Keeping your home in good condition is about more than just attacking problems whenever they occur. Home maintenance should be a year-round project. While this may sound annoying, doing small tasks on a regular basis is a good deal less painful than having to spend lots of energy and money all at once to deal with issues as they arise. This is especially true when melting ice and snow begin to reveal problems you might not have noticed whilst under the spell of a winter wonderland. Here are small, manageable post-winter tips you can follow to keep your house in good condition for the rest of the year.
One of the first things you should inspect after winter is the state of your eavestroughs. They’ll undoubtedly be filled with small debris, which you should clear off as soon as possible to avoid leaks when the snows begin to melt, and spring showers take over. Clogged eavestroughs can create a damp environment, which leads to leaking, as well as the growth of mold, moss and algae.
Besides checking the inside of your eavestroughs, check to make sure that the gutters themselves aren’t sagging or separated from your house. Screw them in tight to ensure they don’t pose a safety hazard to anybody walking below. You also want to make sure that the eavestroughs aren’t leaking anywhere, and if they are properly pitched to ensure that water will flow smoothly downwards. Eavestroughs can be bent and pushed into place so that they are pitched at the correct angle.
Just as you would inspect your gutters for leaks, make sure your downspouts are in proper working order. It’s important that they aren’t dislodged from your gutters and that they don’t leak anywhere, as water can seep into your foundations and cause a lot of nasty problems. On that note, ensure that the downspouts are pointed at least 4-5 feet away from your house. Buy an extender to do this if your downspout is too short. If it’s too late and winter has already done its damage, check your basement for cracks and leaks. You can go the DIY route and fill small cracks yourself, or hire professional contractors to do the job for you.
Your roof is another key location that must be inspected after winter. Because your roof is so exposed throughout the year, it should in fact be inspected on a biannual basis, and after any major storm. You can do this yourself using binoculars at street-level, or by carefully climbing a ladder for an close-up look. If you’re unable to do so for whatever reason, or if you suspect your roof is particularly damaged, contact your local roofing contractors to carry out the inspection for you.
Watch out for rusted flashing and cracked rubber or caulking. Broken, loose, bruised, blistered or missing shingles are also things you should look out for. Inspect your chimney as well, particularly on older houses with brick chimneys, as moisture can cause some pretty serious damage to the exposed tops of bricks. If it’s just a few bad shingles and flashing here and there, most DIYers will be able to take care of these things themselves with the help of a friend. Anything more serious should warrant a call to a roofing company, as roof damage and crumbling chimneys can lead to a plethora of problems in the spring. Left unattended, you’ll find yourself facing a terrible winter the following year.
If your roof suffered from ice dams over the winter, spring is the time to deal with any insulation problems and to patch up your roof so that next winter goes by a bit smoother. Ice dams form when snow melts and refreezes on your roof, often due to insulation problems in your attic. Check for signs of moisture in your attic, such as water stains and bulging or blistering drywall. Also inspect your doors and windows for air leaks. You can seal them with silicone-based caulk or replace your worn-out weather stripping to improve insulation.
While peeling or stripped paint might not seem like a big deal at first, it leaves the underlying wood exposed to the elements. This can lead to water absorption and rot, which of course is a lot more irritating to deal with than a simple repainting job. Spring is a great time to tackle small maintenance tasks like this in order to avoid future headaches down the line.
Maintain your home on a regular basis by carrying out inspections as the seasons change, and by nipping smaller problems in the bud before they blossom into costly, time-consuming catastrophes. Most homeowners can tackle everything from repainting peeling wood to carrying out basic roofing inspections, so try not to be overwhelmed and take things one step at a time. If you come across something a little too large for you to handle, there’s a professional answer to every need, from house-painters to roofing contractors, so keep calm and carry on!
For more information, speak to a roofing contractor in your area. If you have any roofing questions you’d like to ask us please don’t hesitate to call us at (905) 387 3000 or contact us using the contact form on our website. We’d love to hear from you!