Unless you live in a place with warm temperatures year-round, it is always a good idea to conduct a close inspection of your home every spring. For those of us who live in New Jersey, harsh winters are an unfortunate fact of life. The cold weather can cause a lot of issues, and it’s best to get on top of those issues as soon as possible. Snow, ice, and low temperatures can do all sorts of bad things, but they aren’t always predictable. Thus, it is important to check everything. With that principle in mind, here is a quick list of items that should be included in your springtime home inspection checklist.
1. Window Seals
The seals around your windows can often be affected by winter conditions, so take a good look at them. If you see obvious signs of degradation (like peeling, cracking, etc.), then you obviously need to re-seal the windows. Window caulk is not particularly expensive, so this repair isn’t a big deal. If you aren’t sure about your window, wait until nighttime and shine a flashlight through the caulked areas. Have someone else standing outside so that they can see any light that comes through. There are all sorts of tricks out there, so you should try more than one method.
You should also look at your gutters. Snow and ice can wreak havoc on gutters, especially those that are not as durable. If some of those autumn leaves remain, they can also cause problems. Mainly, you just want to make sure that all gutters are clean and clear of debris, and that the spouts/pipes are also clean and clear. If you see any signs of rusting or collapse, you must obviously replace that section. If you have a gutter that has simply been warped by the weather, it might still be usable, but it’s better to replace that as well.
This one is very important. Sub-freezing conditions have an annoying tendency to burst water pipes. If the pipe actually ruptures, you will know immediately (of course). However, not all plumbing damage is so obvious. Cold weather will make PVC contract (shrink) just a little bit. As the weather goes back to normal, it will expand back out again. This expansion and contraction can weaken pipes and make them brittle. So, you can test a PVC pipe by bending it just a little bit. If the pipe is in good shape, it should be able to bend just a little bit without breaking.
4. Roof Integrity
Snow and ice can put a lot of extra weight on your roof. While most homes in NJ are built to withstand this extra weight, it can still have a cumulative effect over time. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check your roof for damage every spring. Unfortunately, it takes an expert to do such an inspection correctly. You can do a preliminary inspection, however, by looking everything over and checking for any obvious signs of damage. If you find anything suspicious, you will need a certified roofing inspector to confirm your findings.
5. Anything Made Of Concrete
Concrete doesn’t always deal so well with the cold. If moisture gets into a tiny crack, it can push that crack outward as the water freezes and expands. So, you should check any concrete floors (especially basement floors) and any paved areas around the home. Those cracks will only get worse with time, so it pays to be diligent and fix them right away. Thankfully, there are ways to winterize your concrete and prevent this problem in the future. Foundation damage is the worst possibility here, so be aware of that.
6. Electrical Systems
Although they are less likely to be affected by the cold, electrical systems should still be checked thoroughly. Copper wiring and other such materials can also be affected by the natural expansion and contraction process that we have already discussed. Also, the cold weather will sometimes drive rats and mice to seek shelter in your walls, where they might chew on those wires and cables. Either way, this kind of thing can cause a serious fire hazard, so get an electrician to thoroughly check all wiring in the house.
7. Interior Leaks
This might be the easiest step on the list, as it simply involves checking the interior of your home for leaks. In particular, check the areas that are less frequently used. Closets, basements, attics, and other less-trafficked places in your home should be the priority. After all, if your home is leaking in the middle of the living room or kitchen, you probably know about that already. If you do find evidence of leakage, a thorough roof inspection should immediately follow from trusted roofers in NJ.
Needless to say, this list doesn’t include everything. Your home has many different aspects, and not all homes are alike. Therefore, we cannot give you a complete guide. However, these seven items should always be included in your checklist because they are universal. If your home should happen to need repair, there is no need to worry. We offer repair services of all kinds, and our trained professionals are always happy to assist. Whether you are looking for an NJ roofing contractor or just a general home repair consultation, you can call RGB Construction at 856-264-9093.