5 Things To Check On Your Home’s Exterior Before Winter Really Sets In

Right before a flight, pilots do an actual walk around inspection of their aircraft. They check the fuel, the lights, the tires, move the flaps, rudder, and ailerons with their hand. They look to see that oil isn’t dripping out of the engine and all the body panels are where they should be.  This is all to make sure everything is going to work when it needs to – in flight!

Homeowners should do exactly the same kind of thing with their house’s exterior so that it performs how it should during winter. Here are 5 simple things to look for that could be signaling trouble down the road.

  1. Roof
    Do a visual inspection for missing shingles or shingles that are bare. Missing ones are a problem right now and need to be addressed ASAP. Bare ones indicate that you should look at some replacement in the spring.
  2. Eavestroughs
    Eavestroughs are there to divert water coming off a roof away from a building via downspouts into cisterns or drainage systems or onto lawns. Without eavestroughs in good working condition, water drains directly down onto your head, or worse down the foundation and into your basement. Make sure yours are attached to the roof and ready to divert meltwater away from your house. Check for drips (or icicles!) at corner joints. Also make sure the downspouts are clear at the bottom of leaves, snow or other debris.
  3. Chimneys
    Where your chimneys come through or about your roof is where the problems will occur, because joints are the weak spots in any roofing system. Cracked or bent flashing, crumbling masonry, and bulging shingles are sure signs that something is amiss. Unrepaired it can lead to havoc in your home, with costly water damage to insulation, ceilings, walls or fireplace fixtures sure to follow.
  4. Windows/doors
    Gaps in old or poorly installed doors or missing or damaged weatherstripping can represent huge heat loss through your building envelope in cold winter months. Check to make sure you can’t see any light or feel any cold air through gaps. Is it time to perhaps finally get some new high R-value windows?
  5. Siding
    Our extreme cold winters and really hot summers are tough on siding. After a decade or two, it warps, it buckles, it loses its sheen and in the worst cases it starts to separate from the underlay, allowing moisture in behind, You don’t want that. Do a visual inspection  all around, paying particular attention to joints and corners.

These 5 simple things, that might take only a half hour to do, could save you a lot of money and grief during these cold winter months. It’s worth the effort!

If you have any questions at all about something you find, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 416.233.7086.

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