Home Maintenance Tips for the Spring
Examine Roof Shingles
Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.
Probe the Wood Trim & Paint
Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Scrape and paint any chipped spots or exposed surfaces. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood.
Clean the Gutters
Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are free and clear of debris.
Use Compacted Soil to Ensure Good Drainage
Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.
Examine the Chimney
Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
Inspect the Concrete
Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home’s foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.
Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure.
Check Outside Faucets
Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you’re at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.
Service the AC Unit
Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. Change interior filters on a regular basis.
Check Power Equipment
Check your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yard work easier.
Trim branches and trees away from the house before the leaves start to grow and while you can still see the limbs. This also discourages wildlife from finding a new home in your attic!
Check Foundation Vents
It’s normal for a house to have vents along the foundation walls. These provide air circulation that helps dissipate moisture to prevent mold growth. These usually have screens to prevent critters from joining you for dinner. These screens often catch leaves, twigs and debris. Check screens for damage and clean them with your hand or with a shop vacuum. Repair any damage so that rats and mice cannot make it through. Remember they can squeeze through anything even as small as the size of a quarter.