It’s no secret that Mother Nature has been working overtime this winter and no doubt the damage from excessive snow and constant freezing and thawing has had an effect on your home (and your sanity!). Because this winter was particularly vicious, it’s more important than ever to monitor the condition of your property. Some key things to look out for include:
Sealing Around Windows and Doors
This time of year, we start to see a lot of separation as the caulking in these areas tends to weaken after excessive freeze / thaw cycles. This can impact your heating and cooling costs and can also leave openings big enough to invite a stink bug convention into your home.
Cracks in Pavement and Concrete
As cracks in your pavement, concrete and blacktop take on water that freezes and refreezes, over time, those cracks will expand and can cause major damage to your driveway, sidewalks, and patios. It’s important to keep an eye on these and getthem sealed up in advance of next winter. It’s also important to take care in hosing off any excess salt that may have found its way onto your driveway from your car to minimize any long term damage.
Damage to Gutters and Flashing
Be sure to inspect these carefully as ice tends to move and open up areas which can cause future leaks and, ultimately, lead to major damage. Pay close attention to flashing around chimneys and brick lines. If you have gutter spikes backing out of your gutters, ‘gutter screws’ are an easy replacement and will prevent future problems.
Shifting of Air Conditioning Compressor
Make sure the air compressor is level and clear of debris. It’s also a good idea to test the system to be sure it’s working properly. If service is needed, it’s more easily arranged before the busiest part of the season arrives. While you’re at it, check caulking around vent pipes and make sure your dryer vent is clear of lintbuildup!
Separation Around Moldings and Flooring
The constant freeze / thaw cycle can also cause issues throughout the interior of your home. Separation around moldings is usually cosmetic and can be fixed with fresh caulk and some touch up paint. Inspect the grout around tile (floor to wall) and service as needed. Most grouts have matching colored caulk to be used as an important part of a tile and grout application (where two different surfaces meet).
If you come across any evidence of the possible issues listed above, it’s best to consult a professional as early as possible to avoid additional damage and long wait-times for service.