Thanks to the tilt of the Earth, we often face cold winter temperatures here in Boston. As northerners, we simply pull our winter clothes out of the closet, throw on a few layers, and tough out the cold.
But your home doesn’t get to bundle up in the winter. It braves blizzards and extreme weather with little protection. Any home could be prone to winter damage.
Are you sure your home is damage-free? Some issues may not be apparent unless you inspect each area of the house closely.
Ready to check your home, but not sure what to look for? Here are a few common signs of damage from the cold winter weather:
- Cracks in the foundation
- Leaks in the roof
- Gaps around doors and windows
- Water damage on the ceilings or walls
- Sagging gutters
- Drooping tree branches
- Cracked or peeling paint
- Chipped or loose siding
If you notice any issues caused by winter weather, it’s important to get the repairs done as soon as possible. We recommend asking for help from a professional to ensure your home’s repairs are completed properly.
Want to make sure your house is good to go? Here are five areas of your home to inspect for damage from winter weather:
The foundation is the core of your home—therefore, it is the most important part to check for damage.
How the foundation of your home may become damaged in winter
- Foundation shifting: When the foundation of your home is subjected to excessive pressure, it may shift. Structural damage can appear as a result of the foundation’s movement. Make sure you check both the inside and outside of your property.
- Stress cracks: Foundation problems manifest themselves early by creating fissures along the boundaries where your house’s interior walls meet the ceiling. These are commonly called “stress cracks.”
- Cracks in the basement: If your home has a basement, pay close attention to the walls and floors. Look for any cracks or leaks. If you see any water damage, it’s important to get it taken care of quickly to prevent further issues.
Siding is another area of your home that can be damaged by winter weather.
How siding may become damaged in winter
- Ice dams: Ice dams form when heat escapes from your home and melts the snow on your roof. The water then runs down to the edge of your roof and freezes again. Over time, the ice builds up and creates a dam. The dam prevents water from draining off your roof properly and can cause liquid to back up under your shingles and leak into your home.
- Strong winds: Another way siding can become damaged is from the treacherous wind. Strong winds can cause branches to fall or debris to fly through the air and hit your home. Both of these can cause damage to your siding.
Whatever you do, make sure you check your roof! It is one of the most common areas for winter damage to appear. Make it a priority to replace missing or damaged shingles.
How winter may affect the roof of your home
- Water damage: Water damage can cause your roof to leak.
- Snow and ice: Heavy snow and ice can also damage your roof by causing it to collapse.
- Ice dams: The water from an ice dam may overflow, run down to the edge of your roof, and freeze again. This process can damage your roof and cause leaks.
Don’t neglect your gutters! If your gutters are clogged with leaves and debris, they can cause water to back up and seep into your home. This can lead to serious structural damage. Yikes!
How winter weather can damage your gutters
- Strong wind: Strong wind can dislodge the gutters from your home, which leads to water and structural damage.
- Tree damage: During the winter, ice and wind put stress on trees. Branches that once seemed sturdy can suddenly break off and fall onto your roof or down your gutters.
- Ice buildup: When the temperatures drop, the water in your gutters will freeze. A buildup of ice can damage your gutters by breaking them or pulling them away from your home.
Windows and doors
Another area of your home that can be damaged by winter weather is the windows and doors. If you see cracks or chips in the glass, don’t wait to get them fixed.
Not only can winter weather damage your windows and doors, but it can also damage the seals around them. If the seals are damaged, cold air might enter your home and make it difficult to keep the house warm.
How cold winter weather can damage your windows and doors
- Freezing air: One of the most common problems during winter is cold air entering your home through cracks and gaps in your windows and doors.
- Water damage: If there is a lot of snow or ice on your windows and doors, it can melt and leak into your home. This can cause water damage to your windows and doors, as well as structural damage if it freezes again.
What to do if your home is damaged
If you suspect that your home has suffered winter weather damage, it’s important to have it inspected. A home repair professional will be able to assess the damage and recommend the best course of action.
Do not wait to complete the necessary repairs. Ignoring the damage can lead to further issues and may even make your home unsafe to live in.
How Refine Construction can help
You don’t have to fix your home’s winter damage alone. Our team at Refine Construction will evaluate the structural integrity of your house and develop a permanent reinforcement plan.
We’ll work with you to make sure your home is safe and sound.
If you’re concerned about winter weather damage, or any other type of home damage, contact Refine Construction today. We’re here to help you through every step of the process, from inspection to repairs.