Are these the guests you’re expecting for Thanksgiving? To avoid unwanted visitors and other woes this winter, inspect the exterior of your home or business. Our warm weather is an opportune time to take care of potential exterior problems. You’ll have another reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving if exterior repairs are completed before winter arrives.
To keep wildlife out of your warm home or business, cover vents and other large openings with heavy duty hardware cloth, which isn’t cloth— it’s strong wire screening. The Humane Society recommends 16 gauge 1 x 1 inch hardware cloth for raccoons. For squirrels, solid aluminum flashing is the exclusion material of choice.
Caulk it up to Experience
One of the least expensive and most effective preventative maintenance jobs that you can do is to use caulking to prevent structural damage. Exterior cracks and other openings allow water to enter and freeze, resulting in increased cracking, mold, and rot. Check the foundation for cracks and caulk around the areas where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, and around the windows and door frames to prevent heat from escaping.
Trickle down Theory
If your roof fails, everything under it is affected. Ice, rain, snow, and wind combined with rapidly changing temperatures and humidity wreak havoc on roofs. Water damage causes deterioration of insulation, wood, and drywall, making electrical, plumbing and heating/air systems vulnerable. Perform a visual check to look for missing and loose shingles. Also, look for signs of mold. Use binoculars (and maybe a flashlight since it gets dark so early!)
Prune branches at least three feet from the exterior of your home or business. Long branches can damage the exterior during high winds, and they can add to the flow of rainwater on your roof.
Clogged gutters and downspouts are another cause of water entering a structure. Check all downspouts for anything blocking the ends. Downspouts should have extensions to lead water at least five feet away from the foundation. Gutters become clogged with leaves and debris. The weight of leaves and debris can cause gutters to loosen and fail. When gutters fail or clog, water overflows. Excess water can damage flashing, fascia, and soffits, which often leads to a leaking roof. Leaking roofs lead to structural damage—and nightmares! Leaf protection systems can help keep gutters free of leaves and debris so that water can flow freely. During the winter months, leaves and debris in gutters can freeze and clog. Frozen clogs prevent proper draining when snow begins to melt.
Falling in Autumn
Climbing ladders and working on your roof is hazardous. If you fall, it’s not likely that you’ll land on a soft pile of leaves—Woe is You! But seriously, it’s a fact that more than two million people a year seek emergency treatment in the United States because of falling off a roof or a ladder (according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission). For safety’s sake, it’s advisable to have a bonded and licensed Certified Roofing Inspector check the condition of your roof, gutters, and components.
Don’t slip up and forget these steps
Check the supports, stairs, and railings on porches and decks. Make sure the handrails can support someone slipping on snow or ice. Also, be sure that driveways are in good shape to make for easier shoveling.
A careful exterior check-up can save you money in the long run, not to mention stress. If you need assistance in ensuring that the exterior of your home or business can withstand winter weather woes, please Request a Free Consultation or call us today at (812) 479-5850. Make Plans with Popham!