There is a big learning curve if you’re a first-time homebuyer. We’re here to help you learn the basics of home maintenance so that you can spend less time stressing about how to care for your home and more time doing the things you love in your new space. One of the first things we tell our North Carolina homebuyers is that seasons have a significant impact on your house. Here we explain how and why that happens.
Expansion and Contraction
Every home deals with the unfortunate phenomenon of expansion and contraction. Changes in temperature cause the materials used to build homes to expand in warmer weather and contract in colder weather. This is true of concrete, siding, wood, etc.
Humidity also causes home maintenance issues. For example, fluctuations in humid air causes wood to swell when humidity is high and shrink when humidity is low. This can affect your doors, baseboards, wood floors, handrails, mantles, and cabinets.
This may be surprising, but seasonal home décor can actually do some damage to your house. For example, large, heavy wreaths can cause your doors to come out of alignment. Hanging up your holiday lights can also damage gutters or shingles (and eventually lead to roof leaks).
These are some common problems homeowners face due to season changes:
- Slight cracks around windows
- Drywall nail pops
- A nail pop is slight bump in a wall where the nail has worked itself to the surface
- Driveway cracks
- Slight cracks in corners where drywall comes together
- Sticking doors
What You Can do
It’s important to keep in mind that minor shrinkage and swelling is unavoidable. A normal amount of wear and tear on a home should be expected throughout the year and especially as seasons change. Even so, there are a few preventative measures you can take.
- Try to keep the house at an even temperature all year
- Manage humidity by using your exhaust fans and monitoring indoor relative humidity with a hygrometer
- Clean and seal your driveway every few years
- In the winter months use sand on driveway for traction rather than salt or chemicals
- Avoid placing heavy wreaths and overhead door hangers on your doors – use smaller wreaths to get a similar effect and command hooks rather than door hangers
- Try using light clips to avoid puncturing or lifting roof shingles while placing holiday lights
We suggest consulting with a licensed and experienced contractor for any issues as they arise. If you’d like more home maintenance tips, check out our blog.