7 Ways to Get Your Home Back in Shape After Winter

By Yuka Kato for How Much

The winter months take a serious toll on your home’s exterior. With all the snow, ice, and winds, your roof, gutters, and pipes can sustain some damage over the winter months. Come spring, it’s time to get your home back in shape to help prevent further damage from occurring. Learn what steps you’ll need to take to repair your home, along with what the typical costs are for helping to fix and protect your home.                                      

7 Ways to Get Your Home Back in Shape After Winter1. Fix Minor Roof Issues
There are a lot of issues that can spring up on your roof during the winter. The most common problem is leaks and deterioration caused by things like ice dams. This is a build up of ice on the edge of your roof caused by melting snow running to the sides and freezing. Overtime, this causes water to back up under your shingles. This in turn can break them down, causing leaks, wood rot to your deck, and the growth of mold. You may need to find and repair leaks come spring to prevent the damage from spreading.

Typical Pricing
The average cost to repair roof leaks on a 10 x 10 area of asphalt shingles is around $630.

This includes about $100 for the shingles, as well as labor at $45 to $75 an hour for approximately two days.

Tips to Help Minimize Costs

  • Place a tarp over any leaking or damaged areas to help prevent further water damage while you wait for the repair.
  • Have any ice dams on your roof’s edge removed as soon as possible to help prevent the damage they bring.
  • Look into snow removal to help prevent ice dams from forming.
  • Invest in attic insulation, which can help prevent ice dams and roof damage by regulating your roof’s temperature.

2. Gutter Cleaning
Your gutters can fill up with a lot of debris during the fall and winter months. Leaves and pine needles typically collect there in the fall, but a deteriorating roof will also shed granules into your gutters during the winter months as well, clogging it up. Having your gutters cleaned will help prevent damage, and let you get a better idea of the condition of your roof.

Typical Pricing

The typical costs of cleaning your gutters is between $100 and $140 for a typical two story home with a normal amount of debris.

Total costs range from $60 for a one story home with short gutters to $500 for a multi-story home with extremely clogged gutters and downspouts.
 

Tips to Help Minimize Costs

  • You can help lower your costs by cleaning your gutters before winter begins to help minimize clogs.
  • Install gutter screens or gutter guards. These are easy to do DIY, and can help prevent debris from entering your gutters in the future.

3. Repaint Stucco
Cold, snow, and hailstones can also affect your home’s exterior and the paint on your stucco. Over time, the paint can begin to peel. Left alone, this can mean that the stucco beneath can begin to absorb moisture, potentially damaging it. Putting on a fresh coat of paint in the spring can not only help to protect it, it can also help improve your curb appeal.

Typical Pricing
The average cost to paint your home’s exterior stucco is between $750 and $900 for a 1,000 square foot home.

The total costs range from $150 for a DIY job to $1500 for home’s that need repair as well as painting.

Tips to Help Minimize Costs

  • If your stucco is dirty, wash or clean it yourself to help lower the labor costs.
  • DIY jobs can save you a lot of money; be sure to choose paints that are made for stucco to help ensure that you can go longer between paint jobs.
  • Choosing paint with elastomeric or waterproof coating will help keep your long term costs down by ensuring that the paint job lasts longer.

4. Repair Siding

Winter can do serious damage to your siding. Hailstones can dent or damage aluminum and vinyl siding, while moisture and ice can cause the paint to peel, which can expose the wood below to the elements. Over time, this can lead to wood rot, mold, and other issues that may need to be repaired. Keeping your siding in good condition can help prevent problems from spreading, while also maintaining your curb appeal.

Typical Pricing
The average costs to repair siding range from $300 to $1000. This depends largely on the type of siding, and the amount of damage that it has sustained. Typically, you may find that vinyl is the least expensive material to repair, because of how easy it is to DIY, while aluminum typically costs the most - up to $900.

Tips to Help Minimize Costs

  • Save on carpenter costs by tackling as many DIY repairs as you can.
  • Try to find a match for your vinyl or aluminum siding to minimize the amount that you need to replace.
  • Paint new wood siding yourself to help reduce labor costs.

5. Concrete Driveway Paving
You may not realize it, but your driveway can also sustain a lot of damage during the winter months. Small cracks in the concrete or asphalt can absorb moisture. When this freezes, the crack expands turning into a pothole. While you can patch these once or twice, eventually it’s time to repave the entire space. Paving with concrete can help you get a fresh new look, while repairing the damage.

Typical Pricing
The average cost to pave a driveway with concrete is around $3,040 for a 38 x 16-foot driveway.

The total costs range from about $1,500 for a DIY job to $3,790 for a driveway with a lot of curves or grades.

Tips for Minimizing Costs

  • If you have experience working with concrete, paving your driveway yourself can save you a significant amount.
  • Take care of any prep work yourself, removing things like tree stumps or rocks that could get in the way of the paving.

6. Foundation Repair

The same cracks that can occur in your driveway, can also be found in your foundation. A harsh winter could cause those cracks to expand, seriously compromising your home’s integrity. Repairing any cracks you find in the spring can help minimize damage before it spreads.

Typical Pricing
The average cost to repair a foundation that has sustained serious damage ranges from $5000 to $7000.

Costs may be affected by things like the need for an inspection to find out how bad the damage is, as well as the type of damage. Small cracks may be able to be sealed, while larger cracks may require more extensive work.

Tips for Minimizing Costs

  • Get at least three estimates to find the best price for major repairs.
  • Take steps to try to protect your landscaping, which may be damaged or affected by foundation repair.
  • Have a trench dug for a well pump at the same time to both save money and prevent future water damage.

Take the time to inspect your foundation each spring, and seal up cracks as you find them to help prevent more serious issues.

7. Lawn Fertilizing
Your home isn’t the only area of your property that can be affected by the winter months. Your lawn can also take a hit. Fertilizing your lawn in the spring can help nourish it, helping it grow back and revive after the slowing in growth that winter brings. Fertilizing in a timely way will help restore the color of your lawn, which in turn will help maintain your home’s curb appeal.

Typical Pricing
The average cost of fertilizing a lawn is around $.03 a square foot, assuming a 6,000 square foot lawn.

The total range of pricing is from $.02 a square foot for a DIY job to $.04 during the peak season.

Tips for Minimizing Costs

  • DIY lawn fertilizing is easy and only requires a spreader for equipment, making this a very affordable option for most homeowners.
  • Have your lawn fertilized early to help prevent the competition and high costs of peak season.
  • Water your lawn early in the morning or late in the day to help it maintain moisture and stop it from drying out.

Protect Your Home from Winter Damage
Cold, snow, and ice can really impact your home’s exterior. By taking care of these issues as soon as you see them in the spring you can help prevent more damage from occurring over time. Protect your home from the worst damage that winter can bring, and repair any issues as you see them to ensure your home stays in the best possible condition.

Editor's Note: Yuka Kato is a media analyst for Wilmington, Del.-based cost information website How Much. Contact her at yuka@howmuch.net.

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