Winter is almost out the door and that means so many wonderful things, like not putting on a down coat every day. But warmer temperatures also mean that it’s time to assess any house damage from nasty winter weather.
This Old House magazine contributor Kevin O’Connor is sharing ways to repair damage winter inflicted on your home.
Broken tree limbs and shrubs
Walk around your yard and see if you can spot any broken branches and limbs as bad snaps can cause permanent damage to trees. If you spot a break, use clippers or call a tree company to make a clean, proper cut so that the plant can continue growing into spring.
Go outside and look at your gutters. Are any hanging from the home? A functioning gutter is critical when snow melts and spring rains start to move in, as a broken or clogged gutter can cause a leaky roof.
If a gutter appears to not be properly attached, check out which gutter clips you use and buy a spare at the hardware store to reapply.
Flooded hot spots
All that water from melting snow needs to go somewhere — and hopefully that’s not your basement or yard. It’s a bit too early to dig up the lawn and install a new drainage system, but there are some ways you can save your home and yard from major damage.
For your basement, your first line of defense is to pick up sealant paint and apply two coats of the paint to your foundation walls. O’Connor recommends picking up waterproof masonry paints to do this, which costs about $25 per gallon.
If water has already started to come into your basement, pick up a portable pump to help get it out. Standing water needs to be removed within 48 hours to avoid mold or other damage, and while a utility pump is not a long-term solution for repeated water issues, it can be a great resource for the occasional leaks.
For your yard, O’Connor suggests putting down topsoil to fill in puddles that form as the snow melts. This now only allows fresh grass to grow through the soil, but it also gets rid of the puddles before the temperatures heat up and mosquitos start to congregate in your ward.
Before you start opening the windows to let that fresh air in, check your window screens for any holes or tears that need to be repaired.
To fix any damaged screens, pick up a kit at your hardware store. Take the old screen out and put the new screen in. Cut it to size and use the spline kit to press it into the seams.