Scorching Summer Leaving Hidden Damaging Effects on New York Homes
If you thought having continuous hot summer weather was a good thing, think again.
It seems New York is going to suffer through two different plagues this winter - a "pest-pocalypse" and heat-induced home problems.
For the latter, homeowners are urged to be on the lookout for these potential hidden damages that could transform into a massive headache if left ignored.
New Yorkers Bracing for Unforeseen Home Expenses
While the summer heat allowed for fun days by the lake or pool, houses in the Empire State took a walloping from the scorching temperatures.
Diana Rodriguez-Zaba, founder of Servicemaster Restoration by Zaba, is urging homeowners to make sure their house hasn't quietly suffered certain damages.
Hot weather carries the potential to overheat roof shingles, warp gutters, bend window frames, and cause cracks on driveways.
Those are the leading concerns amid a laundry list of the bad aftermath of all those heatwaves.
Watch Out for Roof Leaks
No one wants to battle a leaky roof in the dead of winter. However, sizzling temperatures can cause certain roof coverings to overheat.
Asphalt shingles are especially at risk of damage because extended exposure to hot temperatures can cause the material to become fragile and crack.
Rodriguez-Zaba urges homeowners with older rooftops, especially those with asphalt shingles that are around 20 years or so, to look for these red flags.
Roofs that have shingle edges that are curling, cracked or cupped increases the odds of water getting trapped beneath them. Same goes for roofs with bald spots, moss or dark streaks.
Homeowners are urged to look at the ceilings that are directly underneath these damaged spots to ensure there are no water spots or cracking in the plaster. If there is, the risk of a bad roof leak increases the longer the problem goes unaddressed.
Another bad roof problem is how heat can affect gutters.
When exposed to an extended period of warm weather, gutters can warp or sag, which increases the chance of clogs.
Leaving those issues alone leads to an increase in damage to your home by forcing water to leak elsewhere out of the drain, which could impact the siding of the house or create water damage.
Damage That Can Raise Your Energy Bills
Rodriguez-Zaba also says heat has been known to cause wooden window and door frames to distort, which increases the chances of chilly drafts seeping into households during the colder months.
That will also force homeowners to cough up more money to the energy companies, as heating systems will have to work harder to maintain comfortable temperatures within the household.
Speaking of heating, those with chimneys should be aware that heat causes thermal expansion and contractions in material like asphalt and concrete.
If a chimney undergoes too much stress in the hotter weather, it increases the odds of it cracking or sustaining damage.
Heat can also damage chimneys from the inside out, thus raising the risk of harmful gas seeping into your home.
Hidden Structural Damage
Heat also causes materials like wood to expand and contract.
This contributes to the wear and tear in decks or patios, thus making them more unstable and unsafe to use. In short, excessive heat and sun exposure can cause the deck or patio boards to warp or buckle.
Not only does that cause uneven surfaces that are more difficult to walk on, it also damages their structural integrity. It's strongly advised that immediate action is needed once a deck or patio feels bumpy or wobbly.
Leaving this issue alone raises the risk of structural collapse and injury. The biggest concern is how the heat can damage the overall foundation of one's home.
Extreme heat can dry out the soil surrounding foundations, which can cause it to shift or even crack.
If you notice your foundation cracking, monitor its changes and if it grows or more cracks sprout from it, the problem may be severe.
This type of damage is more annoying than dangerous.
No one likes it when their siding or paint starts to fade or make the house look unkempt - but heat can accelerate the process. For example, prolonged sun exposure causes fading.
Additionally, if a homeowner heavily relied on their window air-conditioning units, the chance of mold and mildew growing on the siding increases.
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On the topic of mold, trees also take a beating during hot weather because sustained high temperatures will weaken them. That makes them more susceptible to disease or branch breakage.
The last thing anyone wants is a branch or tree falling on their house and risking structural damage. It's advised homeowners monitor the health of the trees in the immediate area near the house and search for dead limbs or rot.
One last type of aesthetic damage are cracks within one's sidewalks or driveways. Because heat can cause asphalt or concrete to expand and contract, that gives way to cracks forming.
While this is aesthetic damage, it does present the risk of trips, falls and tire damage to vehicles.
It's easy to forget the toll that nature takes on our homes. This summer's extreme heat is a timely reminder to always be vigilant and proactive, ensuring our homes remain the sanctuaries they're meant to be. Regular checks and maintenance are small prices to pay for long-term peace of mind.
That said, stay safe this winter. Many reports are calling for bitter cold and lots of snow. It's best to make sure your house is in sound condition before the mercury starts dropping into uncomfortable territory.
Your comfort... and wallet... will thank you.