by Mary Shepherd, HFHSC Family & Volunteer Coordinator

Winter weather can be damaging to a home.  Early spring is a good time to inspect your home for damage and plan for home maintenance and repair.  The National Association of Home Builders and Erie Insurance recommend taking the following actions to assess winter damage:

  • Inspect the roof. Check for loose, warped or missing shingles and flashing around chimneys. Water and moisture that seeps through the roof can discolor ceilings and promote mold growth. Freezing and thawing can create big splits out of small cracks.
  • Clean and repair gutters.  Ice dams can bend and break gutters. Clear winter storm debris from gutters and downspouts and check that they are securely attached to the house. Blocked or loose gutters can allow water into your home.
  • Inspect windows and doors. Look for bent or broken hinges, frames or edges on doors.  Examine the exterior caulking on door and window seals. Re-caulk if necessary to ensure doors and windows remain water tight. Also check screens for holes.
  • Inspect siding. Look for pieces that have come loose or damaged during winter storms and re-set or replace them.
  • Look for leaks.  Inspect the attic, crawl spaces and washing machine hoses. Look under sinks for damage from frozen pipes and check your water heater for signs of corrosion.
  • Patch cracks in concrete. A lot of water seeps into driveways, sidewalks and steps during the winter. Water can create cracks when it freezes and then thaws. Patch or reseal to keep water out and prevent further expansion.
  • Seal untreated exterior wood. This includes the wood on your front porch rails and the small deck by your kitchen door. If the wood looks worn down, it will need to be pressure washed and resealed.
  • Inspect the HVAC System. Have a qualified technician service your HVAC to make sure it is running properly before hot temperatures call for air conditioning.  Don’t forget to change the filter!
  • Check your home’s grading. Make sure your yard slopes away from your home’s foundation to keep moisture out of the basement.

Check on these items now and make necessary repairs.  Then you will be ready to enjoy the warmer, longer days ahead with your family.

Information in this article came from the following website articles: