the climate presents unique challenges for outdoor saunas—but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Keep reading to discover the top maintenance tips for an outdoor sauna in Edmonton.

How Edmonton's Weather Affects Your Backyard Sauna

  • Edmonton experiences a prairie-steppe type climate, which is characterized by long, cold winters and short, warm summers. Once you step into the cozy indoors, you’re likely to be unbothered by these temperatures—but your outdoor sauna in Edmonton that bathes in these conditions all day long would think otherwise.

Let’s step into the shoes of your sauna for a moment and take a look at how the Edmonton weather affects it:  

  • Cold Winters:
    • With temperatures that can dip below -30°C, the extreme cold can affect the wood of an outdoor sauna, causing it to contract and potentially crack if not properly treated and maintained. Make sure to keep an eye on your backyard sauna during times like these. 
    • Sauna heaters may need to work harder to reach desired temperatures, which makes efficient insulation crucial.
    • Door seals must be checked and maintained to prevent heat loss.
  • Warm Summers:
    • Summers in Edmonton can be quite warm, with temperatures occasionally rising above 30°C. More heat and higher UV radiation levels can take a toll on the wood finishes and bleach the colour of the wood if it isn’t protected.
    • Higher temperatures and humidity can increase the risk of mould and mildew growth—making good ventilation an absolute must.
  • Spring Thaw and Fall Freeze:
    • The freeze-thaw cycle can affect the foundation of an outdoor sauna, so it’s important to have good drainage around the structure.
    • During the thaw, excessive moisture can lead to wood swelling and warping. Make sure to keep snow and ice cleared to minimize the potential water damage. 
  • Snowfall:
    • Edmonton can receive significant snowfall—but your backyard sauna probably won’t enjoy the winter wonderland season as much. That’s because the weight of snow on the sauna roof can cause structural damage if it isn’t cleared regularly.
    • Ice damming around the eaves can create leaks that might penetrate the sauna if the roof isn’t properly insulated and ventilated.
  • Dry Conditions:
    • Although humidity levels can fluctuate in the area, Edmonton’s climate can also be quite dry—particularly indoors during the winter when heating systems are running. Proper sealing and moisturizing of the sauna wood with oil can prevent it from becoming too dry and brittle.
  • Wind:
    • Occasional strong winds can damage the sauna structure or roof if not properly constructed or maintained.
    • Wind is the biggest culprit that carries dust and debris that make your sauna dirty —resulting in the need for more frequent cleaning.

Maintenance Tips for Your Outdoor Sauna in Edmonton

Summit Outdoor Sauna

A little care goes a long way. 

To keep your outdoor sauna in your backyard paradise in top condition, regular maintenance is essential. Here are some tips on how to maintain their outdoor saunas in Edmonton. 

1. Clean the Interior Regularly 

To prevent the buildup of dirt, sweat, and bacteria, it’s important to clean the interior of your sauna regularly. How often it needs to be cleaned depends on the frequency of use—but try to go for a deep clean every month. Alternatively, if you wipe down the surface after every use, you can get away with less frequent cleaning sessions. 

Use a mild all-purpose cleaner to wipe down the benches, walls, and floor. For a more organic approach, you can always go for the 1:1 ratio of water to vinegar solution. Make sure to rinse the space thoroughly with a hose to remove any residue.


2. Check the Heater

The heater is the heart of your sauna. It can’t bring the heat if it isn’t in optimal condition—so it’s check it regularly for any signs of damage or wear. Make sure the rocks are in good condition and replace them if necessary. Typically, these rocks need to be replaced once a year for elevated performance. 

Additionally, keep the heater clean and free of dust and debris to ensure it functions properly—you don’t want it struggling, trying to cough up these particles!  


3. Monitor the Temperature

You’ll want to monitor the temperature in your sauna to ensure it stays at a comfortable level. Invest in a high-quality thermometer to keep track of the temperature and adjust it as needed. 

Here’s a super important tip to keep in mind: Avoid overheating the sauna, as it can damage the wood and pose a safety risk.


4. Ventilate the Sauna

As you lean back and relax in your sauna haven, you wouldn’t want mould and mildew to be chilling with you, now would you? 

Proper ventilation is crucial for a safe and comfortable sauna experience. Make sure the vents are clear of any obstructions and open them during and after each use to allow fresh air to circulate. This will help prevent mould and mildew growth and maintain a pleasant aroma inside the sauna. Your sauna can’t speak and tell you this directly—but trust us when we say it could really use a breather every now and then. 


