Now that spring has finally arrived it is time to take a walk around your house to assess the damage wreaked by winter storms. Look closely at your roof and you may see curled shingles. You may notice cracks in wooden siding or fading in your vinyl siding.

Inside, check your wooden or vinyl windows for warpage, steam between double panes or difficulty opening the window. Water stains on your ceiling or walls indicate leaks that can develop from ruined shingles. And where there is water leakage you may find damaged insulation.

Tom Rahaim, Northeast Home and Energy’s “jack of all trades” — with 40 years of home improvement experience — has provided the following information on how to assess winter’s damage to your home and the options you have to fix smaller problems before they become major ones.

ROOFS:

Damage warning signs

  • Mainly on the sunny side of your roof look for receding shingle lines deterioration, meaning they’re not straight across and are starting to curl underneath. These conditions indicate that the shingles are failing and can lead to serious future problems.
  • Moss, which can uproot shingles, tiles and slate, may be growing on the shady side of your roof.
  • Shingles may appear to be bubbling up because of a loss of adhesion. This area can fill up with air or water, which signals major deterioration.
  • Broken shingles indicate serious damage.

Repairs

There is a financial case to be made for not doing partial repairs, which are temporary fixes that can last for one rain or snowstorm, or up to five years. There’s no way of telling. If one shingle goes, there may be a domino effect and you will have to replace others. Before you know it, you are doing 20 repairs and are approaching the cost of a roof replacement.

Whatever short-term fix a homeowner chooses, eventually they’ll going to have to replace their roof. Manufacturers warrantee shingles for a full roof replacement or half it is a complete section. They will not warrantee laying a roof over the original shingles because the original roof can damage the new one.

  • There’s a 50 / 50 chance of successfully replacing receding shingles.
  • Turn to experts to remove moss from your roof. Power washing done the wrong way can push water under the shingles.
  • Where shingles are bubbling up you will have to replace the side of the house where this is taking place. Also, a partial roof replacement makes it hard to match the shingle color.
  • Some roof repair services will place metal flashing under broken shingles, but there’s a good chance that additional shingles will break during this

VINYL SIDING:

Damage warning signs

  • Mainly on the sunny side of your roof look for receding shingle lines deterioration, meaning they’re not straight across and are starting to curl underneath. These conditions indicate that the shingles are failing and can lead to serious future problems.
  • Wood siding can crack, which could split he clapboard. Cedar shakes curl up. Dry rot can take hold. It doesn’t hold paint and where there is dry rot, nails may pull out of the wall. Moss may grow out from under the clapboard. Once one piece deteriorates the whole wall is going bad, so look very carefully for these problems.

Repairs

You want an experienced person because you need to know how to nail it or the siding with buckle between nails and you get that wavy look. Vinyl siding absorbs more heat and moves more. I’ve gone to houses where people only put in three nails and wonder why it’s buckling. When it’s a lighter color you need to nail every 16 inches maximum. With darker siding you need to nail every foot.

  • If you replace the pieces that are bad only you may break the adjacent pieces. The old panel will always keep breaking and that makes costs down the line. If you choose to make partial replacements make sure you do any work when it’s warm when the vinyl is warmer and less brittle. Brittle siding can crack in the middle. Newer siding is made with material that can withstand temperature fluctuations.
  • Patching can be done, but it looks horrible. Nine out of 10 people when decide to patch hate it because it doesn’t match.
  • Where shingles are bubbling up you will have to replace the side of the house where this is taking place. Also, a partial roof replacement makes it hard to match the shingle color.
  • Some roof repair services will place metal flashing under broken shingles, but there’s a good chance that additional shingles will break during this

Cedar Siding

You can do a patch job, but in the future you will have to do something more. Once one piece starts to deteriorate the whole wall is going bad. This may not know be obvious.

WINDOWS:

Damage warning signs

Wood Windows

You can replace the glass and sash cords, but it’s costly. Most people don’t try to fix a wood window. I recommend replacing the wood window with vinyl.

Vinyl Windows

You can see lots of repair kits for sale, but in the long run most you will likely need to replace the window.

INSULATION:

Damage warning signs

  • Will be damaged when there is a leak that affected the ceilings, walls or both. If it gets wet, it’s no good. Check for leak stains.
  • The exterior walls are only ones that must be insulated. If you have two by six framing in the exterior walls the insulation is up to date. If two by four on exterior walls only needs to be updated for a higher R value.

Repairs

You will know if the insulation has been damaged from a sheet with the sheet rock and affected wood is removed for repair. Only damaged insulation needs to be replaced.

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