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NRCA, HBA recommend annual inspection by roofing contractor : Ten tips to prepare your home for spring after a severe winter

April 16, 2015

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NRCA and the Home Builders Association recommend an annual inspection by a roofing contractor as one of 10 after-winter maintenance steps. Additionally, "most roofing contractors offer gutter/downspout cleaning services that can be set up quarterly, semi-annually or annually.  

 While recovering from a harsh winter, it is important to inspect your home for damage and plan for home maintenance, repair and remodeling projects. Winter weather can be particularly damaging to a home and the following tips can return your home to top condition after a severe winter.

Here are 10 tips for home owners to inspect for damage and make sure your home is ready for spring from top to bottom:

1. Inspect roof—Check your roof for loose, warped or missing shingles and make sure the chimney flashing and skylight seals are intact. "Your roof should be inspected twice a year (fall & spring) and after any significant storm activity. At the very least an annual inspection conducted in the spring will help diagnose potential problems early. Spring is a prime choice due to your roof enduring the harsh winters we are prone to in the area," said Steve Cherry, President - Ideal Roofing Solutions in Valparaiso. "NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) recommends hiring a professional roofing contractor to perform a detailed inspection. Before choosing a contractor, homeowners need to make sure their roofer is fully insured, licensed, bonded and have a good reputation in their community."

2. Clean and repair gutters—Clear winter storm debris from gutters and downspouts, and check that they are still securely attached to the house. Blocked or loose gutters can allow water into your home and damage trim. "Although cleaning out gutters for some of us is a standard routine, for others it can be intimidating task due to gutter height and overall safety concerns. Keep in mind, most roofing contractors offer gutter/downspout cleaning services that can be set up quarterly, semi-annually or annually," stated Cherry.

3. Look for leaks—Common culprits for hard-to-find leaks are attics, crawl spaces and washing machine hoses. Inspect these areas, look under sinks for damage from frozen pipes and check your water heater for signs of corrosion.

4. Clear exterior drains—Remove leaves from underground or exterior drains to clear the way for spring showers and prevent backups.

5. Inspect siding—Inspect siding for pieces that have come loose during winter storms.

6. Check window and door seals—Examine the exterior caulking on door and window seals to ensure it remains watertight.

7. Patch cracks—Patch cracks in concrete driveways, sidewalks and steps to keep water out and prevent further expansion.

8. Paint the exterior—Painting or touching up paint on the exterior of your home not only makes it look better, but will also help protect the home from the elements.

9. Inspect the HVAC—Hire a qualified technician to service your home’s HVAC system to make sure it is running properly before hot temperatures call for air conditioning. Now is also the time to replace your HVAC filters.

10. Check your home’s grading—Ensure the grading of your yard slopes away from your home’s foundation to keep excess moisture at bay.

Don’t wait to inspect your home and get damage fixed. Projects such as damaged or deteriorating roofs, windows, doors and other home features can require your home to be open to the elements. Companies may have a backlog of work due to the length and severity of the winter season. Start planning your projects early. This article is provided by the Home Builders Association of Northwest Indiana, a not-for-profit trade association of builders and associated industry professionals dedicated to promoting the American dream of home ownership.

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