5 Ways to Get Your Home Back in Shape After the Polar Vortex

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- You've heard of the "polar vortex," right?

That's the name meteorologists gave to the frigid weather patterns that wreaked so much havoc on the U.S. this past winter.

As homeowners step out into the spring sunlight after a long winter avoiding the dreaded vortex, the pain won't be over yet -- not with a potentially long list of home repairs needed after one of the most severe winters in recent history.

"Now is the time to address any damage caused by what felt like an endless winter," says Lou Manfredini, a home expert at Ace Hardware, the Oak Brook, Ill., hardware and home maintenance retailer.

Here's Manfredini's list of common home repairs Americans will need to make after absorbing the worst Mother Nature could deliver last winter:

Check for downspout damage. Homeowners should make sure their home's downspouts are clear and draining easily. Stuffed downspouts often lead to water backups and leaks.

Take a "shingle" review. Step across the street and use a good pair of binoculars to see if any roof shingles have fallen away or are dislodged. Open spots on your roof can lead to leaks and possible water and mold damage to your home. Also check the flash up against the chimney to make sure it's still secure.

Take a "caulk walk." Severe winter conditions, especially cold, wet and wind, can wear away at your home's windows and exterior doors. Take a walk around your home and check those seals and make sure you caulk them if you see cracks or gaps.

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