Assessing Winter’s Damage: 7 Things That Need Fixing Now – March 2021 Newsletter

Hello!

Winter is just about done (yay). I hope your home escaped without any severe damage.


Either way, now is the time to inspect and repair the parts of your home that are most vulnerable. There are no guarantees, of course, but if you pay attention to these trouble spots each spring, you’ll be well protected when Old Man Winter returns.


Stay well, see you at Fenway soon!

Jim Moon
President
Gutter Helmet and Quality Roofing

Assessing Winter’s Damage: 7 Things That Need Fixing Now

The 2020-21 winter season looks to be comfortably behind us! And with the exception of an early season snow, this winter had seemed to be following the pattern of the past several years: Mild temperatures and some snowfall in the early part of the season, with forecasters predicting warm conditions for the remainder of the winter.

That is, until everything changed: An Artic blast hit and we New Englanders were plunged into severe winter weather, with heavy snow loads and freezing temperatures.

Unfortunately for many homeowners, this meant damaging ice damsleaking roofs, and the need for immediate repairs. Whether this happened to you or not, severe winters remind us to inspect our homes and fix any damage! 

Here are the 7 most common forms of winter damage…

#1. Ice Dams. Even though you may not have seen leaks in your house this past winter, you may still have experienced ice dams. Inspect your attic and crawl spaces for moisture or water stains. If ice dams happened once, they’ll happen again, often with more severity. It may be time to upgrade your roof or install heating elements.


#2. Roof Damage. High winds and freeze-thaw cycles can damage your roof, causing leaks or early system failure. Visually inspect your roof for signs of damage, things like missing shingles or damaged flashing. A simple repair may be all that’s necessary to ensure your roof continues to protect your home for years to come.

#3. Detached Rain Gutters. Ice loads like those experienced this winter can separate gutters from your home’s fascial (to which they are attached). When spacing occurs between the gutters and the roofing shingles, water can work its way behind the gutters and start damaging fascia boards, trim, and even siding. Inspect your gutters for obvious signs of damage and watch how they perform during the upcoming spring rains.

#4. Peeling or Blistering Exterior Paint. Even with a functioning roof and gutter system, your home’s exterior paint can be damaged by winter weather. The tell-tale signs are peeling paint or pockets of water which have formed behind the paint. Identifying and repainting this early can limit additional damage and increase the time between exterior painting cycles.

#5. Window and Exterior Door Damage. Winter snow and ice may have worked its way into your home’s windows and doors, a process that starts a slow and often invisible cycle of rotting. Junction points between windows and siding are typically protected by thin beads of caulk which can break down over the years. Be sure to inspect the integrity of these junctions and re-caulk where needed. Soft or damp areas on windows and doors may indicate that the problem has advanced, and replacements may be required.

#6. Tree Damage. Strong winter winds and heavy ice loads can weaken trees and limbs. Weakened trees are more susceptible to falling, potentially damaging homes and cars, not to mention knocking out power. Visually inspect the trees on your property for damage. It may also be time for a major tree trim to short-circuit potential future problems.

#7. Cracks in Foundation. Your home’s foundation is also subject to freeze-thaw cycles, especially during winters with heavy snow loads like the one we just experienced. Inspect both the interior and exterior of your foundation for cracks; you can repair these with a two-part epoxy which chemically seals them. Delays can lead to basement leaks or can even compromise the integrity of the foundation.

There you have it; the seven forms of winter damage that can cause the most trouble. All of them are fixable, so give your home a good look and stay safe, warm, and dry next season!

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