WASHINGTON -- As much of the United States recovers from one of harshest winters in recent history, it is important to inspect your home for damage and plan for home maintenance, repair and remodeling projects. Winter weather can be particularly damaging to a home and the tips from NAHB Remodelers can return your home to top condition after the severe winter.
"Winter weather can damage homes in ways that aren't easily visible," said NAHB Remodelers Chair Paul Sullivan, CAPS, CGR, CGP, of Waterville Valley, N.H. "Home owners should protect their investment and hire a professional remodeler to repair or replace damaged components now, before spring storms create more problems."
NAHB Remodelers recommends these top 10 tips for home owners to inspect for damage and make sure your home is ready for spring from top to bottom:
1. Inspect roof--Check your roof for loose, warped or missing shingles and make sure the chimney flashing and skylight seals are intact.
2. Clean and repair gutters--Clear winter storm debris from gutters and downspouts, and check that they are still securely attached to the house. Blocked or loose gutters can allow water into your home and damage trim.
3. Look for leaks--Common culprits for hard-to-find leaks are attics, crawl spaces and washing machine hoses. Inspect these areas, look under sinks for damage from frozen pipes and check your water heater for signs of corrosion.
4. Clear exterior drains--Remove leaves from underground or exterior drains to clear the way for spring showers and prevent backups.
5. Inspect siding--Inspect siding for pieces that have come loose during winter storms.
6. Check window and door seals--Examine the exterior caulking on door and window seals to ensure it remains watertight.
7. Patch cracks--Patch cracks in concrete driveways, sidewalks and steps to keep water out and prevent further expansion.
8. Paint the exterior--Painting or touching up paint on the exterior of your home not only makes it look better, but will also help protect the home from the elements.
9. Inspect the HVAC--Hire a qualified technician to service your home's HVAC system to make sure it is running properly before hot temperatures call for air conditioning. Now is also the time to replace your HVAC filters.
10. Check your home's grading--Ensure the grading of your yard slopes away from your home's foundation to keep excess moisture at bay.
Don't wait to inspect your home and get damage fixed. Many professional remodelers not only renovate homes; they repair or replace damaged or deteriorating roofs, windows, doors and other home features. Remodeling and repair projects can require your home to be open to the elements and companies may have a backlog of work due to the length and severity of the winter season. Choose your repair and renovation projects for the year ahead and start planning now.
To find a local professional remodeler, visit www.nahb.org/remodelerdirectory.