Vinyl and fiber cement siding have come a long way over the years, but extreme weather conditions can still cause wear and tear you should be on the lookout for.
Sometimes it feels like the winter weather can’t decide what it wants to be. One day there is snow on the ground, and the next the sun is out and there is barely a frost. Intense temperature swings like these can cause vinyl to shrink, expand and warp. However, shrinking and expanding is taken into account during our home building process and can usually be fixed by simply moving the vinyl back into place.
Although vinyl siding usually goes back to its original shape, gaps or sagging can occasionally occur. Thankfully, if that happens, the siding is built to be easily replaced. You may even be able to purchase new siding to match your existing siding and then replace it yourself using nails and a few tools.
To do some spring cleaning on your vinyl or fiber cement siding, wash it with a mild soap and water mixture. Do not use any abrasive cleaners, and be cautious if using a power washer, otherwise you may damage the siding.
If your home has fiber cement siding, you'll also want to check your caulking and paint in the spring and see if you are in need of any touch-ups.
How to Check Your Home’s Skirting
Below the siding, the bottom of most manufactured homes are covered with skirting. This spring, regardless of your skirting material, make sure the vents in your home's skirting are open and unobstructed.
If you have vinyl skirting on your home, extreme temperature swings can cause gaps to develop, just like with siding.
To keep the elements, and curious critters, out from underneath your home, inspect the sides and bottom of your skirting to make sure the pieces line up with each other and make contact with the bottom track.
If your home has skirting made of a natural material like stone, it is especially important to look for cracks caused by water seeping into lines and freezing, which can then cause the material to expand.
How to Check Your Pipes
Like siding, pipes and plumbing fixtures can occasionally experience issues during extreme temperature swings.
To check your piping, go under your home and look for any areas that have accumulated water. If you look carefully with a flashlight, you will be able to see any areas where small amounts of water may have accumulated or, in the worst case, mold has developed. If this is the case:
• Find the source of the leak so you can stop it
• Remove the source of mold
• Evaluate if you or a professional may need to make repairs
You should also check to make sure the vapor barrier under your home is intact and that water is not pooling under your home. Hiring a professional plumber is always best if pipes or the system need to be fixed or replaced.
How to Check Your Roofing
To make sure your roofing is in good repair, start inside by inspecting every inch of your home’s ceiling to make sure that water is not leaking through the roof and into your home.
Usually, you will be able to quickly detect a problem in bedrooms, living rooms and the kitchen, but areas like large closets, spaces above cabinets and guest rooms could develop small water stains that are not immediately noticeable.
If you come across a leak, call a local roofing repair company. You may also be able to safely seal the leak and replace the section of roofing yourself.
You can also check your roof’s exterior too to make sure no shingles are loose or damaged, which can help you prevent leakage problems before they even begin! If you do not feel comfortable evaluating your roof or climbing on top of your home, contact a local professional to help you.
How to Check Your Air Conditioning
Spring weather is wonderful because you can open the windows and enjoy the comfortable breeze, but when the heat of summer rolls around you’ll want to make sure your air conditioner is operating at its most efficient.
Because your air conditioning system has not been used during the colder months, it may need new belts, depending on your home's HVAC system or lubrication, to ensure smooth operation. It is a good idea to have your A-coil professionally cleaned and inspected to prolong the life of your HVAC system.
Though some servicing requires the expert hand of an HVAC technician, there are still plenty of ways to maintain and service your system yourself before the summer heat arrives. For example, make sure to change your air filter as the seasons change!
Now you know how to check- up on your home after the winter comes and goes! But the maintenance tips don’t stop there. Check out our seasonal checklist to see what to do to maintain your home all year round.