Winter takes its toll on any house. Large temperature variations, heavy rains, ice, snow . . . all conspire to weaken your home and yard, which opens the door for bigger problems in the spring and summer. This article and video describes the post-winter trouble spots that you will want to nip in the bud before they turn into bigger, more expensive problems later.
With just a quick quick walk around your home, you can see if you have any problems brewing in the following six likely trouble spots :
Small problems caused by the winter to elements of your roof, can easily turn into very big problems later. A quick and easy way to inspect your roof after the winter is to walk around your home with a set of binoculars, and look for signs of anything unusual. Places in particular that you will want to look on your roof include: loose, curled or missing shingles; and flashing around vent pipes, skylights, chimney, etc. (flashing is the sheet metal placed to deflect water away from where things penetrate your roof).
Gutters and Downspouts
The purpose of your gutters and downspouts are to channel water away from the foundation of your home. If your downspouts have moved or pieces have come loose, then you will want to put them back in place so that they can do their job properly. And if your gutters have started to sag, then you will want to get them adjusted before they get worse.
Ground or Shrubs Touching Your House
You never want the ground or shrubs touching your house, as this can create an avenue for insects and moisture to begin to infiltrate your home. Over the winter, shrubs and ground can get blown or bent against your home. With just a quick walk around you house, you can fix these spots and prevent problems.
Wood decking Damage
As you probably know, water expands when it freezes, and this freezing water can turn small cracks on your wooden decks into big cracks, cause nails to raise up, loosen boards, etc. A quick inspection after the winter can help you to identify these potential safety issues. In addition, you will want to look for any early signs of mold or mildew.
If you have large trees around your home, you will want to look for signs that they have been weakened over the winter. Check especially for cracked branches which can fall onto your home, and look for any signs that their bases have been compromised.
The winter can be hard on your lawn in a number of ways. Road de-icing salt can damage the areas adjacent to your street, which need to be repaired. Snow piles remaining longer in shady areas can lead to snow fungus formation, so you may need to use a shovel to help spread the snow around, so that this area melts faster. And you may need to repair damaged areas caused by moles, etc.
The old adage that “a stitch in time saves nine” is definitely true when it comes to keeping small problems due to winter elements from turning into big problems. Hopefully this video and article has helped you to identify where the likely problem spots are, and what you can easily look for.
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