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Checking your house after a long winter

It’s mid-March, the temperatures are rising, the first day of spring is just days away. Congratulations, you’ve made it through another Wisconsin winter (knock on wood)!

But has your house made it through the winter? The harsh winter weather takes a toll on the exterior of your house. Now that the snow has started to melt, now is a good time to take a walk around the property.

Start on the roof Your roof is the most abused part of your house during the winter. Don’t worry about climbing, though. Check for obvious things like leaks from the attic. Otherwise, take that pair of binoculars and see if anything looks amiss. Search for cracked, crooked or missing shingles. Nail pops usually are indicated by a shingle tab being pushed up by the head of the nail below. The shingle tab will give a slightly raised "eyebrow" appearance from below. Water is likely to seep around the raised nail. If anything looks damaged, it should be addressed. Other things that should be checked are the gutters and chimney.

Now check the exterior walls Is there any damage to your siding? Look all around the outside of your home, especially under the eaves and near gutter downspouts. Look for signs of water staining which will indicate a leak from above. For wood siding, check for popped nails and knot-holes. These and any other openings will only provide easy access for bugs and other pests that will want to move in.

For stonework and masonry, including foundations, look for cracks or missing pieces at the joints. Are there any signs of vegetation growing around the joints? That’s a sure indication of moisture getting in. If there are any signs of a white chalky deposit, it indicates that the masonry is absorbing water, rather than repelling it. This does not necessarily indicate a structural problem and is mostly considered a cosmetic issue. If it is present, you may consider sealing the area with a clear waterproof barrier suited for masonry.

Take a glance at your windows for problems. The binoculars can come in handy for the attic windows. Is the glazing intact? Look for broken panes up high and repair them as soon as you can, before springtime wildlife decides to take advantage of the breech.

Check other outdoor spaces The freezing and thawing of water, as well as salt can be hard on driveways and sidewalks. Take a look and address any holes or cracks that have occurred. If you notice bigger problems like frost heaves, sink-holes and deep cracks, you may consider contacting a contractor. If your concrete looks to be in good shape, it still may be a good idea to apply a fresh coat of sealant to keep moisture at bay.

Any exposed wood outdoor structures like decks or fencing should be inspected for damage. Look for warping, popped nails and loose boards. Does your deck only need a washing or is it time for stain/sealer?

How can we help? Do you need to replace any home products that were damaged from winter? We can help you at Nelson-Young Lumber! Now is the time to fix these problems as the snow and cold will be back in a blink of an eye. Reach out to us and let our experienced team help keep your home in tip top shape!


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