Winterizing Your Home’s Exterior

Winter StormWinter storms can bring on near-freezing temperatures and a great deal of rain. The country’s drought-stricken landscape and shallow waterways — our lakes, reservoirs and streams — could desperately use it. But when rain arrives unexpectedly, it’s often not the best thing for a home. Unfortunately, many homeowners get behind on basic home maintenance tasks. But simple home repairs done today, can help mitigate the need for expensive repairs later on.

A Dry Foundation?
A roof channels water way from the foundation as a way to protect it from exposure. But if standing water exists near the foundation this may signal a problem. Something called hydrostatic pressure could be taking place, in other words, a build up of pressure on the foundation that can lead to cracks and even damage a retaining wall.

Roof Fascia and SoffitRoof Fascia and Soffit: Why They Matter
The fascia is the horizontal board that runs along the roof line and acts as trim or a finished edge. It protects the roof and the home’s interior by preventing water from entering it. The gutters are also attached to the fascia.

The soffit is the exposed surface beneath a roof’s overhang. It ventilates and draws heat and moisture away from the home. The soffit can be easily damaged by excess moisture. A water- saturated soffit causes rotting, splitting, and gaps in which animals can nest and cause further damage.

Gutter Awareness
Your home’s gutters play a major role in maintaining a healthy home. For instance, when there is standing water near a home’s foundation the problem is typically a blocked or clogged gutter. In fact, rain gutters should  be cleaned twice a year. Indeed well-maintained gutters have essential benefits:

  • Prevent water damage to the home by eliminating sagging, bending, and leaking
  • Eliminate a nesting area for animals
  • Stop the destruction of the landscape
  • Maintain the value and beauty of your home

Ice on roof and guttersA clogged gutter can also lead to what’s called an ice dam,  a blockage of ice on the roof that prevents melted snow from draining. Water then gets under shingles and other roofing layers, causing leaks that can damage the ceiling, walls and other parts of a home.

Ice-Dam Solution: A drip-edge (an L-shaped piece of metal) should be installed to prevent ice dams. The drip-edge is simply nailed to the decking below the fascia board. Once installed, a drip-edge will deflect water away and prevents it from going up and under the shingles.