Winter 2015 is almost over…and hopefully you and your home made it through this year of record-breaking snowfall in one piece. As the temperatures rise and the snow melts, here are some things to look for when assessing any damage to your home.
Roof: Many of us experienced ice dams this winter, a condition that occurs when snow melting on a roof forms a ridge of ice at the edge. With the ice in the way, any new water that melts isn’t able to drain properly and in some cases the water leaks in through the roof, ceiling and walls. Homes with newer roofs that have been built to code should be able to handle a snowy New England winter. If you experienced leaks this winter due to ice damming, you’ll need to look into having your roof replaced or repaired to prevent this issue from recurring next year. If you have a newer roof and still experienced leaks from ice damming, it’s possible your roof wasn’t installed to code. Check with the company that installed your roof to see if they warranty their work. If you believe a new roof is in order, homeowners insurance will typically cover for you to have your roof stripped and reinstalled to current codes.
Water Damage: With the prolonged freezing temperatures we had this winter, burst pipes were a common occurrence. Those same frigid temperatures will keep the mold at bay for now, but once the weather warms up any untreated damp areas will become an issue that needs to be addressed. If you experienced water damage from ice damming or a burst pipe, it’s imperative that you call a professional water damage company. Even if water damage doesn’t look that bad, there may be rust building on copper wires behind the wall, or mold growing on insulation that you can’t see. Serious health issues can occur when water damage is left untreated. Again, your insurance company typically covers this necessary service.
Gutters: It’s a good idea to clean your gutters after the snow melts and replace any pieces that were damaged during winter storms.
Windows and doors: A cold winter is a great time to understand how well your windows and doors are working. If doors or windows leak water from the top, or windows leak from the bottom corner, you have an issue that needs to be addressed. 99% of the time such a leak is caused by incorrect sealing done on the day of installation—basically your window or door was installed improperly. New construction windows (installed on homes built in the early 90’s and later) are more likely to experience this issue because of how the vinyl siding and windows fit together. If you had any leaks this winter you also likely have water damage and should speak to your insurance company to get that treated. If you need to replace your windows or doors, we encourage you to choose wisely. Building codes change regularly; by choosing a company that specializes in installing windows and doors, you ensure the best chance that you won’t have issues in future winters. United Better Homes Windows & Doors includes a lifetime labor and service warranty on all of our installations.