The snowstorm of a century just hit, and you are wondering how badly your home has been damaged. Piles of snow have half-buried your house, and foot-long icicles are hanging off the gutters and roof. How do you begin to assess and repair the problems? Here are some of the most problem-prone areas to check first.
Check the Roof
When you are able to do so safely, examine the roof for signs of missing or broken shingles. See if the chimney is filled with snow because the chimney cap was destroyed. Find out if the gutters are broken or holding up under the strain of heavy snow and ice. Contact a roofing professional to conduct a detailed analysis of any damaged areas and to provide a quote for labor and materials to make the repairs.
Inspect the Basement
Look around your basement to see if melting snow has seeped inside behind the walls or through the floor. Even if you do not see evidence of moisture, you might find mold spots beginning to develop or detect a mildewed odor. If you live in an older home that is situated on a slope or hill, take note of whether the basement wall closest to the hill is slanted or leaning from the pressure of several feet of heavy snow putting pressure on that area.
Check the Foundation
When the weather permits, walk around the outside of your home to check for signs of foundation damage. Older fissures or slight cracks may have widened due to the extreme snowfall where it meets your house as well as the tension of freezing and thawing. Large wet spots that appear as the snow melts should be checked from the basement to see if water is coming through. Crumbling areas in the foundation need a closer look, possibly by an expert.
Evaluate the Windows
Aging windows may become loose and allow drifting snow or melting icicles to find their way indoors. Broken or damaged window frames due to high wind in a severe snowstorm can also let in moisture that may begin as small droplets and increase in size as the damaged area expands. Determine whether the windows or their frames are problematic enough to require repairs or replacement.
Take stock of your home’s problems following a major snowstorm. Have any issues checked by an expert and repaired as soon as possible. Ignoring a small issue may turn it into a bigger problem sooner than later.