Owning a home in the midwest makes you all too familiar with the damages caused by hail, rain, wind, and even wildlife. Before signs of damage become clear on your home’s interior, there will oftentimes be red flags and signs of damage to your exterior. We don’t always pay much attention to the consistently sound parts of our home such as the roof, foundation, causing these damages to often be overlooked. Being able to spot the signs of damages early on and prevent them from causing larger and more expensive issues is essential in the upkeep of your home. Take the time to walk around your home and see if you spot any of these problem areas!
Severe storms might leave obvious damage that is visible from the ground, but light hail with high winds can create damage that is only visible from an inspection upon the roof, requiring the eye of a professional. Some things you should look out for are: several missing or loose shingles or ones that are curling, cracking, dry, or blistering. If your shingles begin to show any of these signs, it usually means they have reached the end of their life, and you probably need to have a new roof installed. Blistering can also be caused by poor ventilation causing your roof to have too much contact with moisture! Other signs to look for are a sagging roof or low spots in a flat roof due to undersized or weakened roof joists or problems with the buildup layers beneath the exposed roofing. Darker areas usually appear when granules begin to fall off shingles and signify your shingles have aged and should soon be replaced. Dark patches could also signal algae or moss growth on your roof, which should be removed as soon as possible. When shingles begin to lose granules, it means they have reached an age where they aren’t as effective as they should be and must be replaced.
If your home has a chimney or other areas that require flashing, make sure to pay attention to this as well. Flashing is placed around projections that intersect with your roof, such as your chimney. If the sealing around these structures is broken or damaged, water can easily leak into your home. Do not climb on your roof to do an inspection yourself! Always contact a professional.
Eventually, all types of siding materials wear out and will need to be repaired or replaced in order to keep your home secure from the weather. Because of this, it’s important for every homeowner to be able to identify the warning signs and have the necessary repairs made. Just like your roof, siding helps protect you from the elements, absorbing mother nature’s blows season after season and sustaining minor injuries over time, compounding to creating larger and more expensive issues. Use a high-powered spotlight to look for denting that might be hard to see otherwise. Look in between the siding and see if there are any significant gaps or unequal gapping across several layers of siding. You can also keep an eye out for any buckling or warping, which is common in vinyl siding that has been damaged. Call a professional to take a look and get on the repairs right away!
Spotting damage to your home’s exterior can be done from the mailbox as well, try taking a look at your utility bill! An increase in your bill could reveal an unspotted gap in the siding or lead you to inspect the insulation in the attic. If your power bill is much higher than it should be or has been creeping up further each month, this could be a sign that your HVAC is leaking somewhere and the most likely culprit is siding damage that will need to be repaired. Spotting and repairing damage early can help keep your bills down and save your family money.