Now that most of us (hopefully) have the power restored and have changed into our Spring and Summer shorts (really, North Carolina?), it’s time to get to work assessing and managing winter storm damage may have done to your home and property. Here are some particular things to look for. And remember, you should take pictures of any damage so you have evidence in case you need to submit an insurance claim.
Roofs & Gutters
Your roof and gutters may have sustained damage from the high winds and heavy ice and snow: check for missing roof shingles, new water leaks inside the house originating from the roof or attic area, and new cracks in drywall or plaster walls inside.
The high winds may have also caused siding, especially shingles, to blow off of the house. This can allow the house’s inner siding to get wet and lead to leaks, mold, and pests.
Check around your home’s foundation where flooding from melting snow may have caused leaks which would lead to structural issues.
With recent record low temperatures, furnaces have often been pushed to their limit to keep the home warm – now might be a good time to get an inspection to be sure there are no leaks or inefficiencies.
Fallen Trees & Limbs
Finally, inspect the yard for damage from fallen trees – and also take a look at the trees themselves. The snow and wind cause trees to fall and limbs to break because of the high wind velocity. Keep in mind that trees have an amazing ability to recover from storm damage; hasty decisions can often result in removing trees that could have been saved. If damage is relatively slight, prune broken branches, repair torn bark or rough edges around wounds, and let the tree begin the process of wound repair. The larger a broken limb, the harder it will be for the tree to recover from the damage. If most of the main branches are gone, the tree may have little chance of surviving. In either case, there are a number of forestry services and arborists in the area that can help with decision making and repair. For more information about assessing tree damage, consult this document released by the National Arbor Day Foundation.