5. Maintain the Wood

With constant exposure to the elements, your backyard sauna’s wooden structures have to battle it out with moisture, mould, and rot. And you can count on it that it’s counting on you to give it some backup. 

Given the Edmonton climate, it’s essential to focus on proper wood treatments, like sanding, sealing, staining, and adding wood preservatives and oils to protect it. Exerting the effort to carry out regular maintenance will give you a valuable ROI in exchange: your backyard sauna will remain a safe and enjoyable retreat for years to come.

Regularly inspect the wood for any signs of damage, such as cracks or warping, and repair or replace as needed. Also, make it your duty to be at the ready to maintain the wood with the following tips:

  1. Sanding: If the wood becomes discoloured or rough, light sanding can help restore its appearance. Use fine-grit sandpaper and work along the grain of the wood to avoid scratching.


  1. Natural Oils: After cleaning and sanding, you can apply natural oils that are suitable for high-heat environments. Linseed or tung oil are popular choices–they penetrate the wood and provide a protective layer against moisture without forming a surface film.


  1. Wood Preservatives: Sauna-specific wood preservatives can protect against moisture, mould, and mildew. They typically contain natural anti-fungal ingredients and are safe for high temperatures.

  1. Stain and Seal: Some sauna owners opt to stain their wood for aesthetic reasons or to provide additional protection. It’s important to use non-toxic products that can withstand high temperatures. After staining, sealing the wood helps lock in the colour and adds another layer of protection.

Where to Find an Outdoor Sauna for Sale in Edmonton: The Most In-Demand Units in the City

Did you look up maintenance tips for an outdoor sauna in Edmonton because you already have one and are wondering how to give it the best care? Or are you curious about what maintenance looks like because you’re planning to buy a backyard sauna soon? (That’s definitely a decision you won’t regret!)  


If you’re at the stage weighing out your options for the best models out there, then it’s time to meet the most in-demand outdoor saunas in Edmonton

Outdoor Sauna Type 


Sisu Outdoor Sauna

  • Custom and Flexible

  • Finnleos CarbonFlex far-infrared heating system can be incorporated into virtually any sauna room design. 

Finnleo® Custom Cut Outdoor Saunas

  • Perfect for new construction or remodelling projects.

  • The finest materials are pre-cut for your walls and ceiling.

  • Pre-built benches and door for final installation on your framed walls— simply provide the inside dimensions, the door location and your preference for bench configuration 

  • Finnleo® Custom-Cut Saunas are handmade using the highest quality Nordic Whitewoods for the walls and ceiling and Abachi for the benches, backrests, headrests, duckboards and heater guard construction. 

Summit Outdoor Sauna


  • Provides a high-quality, attractive sauna built to withstand the elements at a very affordable price.

  • With an Espresso-treated Hemlock exterior, natural Hemlock interior, weatherproof polymer roof, Viki heater & SaunaLogic control, built-in vinyl flooring and several other features.

Traditional Outdoor Saunas Metro Series


  • Tie in perfectly with outdoor entertaining — poolside, spa-side, near the patio, or lakeside.

  • Three of the four Metro models include spacious changing rooms, these wonderful backyard amenities can easily double as a pool house. 

  •  Designed for easy assembly.

  • Walls and roof are constructed of 4 1/4” insulated panels. Each panel is finished on both sides. 

  • The interior comes standard with tongue-and-groove Nordic White Spruce — in the sauna and the changing room.

  • The exterior comes standard with Nordic White Spruce T&G (to be painted or stained) or optional maintenance-free siding.

Traditional Outdoor Saunas Patio Series

  • Can be delivered and in place in minutes–rather than hours.

  • Combines the popular characteristics of the Sisu series and the Metro Outdoor series. 

  • Includes simple panel construction and assembly of the Sisu series, but with the integral walls and gable system of the Metro series for a uniquely portable yet, strong and durable outdoor Patio sauna. 

  • Comes in four sizes: 4×5, 4×6, 5×6 and 5×7.

Traditional Outdoor Saunas Patio Series

Don’t Sweat The Shopping Process — Find the Perfect Sauna at SML

Now that you know all about the top maintenance tips for an outdoor sauna in Edmonton and which models are the most in-demand, there’s only one thing left to do:


Head to SML Hot Tubs & Home Leisure in Edmonton to finally purchase that backyard sauna you’ve always wanted. 


For over 64 years, we’ve been proudly serving the Alberta community as a trusted dealer for family entertainment products. Visit our showroom to view our extensive collection of saunas, hot tubs, swim spas, billiards, and game tables. 


Don’t sweat it—just treat yourself to a cozy retreat. 


Browse our collection of outdoor saunas and sauna accessories today

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