How the Winter Weather Can Affect Your Home

We count on our homes to protect us and our families from the weather. Winter weather, especially in the Northeast, can be brutal to a home’s exterior. While some winters are mild, every few years there comes a rough one that pelts your home with snow and ice. To protect the investment in your home, New Jersey home contractors recommend you periodically inspect your hour house and consider if your roof, siding and windows may need replacement.

Inspect Your Roof, Look for:

  • shifted or missing tiles
  • tiles that don’t lay flat on the roof surface
  • debris left on the roof after a storm
  • cracked or missing caulk around vents, skylights, and where different angles of the roof meet
  • whole tiles or pieces of tiles on the ground after a storm

If water is forced under a roof tile because of strong wind in a winter storm, it will freeze and expand, lifting the tile and allowing even more water and other debris underneath. Ice may accumulate, making the problem worse with not let up until warm days. Then the ice will melt, creating water damage under the roof tiles.

Inspect your siding. Look for:

  • cracks and gouges in wood and vinyl siding
  • dry, cracked or missing caulk at corners and where the siding meets windows, doors, outdoor faucets and electrical outlets and other places where the surface of the siding allows for objects to pass through.
  • cracks in mortar between stones or bricks.
  • cracks in the foundation

Every place the surface of the siding is not intact for any reason is a potential problem.  Like a roof, any place water can leak in, it will and damage begins.

Inspect your windows. Look for:

  • broken panes
  • loose panes in wood framed windows
  • cracked, chipped or missing caulk 
  • cracked, chipped or missing rubber or plastic gaskets and weather-stripping
  • clogged weep holes
  • dry or unpainted wood frames

The same applies to doors, especially the surfaces where they contact the house. With windows and doors, air leakage is also a concern. A small leak can cause cold drafts your home, causing a drop in the comfort of your home’s interior temperature and your furnace to run more often. The same air leaks came be a problem in the summer if you use air conditioning.

Large trees should also be inspected for dead limbs that could break off under the increased weight of ice and snow and the force of wind. A broken branch can cause expensive damage to your home or even injury to its occupants.

You can do minor repairs yourself or hire a qualified contractor. Or perhaps it’s time to consider if improving the value, appearance and comfort of your NJ home with replacement windows, a new roof, or new siding.

Jillian Johnson is a professional content writer who blogs on a variety of topics. Follow her @MissWritey.

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