New England weather is pretty harsh on our homes. The six New England states have set many record cold and snow falls. By this time last year, we had over 110 inches of snow. This year wasn’t as drastic, but we still had approximately 36 inches of snow. Let’s hope that Mother Nature is finished with the white stuff, so we can move on into spring to inspect and maintain our homes. Following these few inspection tips can save you money on enormous repair bills.
1. Examine the Roof
If you own an older home it’s even more important to examine the roof. Newly built homes are designed to hold specific amounts of snow due to the national and state building codes, but it’s still important to examine them. Snow melts and freezes on the roof edges above the gutters, creating a wall of ice that forces water from melting snow and ice under the shingles and into the house. CORE Remodeling suggests that you look for roof-rafter sag (see photo). If you can see a dip, curve, or swag on the peak when standing in the street, then you have a problem with your roof. The lines of your roof should be straight. Also, it’s important to listen during the winter for creaking, cracking, or popping sounds. If your roof resembles the picture below, it’s time for one of the three R’s - Replacement, Reinforcement or permanent Repair.
2. Examine the Deck
Decks in Massachusetts also take a pretty hard hit. The CORE Remodeling Team has replaced many decks due to heavy wet snow and ice buildup. Decks should be inspected every spring, especially because during the summer many of us have friends and family over for entertaining on our decks. It’s most important to check the ledger board. The ledger board is the board between the home and the deck itself (see photo). If this becomes loose or if it detaches from the house, it will become unstable very quickly. Also, it’s important to look for missing connections, loose connections, corrosion, rot, and cracks. If you have any issues, it’s time for repair or you may want to remodel your existing deck and build it bigger! At the end of this newsletter, you will be able to see before and after pictures of a deck that was rebuilt in Central Massachusetts. This work was completed by, us, CORE Remodeling Services!
3. Examine the Gutters and Downspouts:
Rain gutters are extremely important to maintenance, so you can protect your home from damage. If the rain gutters aren’t working properly, melted snow that would normally be drained away from your house by your gutter’s downspouts can leak into your house and wreak destruction in your home. Water damage from backed up gutters can result in roof rot, mold in your attic, cracked foundations, landscape erosion, and basement flooding (see photo). These issues can require expensive repairs and decrease the value of your home. Inspecting and maintaining your gutters can prevent this (or worse things) from happening to your home.
4. Examine the Siding
Check to see if the siding on your home has any paint on it that is peeling. If the paint has peeled, then moisture can seep in, which can cause the wood to start rotting. If you have vinyl siding, you may want to check for dings and cracks, the latter of which might have opened up during the winter from hail or fallen tree limbs. Siding is the first barrier of protection from the elements for your home, so it’s important to make repairs as quickly as possible.
5. Examine the Foundation
The repeated freeze thaw cycle can cause cracks in your foundation. Cracks develop on their own due to the house settling, but they can expand during the winter months. This may cause major structural issues if they aren’t addressed quickly. The sooner you seal the cracks, the better, because it will help to prevent more extensive damage that can incur.
We hope that these 5 inspection tips will help you prevent damage to your home.
If you would like to talk to us in person about your project, call CORE at 1-888-959-CORE (2673), and we'll be happy to speak with you and provide you with a personalized design/build consultation and fixed price project proposal. We specialize in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, attics, decks and handle other selective projects.