Many parts of the U.S. have just suffered through one of the worst winters of the 21st century. Renovation ideas and maintenance projects put on hold by the severe weather are now possible, but first people need to assess the damage the cold, wet winter did to their homes. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has come out with a few ideas on how to inspect and repair winter weather damage and to prepare your home for the coming warm months of remodeling and redecorating.
NAHB chair suggests early inspections
NAHB Remodeling Chair Paul Sullivan said, “Winter weather can damage homes in ways that aren’t easily visible. Home owners should protect their investment and hire a professional remodeler to repair or replace damaged components now, before spring storms create more problems.” Summer weather can also exacerbate existing problems, so even though spring is fully upon us, it’s never too late to make home repairs.
Check the roof for damage and leaks
Start with your roof. Are there missing shingles? Debris built up in corners? Gutters should be cleared of leaves and dirt and downspouts checked for damage. Also check in your attic for signs of leaking—including mold, wet wood or insulation, or a dank odor. If you live in an especially cold area, you’ll want to check in the crawl space for evidence of ice-damaged pipes. These can lead to expensive repair jobs if left unchecked.
Inspect siding and windows
Siding should be inspected for cracks, loose pieces, or other damage. You should find good caulking around the windows and doors with no crumbling or cracking. Caulking provides a watertight seal to prevent leaks or drafts. You can also check your weather stripping for wear and tear. Replace it before you have to spend a fortune on air conditioning that seeps straight out into the summer sun.
Stop cement cracks
Another major problem to be on the lookout for following an especially brutal winter is cracks in sidewalks, driveways, and foundation. If there were any small cracks before cold weather hit, they may be worse now as water would have infiltrated them, froze and expanded, and continued this cycle throughout the last few months. Patch these cracks quickly before they get worse, especially those cracks in the foundation.
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