Now that spring is finally coming to an end, it’s a good time to do a home exterior inspection to check for damage caused by winter weather. Take an inventory of all repairs needing to be completed and create a supplies list as you complete the inspection. Just as it is important to perform winterization before winter, it is equally important to make post winter repairs as soon as possible to avoid damage expansion, increased repair costs, and more serious damage in the long run.
Mold, dry rot, concrete damage, and infestations don’t just happen overnight. They start with something small like peeling or chipped paint, and progress into much more costly and complicated repairs; many of which must be done by a professional. Dealing with minor repairs yourself as they happen may take a little bit of your time, but it is well worth the effort in cost savings alone.
What to look for?
When performing your post-winter inspection, you should be sure to include yards, gutters, home-exterior, window frames, trees and shrubs, and any other area around your home that is exposed to the elements or potential insect activity. Look for:
- Cracked and Chipped Paint – Look at the exterior walls, trim molding, soffits, painted downspouts, mailboxes, etc. Any exposed wood or metal is susceptible to rust and dry rot.
- Exposed Wood or Potential Dry Rot – Don’t forget to look for areas where paint may just be worn away by wind, snow, and rain. These areas are often missed as they don’t look like chipped paint, rather they look more like thin spots in the paint.
- Cracks in Mortar – Mortar between bricks in yard walls and home siding begins to crumble over time and needs to be patched properly before the structural integrity fails, requiring replacement instead of repair.
- Sidewalk Cracks – Tree roots, sand, insect activity, and an assortment of natural phenomenon, will lift sidewalks and cause cracks in which weeds take root, insects create homes, and tripping hazards are created. Filling small cracks removing debris as you do, before cracks can expand eliminates these issues.
- Cracked or Broken Tree Limbs – Even if you are diligent during winter and spring months to remove damaged limbs after storms pass through, you should still take a comprehensive look at all trees and shrubs before their growth cycle begins to make repairs, remove damage, and insulate against insect infestation and fungus growth.
- Window Seal Leaks – Making window seal leak repairs will not only extend the life of your windows and frames but it will also directly affect your heating and cooling costs by eliminating gaps for air to escape.
- Concrete cracks – Exterior foundations and elevated steps or patios need to be inspected for the same reasons as sidewalk cracks, in addition to preventing foundation failure or unsturdy or imbalanced steps.
- Loose or Hanging Rain Gutters and Down Spouts – Rain gutters are not fun to clean or repair, but not doing so will shorten the life of your roof, gutter system, and trim as well as create a spectacular place for insect infestation, mold, and many toxic micro-organisms to call home. BE SURE TO WEAR eye protection and either a face mask or respirator when cleaning rain gutters to avoid potential inhalation of potentially dangerous micro-organisms.
- Wasp and Insect Trails and Nests – Spring and summer are when insect activity is at its greatest. They will get into miniscule cracks and lay eggs in walls and concrete. Wasps and Bees and other insects will find their way into and nest in walls via cracks as small as a ¼ inch thick, requiring an exterminator to remove them at great cost. Be vigilant.
- Possible Sprinkler and Spigot Leaks – Making these repairs before you’re ready to turn on those sprinklers and exterior faucets will save you frustration when trying to water your lawn and expensive interior water damage repairs caused by broken pipes in the walls.
- Water Damage – Snow accumulating against doors, walls, and siding, standing water on patios and sidewalks or driveways, all of which cause water damage that will only get worse without attention.
This may seem like quite an expansive list, but the time you take to perform your inspection and repairs will be repaid ten-fold in not having to spend hours doing much more time-consuming and expensive repairs.
Performing home repairs is not the most fun summer activity for most people, and having a place to store the supplies and equipment when not doing those repairs can be a challenge. However, making small repairs as they come along will make for much more free time later on. And, calling Browning Park Min Storage will help you with your storage needs.