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In Wisconsin long, warm, and wet summers make for tons of fun. But in the winter, we become experts in the snow. In fact, Eau Claire averages 46 inches of snow per year. And that rough weather can cause some water damage and cleanup problems to your home entrance.
When all that snow, sleet, and ice appears, check that it’s not disappearing into cracks and crevices in the exterior of your home, causing potential water damage and mold issues. Since water will melt during the day, and refreeze at night, it will find its way into any small gap in your roof, foundation or damaged stucco. When the water freezes again at night, it expands and enlarges the crack.
One part of your home that really suffers in winter is the front door and entryway. Snow settles along the threshold and frame of your front door. Poor drainage could allow that moisture to stay in contact with wooden elements long enough to cause rot. Check the bottom of the door– is it solid? Or are there mushy, soft, or crumbly surfaces? Years of contact with water or snow can allow the wood to degrade or rot.
Preserve the integrity and lengthen the lifespan of all exterior doors by performing maintenance. Upkeep includes painting (or varnishing) the door, checking for droughts, and replacing weather stripping around the door. This regular maintenance is needed to keep it weatherproof and protected from the UV rays.
A storm door is a second, outer door that protects the main, wooden door from rain and the other elements. It adds some energy efficiency by keeping warm air in and cold air out. Storm doors are available in vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, or wood.
Is the entire entry too exposed to the elements? Installing an awning or canopy will protect the wooden door by redirecting the rain. In the summer, the awning will shade the area from the heat.
Road salt on the front porch and sidewalk can be a lifesaver by preventing slips and falls. But salt damages concrete over time by causing corrosion to occur under the surface, leading to discolored, cracked and crumbling concrete.
However, the damage can come up into the house, as well. These calcium chloride crystals can really damage a solid wood door or the interior hardwood floor finish. Finished and unfinished wood surfaces can be ruined by the abrasion of these particles. Plus, the salt can erode and cause the weather stripping to degrade more quickly.
The winter season is a great time to get that outdated door upgraded. The sign that your door is damaged beyond repair is if your home is losing energy, even after you try fixing it. Eliminating the squeak doesn’t make it more energy efficient. Even new weather stripping can only improve energy conservation so much… you need a new door with an internal foam core and professional installation to get your home up to current standards.
You should regularly sweep and shovel to clear away snow buildup around all exterior doors. Protect your wooden surfaces through the coldest months of the year as part of your normal maintenance plan. However, if you see (or suspect) water damage, call TRAC Solutions for help cleaning it up. They are experts in winter weather home maintenance.
For more than 25 years of experience repairing damage in Western Wisconsin, TRAC have seen many preventable problems and many unpreventable disasters. This full service general contractor is on call right now to handle isolated water damage or a complete restoration project.