Now that Spring is almost here, it’s important to check on your home to see if it had any problems over the winter.
First, take a look at your roof from the outside. Did you have any ice dams that leaked into the house? Did any branches fall on the roof during a storm? Do any shingles look out of alignment? If you see any of these problems, schedule a consultation with a roofing contractor.
Second, go up in the attic (if you can) and look for signs of water entry. Common points of entry are around the chimney, skylights, and vents. These types of leaks tend to start small and grow worse over time, so the sooner you address them, the better. A roofing contractor or qualified general contractor should do this work.
Third, take a look at your rain gutters and downspouts while it’s raining. Water should come off the roof and into the gutters, which should slope towards the downspouts. The downspouts should bring all the water down to the ground and a few feet away from the house. If you see any back-ups, leaks, or water coming down on or close to the house, contact a qualified contractor to correct the problem as soon as possible.
Fourth, take a look at the flashings, siding, and trim. If anything seems out of place or looks like it’s starting to rot, don’t wait to fix it. Lots of exterior problems can be repaired individually when they’re not too advanced.
Lastly, take a look at where landscaping meets the house. There should be a 6″ space between the ground and the siding (especially if it’s wood), and the ground should slope down and away from the house. Plantings should be spaced at least a foot (ideally three) from the house. Take a look at the front entrance – do your porch footings seem okay? Do you see any brick or paving stones that are sticking up and might cause a trip hazard? Projects like this can be done anytime, but contractors get very busy once the warmer weather comes, so you’ll want to get on their schedule ASAP.