Finding Exterior Damage after Winter

Winter can be hard on your home’s exterior. Now that temperatures are warming up and the rain is taking a break, inspect the outside of your house. Spring is the perfect time to inspect the roof, gutters, and siding. Finding the exterior damage left behind after the winter months is important to keeping your well-maintained.

Check the Roof

After winter is over, it’s important to check the roof. Winds can be brutal and unkind to roof shingles. To save a trip up a ladder and having to walk on the roof itself, use binoculars first; if you need to get up close and personal, then get out the ladder. You will be looking for:

  • Missing roof tiles
  • Damaged roof shingles
  • Loose shingles
  • Obvious damp patches

If you have a skylight or dormer windows, inspect them for compromised seals and/or leaks. Also, check any roof flashings for loose edges or damage.

Soffit and Fascia

Strong winds can easily blow rain and snow up into the soffit area and into cracks of fascia boards. In a standard gutter system, the fascia supports the gutters, so it is imperative that wood fascia is free of rot. When soffit panels go missing, it can make your home defenseless against mold growth and pest infestations. If fascia boards are loose or blown away, the effectiveness of the gutter system is weakened.

Check the Gutters and Downspouts

In the Greater Vancouver area, gutters are expected to handle a lot of rain. But they also can get hammered by wind and other environmental conditions. When inspecting the gutter system for winter aftermath damage, things to look for include:

  • Sagging gutters
  • Missing gutter sections
  • Missing or loose hardware (brackets, hangers, etc.) – applicable to both gutters and downspouts
  • Dented gutter sections (aluminum gutters)
  • Dented downspouts (aluminum)
  • Missing downspout sections
  • Downspout has become detached from the gutter outlet

Damage to the Siding

Active winds, heavy rainstorms, and sleet can wreak havoc on siding throughout the winter, causing damage that could need immediate attention. When inspecting your home’s exterior, ensure that the siding has no:

  • Raised nails – nail heads not flush with siding panels are loose
  • Peeled or blistered patches
  • Discolouration
  • Warped panels
  • Missing sections
  • Dents (aluminum siding)
  • Cracks or splitting (vinyl siding)

Inspect the Foundation

Fluctuating temperatures take a toll on a home’s foundation. Winter damage to look for during spring maintenance includes hairline cracks; pitting; and stains or wet areas due to moisture buildup. Look for soil erosion around the foundation. Whether it is due to problems with the gutter system or the way the ground absorbs precipitation, washed-out soil often contributes to the shifting and/or sinking of the foundation.