Let’s face it; there is a downside to winter loosening its grip on the landscape. The return of the sun highlights the trouble spots in your home’s exterior, and reminds us that there is a certain amount of home maintenance necessary to keep our homes in peak condition throughout the year. What better time to address these issues then during the season famous for annual deep cleaning: spring!
Here’s a list of ten things you can do to keep your home from expensive fixes down the road, and still have time to get out and enjoy the season!
- Make your yard work easier! Clean your lawn & gardening equipment to make it ready for summer use. Sharpen cutter and mower blades to make quick work of the grass and hedges.
- Fill the low areas in your yard and next to your home’s foundation with compacted soil. Pooling water in your yard causes flooding and offers a breeding ground to those pesky biting insects we all hate!
- Winter plays havoc on cement and asphalt. Water seeps into cracks, freezes and expands creating what we in the Northeast call “frost heaves”. So it’s a good idea to inspect your foundation and patio slabs for signs of cracks. As weather permits, power-wash and then fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk.
- How about that pile of firewood you’ve been keeping on the porch or next to the house? It’s a good idea, experts say, to store firewood at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure of your home, wood can trap moisture and invite carpenter ants and termites.
- Check your roof for missing or damaged shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled, loose or are missing granules should be replaced before summer arrives. It’s also a good idea to have a qualified roofer check the flashing around your chimneys, vents and skylights.
- Check your gutters! Loose and or leaky gutters can cause problems with water in your basement or crawl spaces. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear of debris.
- For those of use with chimneys, examine the exterior for signs of damage like loose mortar, bricks or torn flashing. Have a qualified chimney sweep inspect and clean the flue.
- Inspect the exterior trim around your windows, doors, railings, and decks. Make repairs as soon as possible to avoid further damage caused by spring rains.
- Check your outdoor hoses and interior pipes for damage. The chief problem with garden hoses is dry rot. Another problem is freeze damage that can occur with interior pipes in winter. Pipes with freeze damaged should be replaced as soon as possible.
- Finally, care should be taken to change your interior heating and cooling filters regularly. But this is a good time as well to bring in a qualified heating & cooling specialist to inspect your exterior AC unit and address any problems before you really need that air conditioning to work at its best!
Taking the time to make sure your house is well maintained will save you a bundle in the long run. Because we all have a big list of things to do outside in the spring, like planting flowers, landscaping, or planning your summer vegetable garden, it is often easy to forget the basic maintenance stuff that keeps our homes looking good for many years.
One thing to remember, if the repair is out of your expertise, or involves putting yourself in any sort of danger, you really should consult with a professional service provider for the type of repair or maintenance you need. Fixing things right is far cheaper than having someone fix your mistakes, and weeks in the hospital because you fell off your roof means nothing will get done outside, be safe.