Now that winter is soon to be gone, it’s a good time to see how your home was faring against the weather. If you didn’t take steps to winterize your home in the fall, there’s a good chance you’ve got some work to do since most houses sustain at least a few problems during the winter months. Make the repairs now, before starting on any remodeling or other major warm-weather projects. Here’s a quick winter home maintenance checklist to help you get things in shape and avoid costly repairs when spring comes:
1) Driveways and walkways:
Winter gives your driveway a hard beating. Small cracks that develop naturally over time are the perfect place for water to collect. When that water freezes, it expands, causing what’s known as a frost heave. Frost heaves are responsible for large cracks, as well as potholes in your driveway. Repaving your driveway can correct these issues and help prevent additional damage by eliminating those small cracks as well.
2) The foundation:
The same freeze/thaw cycle that causes cracks and potholes in a driveway can also affect a foundation. Hairline cracks that develop naturally over time because of a home settling can expand during the winter months, causing major structural issues if they aren’t taken care of in a timely way. Getting a foundation repaired in the spring can help prevent more problems from developing as time goes by.
3) Repair siding leaks:
From washing your siding down of dirt and salt to give it a clean look to making major structural repairs, getting your siding in shape for spring is an important step. Cracks can make way for leaks that can lead to rot or mold growth in your walls. Energy efficiency can also be thrown off by siding damages. Depending on the extent of damages incurred during the winter, you’ll likely be able to get away with a few minor repairs instead of a total replacement of your siding. Due to its importance getting a professional opinion is crucial for making any major changes on your home’s exterior so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.
4) Clear gutters & downspouts:
Your gutters and spouts after a strong winter are most likely strained, cracked, bent and covered in debris. Once you can actually see your roof and gutters again, it’s time for a thorough inspection and any repairs should be done before the end of summer.
5) The roof:
Weather conditions can cause shingles and tiles to break and create exposed areas in the underlayment where leaks and holes can form, which allows water to seep through to your attic. At winter ice dams and winter storms can do a lot of damage to your roof. An ice dam occurs when snow on the roof melts, runs to the edge and refreezes there, forcing water back up under the roof where it can cause leaks and shingles deterioration. At the same time, high winds, hail and winter storms can tear off shingles or drive moisture beneath them, causing further damage. If your roof was battered by snow and ice this winter, you need to start by assessing the damages so those April showers don’t bring leaks, mold and water damage.
6) Block air leaks around windows:
A great amount of energy is lost by air leaks around windows. Luckily there is a relatively quick and effective solution. In order to mitigate drafts and prevent energy loss install (or replace) weatherstripping.
As you can see theirs is a great lot to be done in order to keep your house ready for next seasons. As always it’s best to get to work as soon as possible since it’s very likely as time goes by you will forget most of the problems that occurred during winter. A great tip is to take photos of the damage you notice. That way once showing the damage to the construction workers in couple weeks or months you won’t forget about any cracks or leaks you found a while ago. Keep in mind that those works not only up the looks of your house but also help prevent further damage and help keeping you house warm and dry which means more money in your wallet.
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