Post-Winter Repairs: What Should You Fix First?
Come spring, flowers aren’t the only things that bloom. A number of home problems – many caused by winter leaks – may also crop up. Of course, the ones that can cause the most damage should head your repair list. Consider looking for and tackling potential problems in this order:
ELECTRICAL: Gusting winter winds may have thrashed your power lines around. WITHOUT TOUCHING IT, examine the line where it enters your house. If the insulation is chafed, call your electric company as soon as possible.
FOUNDATION: Winter freeze-thaw cycles can cause water from poorly drained soil to crack your home’s foundation. If repairs aren’t made, you could be in for major structural problems. Ask a contractor for an estimate (usually free), or hire a home inspection engineer for a third-party opinion.
ROOF: Worn or missing shingles can let water in to stain ceilings, ruin insulation, and promote mold. Leaks may also start if runoff backs up at the eaves, then freezes. If repairs are needed, you may want to call a pro.
GUTTERS: Damage to gutters and downspouts often indicates clogging – a particular problem for homes in wooded areas. Removing leaves and debris regularly can prevent roof or foundation problems due to overflow.
EXTERIOR WALLS: Siding that’s no longer weather-tight may allow water to get in, leading to rot and insect invasion. A danger sign: peeling paint. Get rid of mildew, too, and trim any foliage that keeps walls damp.