Spring is nearly here! With the break in cold weather, now is the perfect time to step outside and take stock of how the winter season may impacted your home and evaluate what needs possible repairs or upgrades.
It is important to know what to look for when assessing your home’s exterior after the winter. Here are the common areas recommended for a once-over:
Some windows, particularly in older homes, are made of wood. Wooden windows should be checked for how easily they open after winter months. Windows difficult to open are likely caused by moisture, which causes wood to swell. Also keep an eye out for organic growth, fog between the glass, peeling paint and wood rot.
After autumn and winter, layers of dead leaves and snow have likely settled onto the roof. These will need to be removed. Be sure to check the roof, regardless of its material, for any cracks and leaks. Examine vents for any bird nests. If birds have nested in these areas, clear away any droppings to prevent bacteria from growing.
Check your home’s siding, especially aluminum or vinyl, for any loosened pieces, where water can enter the space behind it and cause damage and organic growth. Also check for any dirt or algae buildup, which can be easily removed with a cleanser and scrub brush. If you choose to pressure wash your home, be sure to first check for any damaged areas to prevent spraying water behind them.
As snow and ice melts, it must have a clear path to drain away. Be sure to check for and remove any debris and dead leaves that may be blocking the gutters. Months of heavy snow may have also loosened or pulled the gutters away from the home, which not only looks unsightly, but can cause a water backup under the roof shingles or into the wall framing of the home. Misaligned gutters can also run the risk of sending water into your basement instead of away from the home.
Once snow has melted from porches and decks, carefully walk over them to check for sturdiness and areas of discoloration. Note any signs of softness or water damage, or loosened boards that may need to be nailed or screwed down again. Areas of discoloration signal the sealant has been weakened by the elements, and the deck should be resealed.
While a number of these fixes are simple projects you can do yourself, never hesitate to call a professional if there are any safety concerns or for questions. Getting the job done right will help prevent potential problems from becoming more severe and more costly down the line.
Check out this article for more tips on seasonal home maintenance.