Attacking Winter Surface Damage to Your Home
Spring is a time when the grass turns wonderfully green, birds are out singing, and the weather becomes comfortably mild as people venture out from their winter hideouts. It's also a great time to take stock of your home's condition after a long winter of cold, snow-filled storms, and to prepare your home for the springtime thunderstorms. With that in mind, there are a few areas of your home that likely sustained some surface damage and are in need of repair.
Damage to siding from winter weather can vary widely depending on the type of siding you have. Wood siding can lose lamination after being exposed to large amounts of snow, while vinyl siding can become brittle and crack in below freezing temperatures. When examining your siding, look for any cracked or damaged areas. Problem spots to concentrate on include under eaves and near gutter downspouts. Fill in cracks in vinyl with an epoxy and touch-up paint. With wood siding, use wood putty and paint to fix cracks or damages.
It's easy to overlook the gutters on your home as it's hard to tell if they need cleaning from below. Because winter storms can do a number of harmful things to gutters, including ice dams that can crack or break them free from the house, it's important to inspect them for any damage. First, take a ladder and inspect the gutters from above, removing any debris that may clog them and prevent proper water drainage. If any gutters are cracked or damaged beyond repair, then make sure you replace them appropriately.
The roof is your home’s first line of defense against moisture, and it likely took a beating over the winter. The first thing you need to do is inspect it to make sure there isn’t any significant damage. Grab a ladder and look for any missing or loose shingles and replace them as needed. If the weather isn’t great out, then you can always go up in your attic and look for any signs of moisture. Make sure you only step on secure frames and not on insulation, and look for any light coming through your roof. Sometimes these leaks aren’t from damaged shingles but from missing or improperly installed flashing.
Now is a good time to see how the paint on the outside of your home is looking. Walk around your home and make a note of any paint that looks like it is ready to peel off or is already doing so. If the situation isn’t that bad, you can get away with simple repairs instead of repainting the entire house. Make sure you remove all the peeling paint, clean the area and sand it down before applying Peel Stop to prevent further peeling. After the primer has been allowed to dry, apply a final primer and then paint over it to match the existing color. Using this method will prevent further peeling and preserve the good paint.
If you felt the winter cold a little too closely inside your home, then it's probably a good idea to check the seals around your windows and doors. While replacing windows can be costly, an alternative is to add caulk and new weatherstripping to your windows and doors. Check for any drafts by placing your hand around your windows and doors to feel if any cold air is coming inside. Additionally, look for any cracks in window frames or damaged weather stripping. Apply caulk around needed areas and new weather stripping to keep that cold air inside during the hot months to come.
Decks can often sustain heavy damage from winter storms, especially with all the moisture and weight of snow they encounter. Give your deck a good cleaning with a pressure washer and hit it with a mold-resistant cleaner. In the process, you'll be able to detect any loose or rotten boards that need attention. If the wood on your deck or patio is looking old and faded, then now is also a good time to stain and reseal it as needed.
Cracks in a driveway or patio can be an annoying eyesore and can lead to further damage down the road. They can even be a dangerous tripping hazard if not fixed in a timely manner. Luckily, fixing cracks in concrete is easier than you may think. After cleaning the area that's in need of repair, make sure you key out the crack with a chisel and clean out any debris created. Then, simply use a concrete filler to fill in the crack and allow it to cure. It’s a good idea to use a sealer afterward to prevent the concrete from staining.