So far, winter has been a wild ride for Northern Virginia this year. In Reston, the temperatures in January have ranged from 19 degrees to 63 degrees. While we haven’t had that much in the way of snow and ice, that big a difference in temperatures can cause problems for your home’s exterior.

It’s too late to do much in the way of preventive maintenance to minimize winter weather damage, but Reston’s leading commercial painting contractors, All American Painting Plus, would like to offer up some tips on what to look for after the thaw.

When you specialize in exterior painting, you get up close and personal with parts of a house that are subject to damage by winter conditions. At All American Painting Plus, we have been painting exteriors from Arlington to Fairfax to Dulles for more than a decade. That covers a lot of crazy winters and we have seen the same types of damage done over and over.

Knowing what to look for, and taking care of it right away, will seriously reduce the cost of repair.

5 Areas of Your Home Susceptible to Winter Damage

The causes of winter damage are pretty straightforward. Cold temperatures, moisture in the form of ice, snow and rain, winter winds, and home surface conditions can all result in conditions that can actually put your house in jeopardy if not addressed.  Check these out after the first thaw:

  1.      Roof. Ice dams and blowing wind can send moisture under your shingles and create a roof leak. Look for water stains on the ceiling directly under the roof or stains running down a wall. The stains will not tell you the location of the leak as moisture may run the length of the house on rafters before it drips down. Before next winter hits, make sure you have adequate insulation in your attic. Moisture, the source of the problem, is created when heat escapes through the roof and melts the snow and ice.
  2.      Gutters and downspouts. Ice dams, water that runs to the eave and thin freezes again blocking drainage, can create havoc with your gutters. Expanding ice can force the gutter away from the eaves. Gutters that a blocked with debris will trap draining water which in turn will freeze causing damage to the gutter. The same applies to downspouts. Damaged gutters can create leaks in the eaves and fascia as well.
  3.      Peeling paint. Old exterior paint or paint that is chipped or damaged by hail or falling tree limbs can allow moisture under the paint creating peeling. When that occurs, your siding will be exposed to the elements and wood rot is a very real possibility. As soon as it is warm enough, call the expert exterior painting contractor at All American Painting Plus and we will be happy to prepare a detailed and competitive painting estimate. When we are done your home will be beautiful and protected from the elements for years to come.
  4.      Driveway. It doesn’t matter what your driveway is constructed with, concrete or asphalt. Both are targets for damage by winter temperatures. Small cracks that develop through everyday use and age, can fill with water which expands when it freezes. This is call “frost heave” and can result in much bigger cracks or even potholes. Repairing and sealing your drive after the thaw will prevent an even bigger problem come next winter.
  5.      Foundation. This one can be dangerous. Those little cracks in the foundation caused by your house settling, can fill with wind blown water, freeze, expand, and make the cracks bigger. You want to promptly repair those cracks at your first opportunity. Left alone, the cracks could lead to structural damage and that is exceptionally expensive to repair.

Trust the advice of one of the most experienced and trusted painting contractors in Northern Virginia, fix these seemingly small damages as soon as it warms up to save yourself thousands in repair later.

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