When you work in real estate, you understand the toll seasonal changes can take on a home. In the span of time it takes to sell a house, you might notice distinct changes taking place. Winter is one of the most challenging seasons for a home because the season can wreak havoc on a home’s exterior.
What can you do to spot the signs of a defect in home’s exterior, and how can you anticipate which houses are going to give you the most trouble this winter? This guide will help you understand the role a harsh winter can play in damaging a home.
1. Moisture Can Penetrate Exterior Paint
A poor exterior paint job can crack and chip thanks to freezing and thawing cycles in the cold. Lousy paint quality allows moisture, whether it comes from rain or snow, to penetrate the home. Water damage, mold, or mildew are potentially the result. Windows and doors closed up tight for the season can worsen the situation by providing the perfect breeding ground for mold.
2. Frozen Weather Can Damage Windows
Moisture that gets into wooden windows can cause the wood around a window’s exteriors to swell. This damage makes it difficult, if not impossible, to open the windows.
In some cases, wood around the window will also begin to rot. Moisture can also leak inside if the caulking has been compromised. The potential damage this causes could be costly to fix.
3. Weather Can Damage Siding
Aluminum and vinyl siding both become loose or damaged in inclement weather. When the siding moves away from the rest of the home, water can fill the space to cause mold and other damage. A home’s siding can also be damaged by tree limbs, shrubbery, and other objects sliding against the exterior of the house.
4. Wind, Rain, and Snow Damage Roofing
The roof is also damaged by bad weather, especially high winds. Shingles can lift up in the wind, leading to other roofing damage. Ice dams are also a consequence of freezing water at the edge of the roof. Even when the ice melts, it poses a problem by allowing water to seep into the walls of a house.
5. Gutters Can Overflow or Freeze
When channels become clogged with leaves and other debris, water backs up in gutters. This causes intense overflow when the rain starts, which can cause damage to the siding and even foundation of a home as water pools. If the water freezes in the gutter, the gutter may begin to sag. As the gutter pulls down or away from the house, it may cause other damage to the home’s exterior as well.
This type of damage is preventable with gutter cleaning and removal of ice dams. You can also change the gutters and downspouts if it is time to replace them. In areas prone to freezing, heating elements are available to prevent water from freezing.
As a home inspector, it is your job to be on the lookout for any of these changes that occur during a harsh winter. To spot all of these problems, you must stay on top of continuing education. Get a demo of a course to see how our selection will help you move forward in your field.