We all know that your home is probably the largest investment you will ever make. Whether with your time or with your money, over time, it’s absolutely necessary to invest in your home to keep it protected. Depending on the region of the country you live, you’ll have to deal with all kinds of weather. In Texas, we deal with tornadoes in the spring, stifling heat in the summer, freak hail storms all year long, and flash flooding. You may live in a climate that has ice storms that topple trees, snow that drifts several feet, and those same kinds of floods. Don’t wait for a storm to weatherproof your home.
Checking Your Roof
After particularly rough storms, you need to do a quick visual inspection of your roof. It’s easy to see where missing shingles may be. If your roof is particularly tall or difficult to see all the way around, seeing any loose shingles in your yard are an indication that there may be damage. Apart from using a drone to send pictures of your roof, it’s a better idea to call someone in to do an inspection.
Don’t let the fear of a expensive repair keep you from calling in a professional. Everything type of damage does not call for an entire roof replacement. Maybe some flashing has come loose in a valley and that’s what’s causing a leaky roof. This is a small repair. But if not dealt with, can lead to huge repair costs for damage inside your home.
Should your entire roof need to be replaced, a roofing contractor can guide you in choosing shingles that may save money in the long run. If you live in area that has frequent hail storms or a high likelihood of tornadoes you may want to explore the benefits of impact resistant shingles. Metal roofs are popular on many homes and can offer a different level of protections. You need to do some research and see what’s best for your situation. But, don’t ignore it!
You probably lose most of your homes efficiency through the windows. Heated air can escape in the winter and cool air in the summer. Because our windows are generally covered by blinds and curtains, we generally don’t even think about what’s going on in and around them. Take a closer look. Do you notice your drapes moving as if in a breeze? If you don’t have the window open and you notice that kind of movement, the air is coming from somewhere.
Check seals around your windows. Is the wood of the frames solid? If the caulk has weathered and let go, it’s not long before rainwater will start to seep in. This can start a domino effect starting with wood swelling. Don’t think that just because you have a newly built home that this can’t happen. It happened to us. Our entire window seat had to be replaced. It took a while to notice the leaks and by then, it required a big repair.
Fresh caulk may be all it takes to close of pesky leaks. At the same time, don’t ignore rotting wood and such. Small repairs can lead to much larger ones if you ignore them.
This is a biggie in Texas for sure. Because of drought and soil content, our foundations tend to shift a bit with the seasons. This doesn’t mean you need to have extensive foundation repair done. It can be simple seasonal shifting. You don’t necessarily come out of these seasonal shifts without small repairs to your walls. Hairline cracks in drywall is something that will appear in these shifts. Now I’m not talking about gaps, but cracks. If you have large gaps in your drywall where separations are occurring, seek professional help.
But for hairline cracks, you can repair these with drywall filler and a putty knife. You’ll have to sand the filler down to smooth it out. Hopefully you’ll have some touch up paint left over from the last time you painted the walls. Use that and a small brush to touch up the repair.
Your home’s exterior may also need repairs. If you have lap siding like we do, you made need to caulk between boards to seal up area that will allow air in and out. It’s also a good idea to use a good quality masonry paint when painting your home’s exterior. You want a paint that is going to withstand the elements. It’s not just style, but quality that counts.
Cleaning the Gutters
Talk about tedious chores! Cleaning out your gutters can be such a beat down, but I guarantee repairing interior walls from water back up under your roof is much worse. If your home is surrounded by lots of trees, those leaves are undoubtedly going to fall into your gutters. That build up of leaves and small twigs is a recipe for disaster. Clogged gutters cannot carry water away from your home.
You can use a power washer to flush the gutters clean. If you don’t have a power washer, you can actually use your water hose and sprayer attachment. The jet spray will move the clogs along. The better idea is prevention. There are mesh screens that are made to filter out leaves and allow the water to pass through the gutters. It will take a little expense and time, but you can add these yourself.
Exterior Doors Invite more than Guests
Are you seeing outdoor light around your exterior doors? If light can get in, so can outside air. This is an energy efficiency killer! Hot air seeping in during summer months will make your air conditioning unit have to work harder to cool things down. The same applies in the winter and cold air. Your heater will be working overtime to combat the cold air coming in around your exterior doors.
Check the weather stripping around the door. It will wear down over time. Keep working on it until you can no longer detect light around the door jamb. Even after doing all you can to weatherize your doors, you may still feel a tiny draft. Adding a draft excluder can help keep those drafts out. You can easily make your own with a few inexpensive items. Anything you can do to reduce those drafts will help.
Check Your Landscape Beds
This may seem like an odd thing to do to help weatherproof your house but it makes good sense. Depending on your home’s construction, having lots of organic material up next to your home’s exterior walls can keep you from noticing problem areas. If you can’t see where your house meets the ground, clear you beds out a touch. You need to be able to get a visual all the way around your house. It’s a small, seemingly insignificant step, but it’ll save time when you need to make those inspections.
Stop putting it off. Don’t wait for a storm to weatherproof your home! It’s a good day to to a quick inspection of all of those areas that could possibly cause big repairs in the future.