How to Help Your Home Recover from Winter

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Your home likely took a beating this winter, so you’ll want to invest some time in helping it get back to its pre-winter condition. Here are a few ways you can help your home recover from winter.

  • Have your roof inspected. This is especially important if you notice any leaks or loose shingles or metal. The freezing and thawing that was so common this past winter can create big splits out of small cracks.
  • Fix any ceiling stains. Your ceiling may have a yellow or brown stain if your roof has a leak. If so, first fix the leak before sealing the stain with a sealer/primer than apply a coat or two of paint.
  • Check storm doors and screens. Things to look for on doors include bent or broken hinges, frames or edges. Depending on the extent of the damage, you can either repair or replace the door. Also inspect your screens for holes before you swap out your storm panels.
  • Consider resealing your driveway. A lot of water seeps into driveways during the winter, which can create cracks when it freezes then thaws. If you notice a lot of cracks, consider having it resealed to prevent further cracking.
  • Seal your deck every few years. If your deck is looking worn-down, have it pressure washed and resealed.
  • Check your fence(s). Repair or replace any loose slats or rot on your fences. Use epoxy to patch up any worn wood.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Leaves can weigh things down while ice dams can bend and break gutters. Grab a pair of gloves, a sturdy ladder and a trowel to clear any leaves and debris out (call a professional if you’re not comfortable doing this on your own).

    If you’re dealing with an ice dam and want to try a DIY approach, first remove snow with a long-handled aluminum roof rake. Then fill a pair of pantyhose with calcium chloride ice melter and hang it from your roof so it crosses the ice dam and hangs off the gutter. If that doesn’t melt the ice dam, call a pro—you don’t want to be up on your rood during icy conditions.

  • Apply caulk to leak-prone areas. Expansion and contraction can cause openings that will let April rains seep in. Seal it up by applying exterior caulk to leak-prone areas like windows and areas of the siding where walls join together.
  • Inspect outside faucets and hoses. Turn them on to ensure water is still running as it should; if you can stop the flow with your thumb, the water pressure may be too low and a pipe inside your home may need to be fixed.

A more serious post-winter concern is when frost heave causes your house’s foundation to shift. Here’s what you need to know about frost heaves.

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