How to Check your Home for Winter Damage

Although it may not feel like it, Spring is just around the corner, but we’re not out of the woods yet. This year’s particularly brutal winter may have wreaked havoc in your home, and you may have to factor in some unexpected repairs to your Spring home revitalization plans. Here are the top 4 ways Old Man Winter may have damaged your home.

1. Roof and Snow
The first sign your roof may have sustained winter damage can be seen from inside the house. It’s important to check your walls and ceilings for signs of seepage. This can show up in the form of yellow-ish discolouration on your walls or ceiling. It’s also important to check your attic, your chimney and other ventilation systems for signs of degradation.

2. Wind Damage
Wind damage can sneak up on you when a particularly harsh winter, like this one, descends upon us. Check your gutters and outside shutters to see if they have come loose, and secure them before the next big storm! Make sure to clear any fallen branches or other debris, as it could take flight and damage your property. Clear up anything that may have been left outside that isn’t fastened down such as patio furniture, or kids or pets toys.

3. Ice & Snow
Two things that seem unavoidable, right? There is nothing you can really do about snow falling on your roof, but it’s very important to minimize the thawing and refreezing of it, as that’s where the damage occurs. When the snow melts and refreezes, it becomes solid ice, which can block your gutters, and cause even MORE water backlog, leading to even MORE ice buildup. Check your gutters and try to dislodge any accumulated ice. If it’s still too cold out, this may not be possible. Minimizing snow melt on your roof is easy, and also helps your home be more energy efficient. Ensure your ceiling insulation is adequate so heat is not being lost through the roof, check for any gaps leading to the attic, and seal them, and make sure your attic is well ventilated. Snow can also be removed with a tool called a “roof rake” which while most homeowner may not have on hand, roofing professionals such as Grennan construction certainly will.

4. Frozen Pipes
This can be one of the most monumental sources of damage to your home, but is also reasonably preventable with a little effort. Did you forget to turn off your sprinkler supply lines? Now is the time! Also check for any outside hoses you may have left connected. Check any unheated spaces of your home and be sure pipes located there are adequately insulated, spaces like crawl spaces, basements, garages and attics. Always keep your central heat set to at least 55F, even if you are leaving town. Lastly, if we get yet another major cold snap, it can be a good idea to let a small amount of cold water drip from your taps, just in case. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your main water shutoff valve, turning OFF the water in the case of a pipe freeze as soon as possible is imperative.

If any of these problems should arise, it may be time to call in the professionals!