Even with this week’s snow (!!), spring is definitely in the air. Since most of us haven’t spent a lot of time this winter evaluating the outside of our homes (and snow would have covered up many of the problem areas anyway), it is important to take some time to check for any damage or problem areas. Catching small problems now will definitely save time and money in the future!
What should you be looking for?
Any damage to your roof can lead to exterior damage at a minimum and, in time, interior damage to your attic, ceilings, and walls.
- Look for missing, cracked, or bent shingles.
- Do you have any raised shingles? Shingles should lay flat on the roof—if they are raised, it means that water can get underneath them and into your decking.
The weight of snow, ice dams, and debris (among other things) can result in damage.
- Look for gutters pulling away from the house, or sloping. This needs to be fixed immediately. Improperly draining water will cause damage to the interior and exterior of your home.
- Look inside your gutters. Excessive debris will cause drainage issues, which can cause damage to your foundation, siding, and much more!
- Ensure that the gutter is draining properly. This can be done by taking a hose and running water through the highest point in the gutters. Watch the water to ensure proper flow.
- Don’t forget about your downspouts! If you see water leaving the downspouts and moving toward the foundation, that is a problem which could be caused by a blockage or a misalignment.
Most vinyl siding damage in the winter is caused by accidental contact (think snowplow or snow blower) or debris. Very old siding can also be brittle, and can be impacted by the extreme cold.
- Look for breaks, fractures, and cracks. They can allow for water, debris, and even animals to enter. This can cause deterioration and rotting, which can impact the inside of your home as well.
If you have a wooden deck, it can be impacted by the piled snow, as well as the frequent melting and reappearance of snow.
- Look for mold and mildew. These should be eliminated as soon as possible—there are many methods to do this, from power washing, to bleach solutions, to hiring professionals.
- Look for rotten/deteriorated boards. These boards will need to be replaced so that they don’t cause injury or a dangerous situation.
The most common problem you will find with exterior doors is a lack of proper sealing. In the winter, this causes you to lose heat from your home, and in the summer, it can increase your cooling bills.
- Stand on the inside of the door on a cooler day. Do you feel a draft? Feel around the door to see where it is coming from, and replace any necessary seals.
- Physically examine the seal at the bottom of your door. Is it flush to the floor? Are there any deteriorations?
Winter can impact your window seals, can cause rot around your window frames, and make deteriorating windows more obvious.
- If your windows have wooden frames on the outside, check for paint that is peeling or chipping, or for wood exposure. These can all lead to mold and rot around your windows—which can get inside your trim and your interior walls. It is imperative that wooden window frames be properly painted.
- On a windy day, stand a foot or so away from each window. Do you feel a draft? You shouldn’t!
- Is there condensation on the inside of the windows? It means that you are losing money heating and cooling your home.
The repeated freezing and thawing in the winter can cause little cracks to turn into big ones. It can also cause damage below the asphalt.
- Do you have a lot of small cracks in your driveway? Any divots? Any “pot holes”?
- Do you notice soft spots, or “flexing” in parts of the driveway when you drive over them?
Did you spot any problem areas? Don’t worry, we can help. And with our free evaluations and estimates for residential customers, you have nothing to lose. Contact us today, 585-400-7663 or firstname.lastname@example.org