If you visit Sandra Powell at Sawdust Girl, you know then that she is known for building, well, objects – with pocket screws. DIY Diva – it’s Kit and her farm, Ugly Duckling House – Sarah; she’s a single lady, doing done an MBA and a day job, showing progress posts and sharing occasional pictures of beer and her feet. Here – ha! idk … It’s exterior maintenance, all the time and posts from random strangers.
Earlier in the week, the media relations team at DoItYourself.com – a resource that I have linked to a handful of times, hit me with a proposal for a round-up of spring projects. In their email, they said – “The magnitude of the winter storms caught even the most well-prepared people by surprise and most will have experienced some degree of damage to their homes.”
An unusually harsh winter has surely led (based on no concrete data other than a sorta spidey sense) to an inordinate amount of exterior maintenance work and large lists of spring home repairs. Myself – I have been busy outside, preparing to install a new gutter on our front side porch. (More on that hopefully next week).
In their round-up, 6 how-tos on many a Spring Todo.
6 Winter Caused Spring Home Repairs
* How to Bring Your Lawn Back From this Horrible Winter
My own Mama Moxie has a back lawn chewed up, well, like I have never seen.
Clear, Test and Fertilize. Begin with a general cleanup of the lawn. Sediment, branches and other debris easily collects through the winter months and litters your lawn. Once the debris is clear, it’s time to check the pH and nutrient levels. Melting snow can wash away nutrients and change your pH levels. If the levels are off, then adjust them quickly with fertilizer.
A topic we have covered, here, to some degree >> DIY Driveway Maintenance.
Protect with a Seal Coat. To keep your driveway protected from any further damage, apply a sealant to the entire surface. Applying a sealant every (two to) three years will prevent further cracks and holes from developing and will keep it looking great.
As we know, a finished basement can be an important asset and hope you never ever see anything like this happen at your house.
How to Dry Out a Basement. If the rain has stopped, open the windows to allow moisture in the air to escape. This will help with the drying out process. Once the water has been removed from the floor of the basement, it is time to begin drying the area as completely as possible as quickly as possible.
If your heating system has not been affected by the flooding, turn the heat to a higher setting to help with the drying out process. However, remember to open the windows to allow the moisture in the air to escape. Using heat will evaporate the water into the air and the air will become humid and dense with moisture.
Consider using fans to circulate the air and speed up the drying process. Place the fans in such a way that the air is blown away and out rather than into the room. This will help to prevent the growth of mild and mildew.
Another option to speed up the drying out process is to use a dehumidifier. It’s important to close the windows and doors when using a dehumidifier so that it works properly. Keep an eye on the dehumidifier’s holding container and empty it as frequently as is necessary. Once the dehumidifier no longer extracts any moisture from the room, place it in another area of the basement and begin again.
Definitely compelling, I learned a lot, and for sure – worth a read. Repointing a chimney is not completely like Repointing a Brick Foundation.
Waterproof Your Chimney. Most masonry materials are porous and will absorb large amounts of water. Common brick is like a sponge, absorbing water and wicking moisture to the chimney interior. Defective mortar joints or the use of improper mortar or brick can greatly increase the tendency to absorb and convey water to the interior of the masonry chimney structure.
Several products have been developed specifically for use as waterproofing agents on masonry chimneys. These formulas are vapor permeable which means that they allow the chimney to breathe out, but not in. Thus water that has penetrated the chimney, or moisture that has originated from inside, is allowed to escape, while the waterproofing agent prevents water from entering from the outside.
Paint, or any non vapor permeable water sealer, should never be used as a waterproofing agent because it will trap moisture inside the chimney, accelerating deterioration.
Water damage to masonry chimneys is usually a slow, subtle process. The problem is often not evident until it has become quite serious.
While most leaks aren’t actually traced to the roof itself and instead to flashing, caulking, etc., still a valuable article ( … though not really how I’d go about setting up a ladder to access this repair). Hopefully more on these topics from Building Moxie in the coming weeks.
Locating the Leak. Sometimes it can be difficult to locate the exact spot of a leak. That water spot on the ceiling may not be in the same location as the actual leak in the roof. Water can run down rafters or trusses and show up inside the house a good distance away from the actual source of the problem. The best way to find the true source of the leak is to climb up into the attic and look for water damage on the underside of the roof deck. This should give you the best idea as to the location where repair work will be necessary.
* How to Remove and Prevent Ice Dams
This is hopefully now a long-faded memory, a topic on which I wrote about myself as part of winter prep recommendations >> Ice Dams Be Damned. (Oh and hopefully, you didn’t lose a gutter like me a few years back … and here’s how I fixed it >> Installing Half Round Gutters.)
Preventing Ice Dams. Proper attic ventilation and insulation is the best way to prevent ice dams. The usual recommendation for proper ventilation is 1 square foot of vent for every 150 feet of attic floor area. Each climate and region may have its own recommendations so contact a licensed local insulation company near you for exact numbers. If you have small louvered vents (also known as gable vents) at either end of the attic, you can either replace them with larger vents or install an electric vent fan over the inside of them. These special fans usually work on a thermostat and will pull outside air into the attic to keep the temperature inside consistent, thus preventing the uneven melting and refreezing of snow and ice.
Hope it helps and happy home repairing. ~jb