Your house can take a beating in the winter months. Ice dams, hail and heavy snow can cause damage to your roof, chimney and attic. To assess any damage that the cold winter left behind, start by inspecting your roof. Luckily, you don’t need to climb onto a ladder to do so.
You can use a a pair of binoculars to look for:
- Areas that have missing shingles.
- Shingles that are elevated and could allow water to seep in.
- Sagging in the roof.
- Shingles with no granules.
Check your gutters and downspouts to make sure that they’re still securely fastened after the long winter.
Examine your chimney for:
- Cracks or missing joints between the stones or bricks.
- Vegetation growing out of the stones or bricks.
- White calcium-like build up, which indicates the masonry joints are absorbing water.
Inspecting Your Attic in the Spring
If there any leaks in the roof, the attic may be taking in water and developing mold. This mold cannot only cause health problems, but it can seriously degrade the integrity of support structures. Check for any gray or black spots on the wood. These spots will often look like stains, as opposed to the fuzzy build-up you might expect for mold.
You should also check your attic for signs of wildlife. Animals will take shelter in any warm place that keeps them out of the elements. Be on the lookout for droppings, claw marks, and any signs of burrowing in the insulation.
In addition to animals, insects may also be making a home in your attic. These signs may indicate that you have an insect infestation:
Soft, brittle support structures
If the wooden support structures feel spongy, or you are able to press a screwdriver into the wood, then it is likely that you have termites.
Carpenter ants will often leave wood shavings behind after they burrow through damp or rotten wood.
Bees in or outside the attic
If you notice bees swarming around the outside of your attic, chances are you have a bee infestation. And if they’re carpenter bees, some species, which either live in small social groups or by themselves, will bore holes into wooden surfaces.
Wood powder and pinhead-sized holes
Powderpost beetles often lay their eggs in softer woods that are commonly used for structural pieces and wall studs.