Texas has had some absolutely wild weather over the last few years – and that’s rough on your home. The wear-and-tear that comes with cyclical snows, frosts, thaws, rain and wind can do some damage, even if it isn’t immediately obvious.
To protect your investment in your property, it’s always wisest to do an annual home inspection every spring. For some people, this may mean calling a professional, while others can simply get out their ladders, put on their work clothes and gloves and start looking around.
Where do you start? Here are the top four things to inspect:
The ice and winds are particularly tough on rooftops, so make sure you check your shingles. Missing shingles are automatically a problem, but you should also look for shingles that are slightly raised, lifted or cracked. Popped nails are another problem since they can serve as an entryway for water.
A tight seal is your best defense against the elements and bugs – and you may have lost that seal over the winter. Inspect the weather stripping and caulk around your panes very carefully for signs that they need to be replaced. If you spot condensation inside your double panes, you probably need a replacement window.
These may have accumulated a lot of debris over the winter months, so make sure that they’re cleared out for the spring and summer seasons. While you’re at it, check to make sure that none of your gutters have warped or shifted, as that can send water into your home (instead of away from it).
The brickwork in your chimney may have also taken a beaten over the winter, so make sure that you don’t have any problems with cracked or crumbling mortar. Missing bricks, or a missing flue cover may be another sign of hidden damage.
If you do find damage to your home, it may be time to put an insurance claim in – but you may not find the insurance company receptive. If that happens, find out more about your legal rights.