Now that the snow and ice are melting, I have begun noticing damage to gutters and erosion to the soil below.
As the snow and ice begin to melt, the heavier accumulation can slide down the roof stopping at the gutters. The sheer weight might tear the gutters away from the fascia, leaving the gutters dangling from the roof. Subsequent melting or rain then bypass the gutters, leaving a drip line in the soil below or, in some cases, actually eroding the soil away from the foundation.
With the soil eroded, runoff water can enter the foundation, causing all kinds of problems now or in the future. Check your gutters and make sure they are properly secured to the home. Also check the joints and corners that may be leaking. The seals inside the gutters will not last forever, and they will need to be maintained. Extend downspout drains away from the foundation for at least 6 feet and always to an area on the property where the water will run away from the foundation.
On another point, it is the time of year to change the batteries in your smoke alarms. Be careful how you store or dispose of the 9-volt batteries. The 9-volt and other household batteries with the contacts next to each other can short out and overheat if they come into contact with another battery’s metal casing or any other conductive material.
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The heat generated from these batteries can actually start a fire. Use electrician’s tape to cover the contacts on the batteries for storage or disposal. I actually had a battery I removed from a smoke alarm and, without thinking, stuck it in my pocket where it made contact with my pocketknife. It was about fifteen minutes before I felt the heat on my leg and realized my mistake. Homes have been destroyed because of improper battery storage or disposal.