EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared on the National Contractors, Inc. blog and is reprinted by permission of National Contractors, Inc.
You work hard to keep that roof over your head. That’s why it’s important to maintain your home’s longevity. Paying attention to the seasonal weather changes that affect your home will save you a significant amount of time and money. And, while you may initially think of the harshest of conditions mother nature throws our way, it takes far less to cause deterioration of a home’s structure over time. Luckily, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Listed below are damaging weather conditions that arise during spring and summer, and simple ways you (or a service professional) can protect your home.
Spring / Summer
The spring and summer seasons bring a wave of excitement for warmer weather, beach days, vacations, barbeques, and fun indoor activities. Yet, we often forget that summer can bring about the most severe storms, fires, hail, and floods. In fact, 1 in 3 Americans experienced a weather disaster in the summer of 2021 and this trend is expected to continue. So, bracing your home to withstand the elements is more important than ever.
Your home’s roof system takes the brunt of weather damage. To ensure your roof can hold up to the challenges that mother nature presents, you’ll want to regularly check that your roofing system is in good condition to prevent water infiltration into your home.
Clean your gutters and downspouts as needed to ensure water is running off your roof and away from your home properly. A full or clogged gutter may cause water to back up onto your roof and into your attic and may even cause the gutter itself to fall from excessive weight.
The best preventative maintenance is having a professional roofing inspection. Spring is an ideal time to hire a licensed roofing contractor to check for missing or damaged shingles from the previous seasons. This in turn can prevent leaks and water damage as the rainy season approaches. Plus, being proactive with roof maintenance can also help with insurance claims, if and where applicable. Don’t forget to also look at flashing, valleys and other parts of your roof.
For most homeowners, attics are ‘out of sight, out of mind’ but the summer heat can cause significant problems. Moisture generated by daily routines in the home as well as the exterior elements (i.e., humidity; rain), may accumulate in the attic if there isn’t proper ventilation. This can cause a series of problems, including mold and mildew. In addition, poor attic ventilation can cause an increased air conditioning bill during the warmer months due to your HVAC having to work harder. Moreover, improper or nonexistent attic ventilation can cause costly roofing systems and structural problems including mold.
Attic ventilation is about ensuring proper balance of intake and exhaust ventilation. The intake vents at the bottom of the roof, typically at the soffit or overhangs, allow external, cooler air into the attic while forcing out the superheated moist air from the exhaust vents, typically at or near the roof’s ridge. And while this is the general concept, it’s wise to learn more about effective attic ventilation. Discuss your specific home’s needs with a roofing professional.
Windows and Doors:
Any gaps or cracks may allow water to seep through during a rainstorm. Over time the build-up of moisture not only causes water damage, which increases the risk of mold, but also becomes particularly attractive to termites.
Search your windows and doors for cracks, worn or missing weatherstrips, and peeled or cracked caulk. Replace with the appropriate materials to seal gaps and repel water and moisture.
Water trickling through your home’s foundation during and after rainstorms will cause major damage.
Inspect and repair any cracks in the foundation. Be sure to check your basement thoroughly for cracks and gaps as well.
In the case of protecting your home from water damage, landscape grading involves sloping the land so that water flows away from a house.
There is quite a bit more that goes into proper landscaping to ensure proper drainage around the home’s exterior, but grading your land is necessary to protect your home throughout the seasons. And, with proper guidance it doesn’t have to be an expensive task.
Your Home’s Interior: Heat and light entering your home not only drives up your energy bill, but also causes fading of your walls, carpets, and furniture. Additionally, high humidity increases the risk for mold.
Close the drapes and blinds and/or consider clear UV-blocking window films that can be installed for added protection.
In addition to keeping a close check on leaks in and around your home, be sure to have any rooms with excess moisture well ventilated to minimize the chance of mold which is harmful to you and the structure of your home.
Check Your Trees:
If you have trees that are dead, diseased or hollowed it may not withstand the winds and rainfall from summer storms.
Have a tree expert check out the trees around your home and remove any that are concerning so that they don’t end up harming anyone or falling on your home.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Established in 1998 by John Baczyk and KC Kloda, National Contractors, Inc. is an industry leader offering unsurpassed general construction services to community associations, condominiums, management companies, engineering firms, and residential and commercial property managers. A muti-chapter member of CAI for 23 years, several members of National Contractors, Inc.’s staff have earned the Educated Business Partner (EBP) distinction. Learn more by visiting National Contractors at: https://www.nationalcontractors.net/
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