Q: Now is the time that many of us are re-opening our lake homes. What should we be looking for in terms of checking for signs of damage or trouble over winter?

Filed in Home Experts, Maintenance by on April 11, 2014

home inspectingA: You’ll want to give the house a careful examination, but the specific things you look for depend on whether you fully winterize, says Kent Hintermeister of Master Builders.

If you shut the place down fully, draining pipes and turning off the heat, there aren’t as many opportunities for trouble, Kent notes. Looks for signs that mice or squirrels have gotten inside, especially along soffits and the eave lines and in the basement or crawl space.

If you leave the heat on all winter, there are a couple of additional things to watch for. Stained Sheetrock along the roofline could indicate water damage from ice dams, Kent says. And check windowsils for moisture damage from condensation. In both cases, if you see black, it could be mold.

Kent’s advice for everyone is to spend some time this season just looking at your building. “Get to know you cabin. Study it a little bit. If you don’t look at it, you don’t know how it’s supposed to be, to know if something’s changed.”

by Emily King

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