We’re almost into the month of March and although we may still get some winter weather, it will soon be the first day of spring! As the weather starts to turn and we get a few more sunny days, now is the time to check your home for winter damage. So, where do you start and what do you do if you find damage?
The first place to check for signs of winter damage is your roof, as this is the part of the home that is most directly hit by the harsh winter weather. First, we recommend heading into the attic to check for any leaks. On a sunny day, look for water stains or damp/cracked plaster as both can be a sign that you’ve had a leak. We also suggest that you look at the chimney and ventilation pipes to see if there are any obvious signs of damage or leakage in your home. Another way to check for damage is to turn the lights off and look for small cracks of light coming through the roof.
Once you’ve checked the inside, we also recommend checking the outside for cracked, warped, broken, loose or even missing shingles, as damage to these can happen because of sudden changes in temperature. We don’t recommend you get up onto the roof yourself unless you have the appropriate safety equipment. Most signs of damage can be spotted with a pair of binoculars, but if you can’t get a full picture from the street level, you can also get a full roof inspection done by a licensed professional to avoid any accidents. Make sure to get any issues repaired so that they don’t turn into larger leaks down the road.
The next place to check for damage is your windows. Damage is easily caused in the winter months by frost melting, which can cause moisture to settle into the casings, trim, or drywall. So, check for wet or soft wood around your windows and repair as needed so it doesn’t turn into rot. Moreover, fluctuations in temperature can cause caulking to detach from your windows. This will likely cause your home to become more drafty than usual so make sure to double-check your windows and reapply caulk where needed.
As we all know, the winter months can be harsh on your home’s pipes. If you followed our winter-proofing recommendations for your plumbing, chances are that you didn’t have water freeze and burst in your pipes. However, you could still have small cracks appear in your pipes due to the cold and fluctuating winter temperatures. Make sure to check for any leaks throughout your home and call us immediately if you find any problems, as even small cracks can cause a lot of water damage over time. Addressing the issues sooner rather than later will ensure they don’t turn into larger, more expensive problems down the road.
In the winter months, leaves and debris in your gutters and downspouts can lead to a backup of water which blocks drainage and can cause water to back up in your walls, so check for any signs of leakage and clear them out to avoid any issues. You will also need to check for damage caused by heavy blocks of ice, which can sit in your gutters and pull them away from your home. Without repair, this issue can shorten their lifespan and create an overhead ice hazard in future years.
So, although winter weather is not completely gone, now is the time to check for winter damage so that you can have repairs done as needed and save yourself the stress and expense of larger issues down the road. If you notice any issues, make sure to contact our team or a licensed professional to have issues taken care of!