Exterior Home Maintenance Checklist for When the Snow Clears
As winter begins to morph into spring, a few more surprises may be lurking beneath the snow than sudden daffodils. Your home can take a serious beating when major snowfall and blizzards are concerned. Even a relatively small amount of snow and winter weather can cause major headaches when it comes to the maintenance of your home. In order to make sure your home survived the winter and is in good working order, read over our handy checklist.
You may be surprised at what you'll need to check and what could be wrong once the snow is gone.
Tend to Your Roof
Your roof is the most likely aspect of your home likely to be damaged by major snowfall. Even if you've had recent repairs done or an entirely new roof installed, winter weather can undo all of your hard work and money in an instant. Running a roof inspection after winter is critical for maintaining a healthy home.
- Ice Dams: This build-up of ice around the edge of your roof can trap ice, snow, and water, leading to a whole host of issues. Breaking down the ridge will allow the moisture to drain.
- Icicles: They may be pretty, but icicles can cause major harm and damage if they happen to fall. Break off and dispose of icicles, no matter how small, to avoid punctures through your car's windshield and any bodily harm of those walking beneath them.
- Heavy Snow Loads: Roofs can be majorly damaged by the heavy weight of snow. If you've suffered a large snow fall, check the integrity of your roof and that there are no cracks or dips caused from the weather. Ignoring these can cause to roof collapse.
- Attic Condensation: If there's been any snow on your roof, chances are your attic ceiling has some built up condensation. Condensation, if not aired out and dried, can lead to mold and a handful of other problems with the integrity of your home. Look for water leaks and make sure to run a dehumidifier.
- Wind Damage: Missing shingles, torn away gutters, and other wind damage can happen with blizzards and windy snow and ice storms. Do a survey of your roof to make sure nothing it missing or broken off.
Clean Your Gutters
Debris build-up in your gutters isn't just for the autumn. Foliage can be clogging your drainage system, carried by storms. However, the more likely culprit will be the build-up of ice and snow itself. If your gutters are clogged before a storm, the damage to the exterior of your home can be significant. If they're clogged after a storm, the danger is still very much there. Clean your gutters and ditch the worry about things going south.
- Frozen Gutters: Your gutters can freeze, and once they do they're going to cause issues. Frozen gutters can crack and break, falling off your home entirely and causing a lot of damage along the way.
- Ice Build-Up: If too much ice builds up in your gutters, it's going to overflow. This overflow is what causes those large, dangerous, icicles. By tackling the ice formed in your gutter, you'll stop these from occurring.
- Snow Damage: Even the stronger and best installed gutters can buckle under the weight of major snow. This can cause your drainage system to break away from the home, taking shingles and siding with it.
Check Your Driveway
The runway of your home can take a major beating during winter time. Heavy trucks and cars can damage your driveway, but ice and snow can do way more. After you've finished clearing your asphalt or pavement, you'll want to take a close look to see if its sustained any damage. After cleared, be sure to take proper measures to maintain your coating.
- Don't Use Rock Salt: De-icing a driveway may be one of your top priorities, especially when you've got to go to work and get the kids to school. However, rock salt is extremely corrosive and can take years off the lifespan of your driveway, making is more susceptible to damage. Other suggestions include sand, cat littler, and anything with calcium chloride as the main ingredient.
- Be Careful When Clearing: Shoveling is always a chore, but how you shovel and what you shovel with can make a difference on how well your driveway copes with the season. Metal tipped shovels can catch on rocks and cracks, causing even more damage. Make sure to always use a plastic shovel, and scoop gently at least half an inch to an inch away from the surface of the driveway.
- Tend to Cracks: Winter weather can be a death sentence for your driveway, especially if it's younger. If you notice any hairline cracks, no matter how small, after a storm, you need to get them filled and sealed immediately. Make sure you use a heated sealant that will expand and fill the cracks completely.
With this checklist you'll be able to keep your home in check and ready for the next bout of winter weather.