Is it still too cold to think about the a visual inspection exterior of your home?
Yeah, probably, but if you put it off it may never get done. HOWEVER, if you wait to long to schedule a routine check it may be a few weeks or even months wait to get someone out to take a look. The busy time for remodeling is right around the corner.
I awoke last night to hear the wind whipping the snow into a frenzy. My immediate thought was of the roof being decimated by 50 plus MPH gusts and how much it would suck to have to be out in the arctic blast zone, repairing my roof.
Then I remembered that I do regular inspections of my roof and exterior cladding to insure that I do not need to have a loss or be out of my home due to negligence or neglect. Yeah, that sounds a bit harsh, but some losses by the elements can be avoided, saving you the out of pocket expense and the discomfort of a surprise remodel of your home, due to insurance loss or claim.
Caulk is a wear item. Better caulk lasts longer (and costs more $$$), but it still becomes ineffective after a few years in the elements. Caulk, when replaced before it is past its usefulness, is a fairly inexpensive fix, compared to removing and replacing several windows and doors due to rotting from neglect. Water will find its way in and the damage it can do over years is devastating.
Caulk is a fairly cheap way to fix a lot of issues, but some issues need more than just caulk or silicone.
Flashing installed incorrectly is not effective and sometimes is more of a detriment than a deterrent. I have seen many newer homes that have above grade attached decks that are not visibly flashed at all. The ledger is fastened directly to rim joist thru the vinyl siding.
I imagine that will be a problem for many homeowners in the future.
The theory is the water has a place to go, and will take the path of least resistance over top of the siding and around the lags that fasten the ledger to the home. I guess the house wrap behind the siding acts as the flashing. It seems to me that that kind of rational is holding up a dollar to save a dime. A couple sicks of j-channel and some galvanized z-flashing do not take much money or labor to install. The “I guess it will be fine until the warranty is over” mentality is prevalent in our industry.
The eave troughs (gutters) should never have plants growing in them. Downspouts that are crushed become a bottleneck and do not allow the water collected from the gutters to flow properly away from your foundation. No gutters on your house is a recipe for disaster.
Water takes the path of least resistance, but can be forced up hill if enough mass (weight, as in ice and snow) force it to go in another direction.
I once went out to do what the homeowner thought was a simple drywall patch on the exterior wall of a walk-out basement. The drywall was bubbling between the base board and a large wood casement (crank out) window with exterior aluminum cladding. The window was under a deck.
I knew immediately upon gazing upon the drywall damage that there was a bigger issue. I also knew that the water was NOT coming in from the window or the ground below the window.
The home owner explained what he thought was happening. He figured the water was coming in from the sliding doors. We went up to the main floor look at the living room. Nearly directly above the basement window were 2 wood and aluminum clad sliding doors that opened to the attached deck. There was evidence of earlier attempts to fix the issue with silicone. The doors were difficult to open. The lower tracks and threshold were in pretty bad shape. The silicone had failed to keep the water out of the house and the repeated application(s) of silicone did little other than make a lot of silicone blobs that someone (me) would have to remove.
The doors were only PART of the problem.
The deck was improperly flashed and flashing was actually “missing” in a couple of sections.
hmmm. i guess we don’t need it to be flashed the entire length of the deck. Odd, don’t you think?
The 1 foot rear overhang did not have any gutters. Years and years of snow and rain and improper workmanship had taken their toll. I explained to the home owner that the correcting the issue was going to be fairly invasive. Long story short, what was thought to be a $600.00 drywall patch and prime, turned out to be over $17,000 in framing , drywall, paint and repair.
And to make matters worse, there had already been an insurance claim and repair a few years earlier when the carpet was mysteriously wet…
When you first notice water issues, like web-like cracking in the drywall or plaster or water stains it is usually a problem that has been festering and could be a sign of a much bigger problem. Difficulty opening windows and doors near these issues is even more of a concern.
Most water issues, even in the basement are best attacked at the roof first.
I do not like to do my job, when I am at home, but a bit of prevention is well worth the time and effort. YOUR home, your biggest investment, needs a bit of maintenance every year.
If you already do this yourself, good for you. If you do not, we can do it for you.
Spring Special! (after the snow melts…)
Exterior Visual Inspection and Report
Single Story $59.00 2 story $119.00