Spring is upon us, and spring cleaning isn’t the only job you should be performing on your home during this exciting time. Winter can cause numerous forms of damage, and in this article I’ll cover a few of the common defects you should look for once the winter weather has cleared.
#1: The roof. During the winter (at least if you’re in a climate like ours in western Pennsylvania), your roof has likely been the brunt of substantial snow accumulation multiple times. The thick layer of snow acts as an insulator, and if your roof and/or attic space aren’t adequately insulated and ventilated ice dams may have formed, which weigh down gutters and can lead to roof leaks (as well as a potential safety hazard). Once the weather breaks, thoroughly check over the underside of your roof – especially near the eaves – and the roof covering (if possible) to verify that no damage or leaks have formed.
#2: Driveway. If your driveway is asphalt or concrete, the snow and ice may have caused some new holes, cracks or other forms of deterioration to form. Thoroughly look over your driveway to make sure no new holes or displaced sections have developed, as these areas would need repaired to prevent tripping hazards and possible damage to tires or the driveway surface itself. Having your driveway periodically repaired and sealed as needed is much less expensive in the long-term than waiting till the driveway is beyond repair and has to be dug up and repaved.
#3: Exterior wood. Wood on the exterior is exposed to the elements and is always prone to weathering, deterioration, and even rot. Come spring, be sure to look over exterior wood, and you should replace any rotted wood and clean and repaint any weathered/deteriorated sections.
#4: Windows: If your home isn’t continually and properly conditioned, excess moisture levels and temperature variances can lead to ice buildup from condensation. This is especially true if the windows aren’t adequately caulked and sealed. Ensure that your home is temperature controlled and that moisture levels are kept at bay to reduce the likelihood of problems. And come springtime, you can easily seal any areas that need work.
#5: Supply piping. If you’ve been the victim of frozen burst pipes during the winter, you’ll know about it and would have had the pipe(s) immediately repaired. Still, checking your plumbing supply lines for damage from the winter is a good idea. If your supply piping is metal, you may want to consider eventually upgrading to plastic piping, like PEX, which is rated to withstand a much lower temperature and will likely never freeze.
The spring season is a great time when we all want to be having fun, enjoying the weather, and not worrying about extra work. But if you take a small amount of time to check over these few items you’ll have greater peace of mind and will be very glad you did some extra “work” if you find winter related defects that require repair for the safety, durability and functionality of your home.
Of course, nothing can take the place of a Certified Home Inspector checking over your home in a situation like this, and I highly recommend hiring someone like myself to perform this all too important job on your home – your biggest investment.
*To visit our main website, go to http://www.hillinspections.com