Spring, Home Maintenance Tips
What does spring mean to you?
For many, it’s a time to get back out there and rediscover the world after being cooped up indoors all winter. But for homeowners, the onset of spring marks the start of a long list of home repairs and maintenance. There are lawns to mow, gutters to clean, landscaping to be done, drainages to unblock, and other general home maintenance tasks to do. As hectic as it sounds, spring home maintenance has to be done. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for costly repairs a few months or years down the line.
So how do you go about it?
Checking Your Gutters
In anticipation of the rainy season, inspect your gutters for any accumulated debris and clean them. Make sure your gutters aren’t leaky or loose. Also, ensure that the downspouts drain water away from your foundation, crawl space, or basement.
This will safeguard your home against foundation flooding problems.
Preparing Your Landscape
After a long winter without cleaning, your yard will need some work to get it back in shape. Keep in mind that this is not your usual landscaping routine. The priority here is to protect your home from water damage, in addition, enhancing the looks of your lawn. As such, you need to plan all your landscaping activities with your home’s foundation in mind. If you have surface drainage systems, unclog them and check for any breakages. If there are any holes or depressions on your lawn that might cause water stagnation, fill them up or hire someone to do it. Don’t forget to mow your lawn and cut down the excessive foliage around the house. Shrubs and tall grass increase water retention, which allows the groundwater to seep into your foundation.
Inspecting Your Home for Foundation For Cracks
While not all cracks spell trouble, it’s important to have them checked out by a foundation contractor. Cracks have different causes, and hiring a professional will help you establish the root cause and schedule the right type of foundation repair.
Inspecting Your Roof
Winter often damages roof shingles, so you might want to inspect them to determine if repairs are necessary. Look out for loose, cracked, and buckled shingles. Also, examine the flashing around skylights, plumbing vents, and chimneys. If repairs are necessary, hire a qualified contractor to do it. You might also want to wash debris off your roof. When doing this, avoid using power washing because it damages roofing materials.
Cleaning Vents, Filters, Drains and Gutters
This is a project that will have you addressing areas and appliances both inside and outside your home. Not only should you be sure to do a thorough cleaning of your outside gutters (having clear gutters will drastically help reduce the chances of foundation flooding), but you should also take a look at other areas of your home that have vents, filters or drains to change them out as well. These can include:
- Change out your air filter
- Clean your dishwasher filter
- Unclog and clean out your sink, shower and disposal drains
- Clean air vents/air ducts
With all of the pollen and dust that comes with springtime, it’s a good head-start to start the season off with fresh filters, drains and gutters. This way you won’t have to contend with a clog or foundation flooding, but can continue to do
Repaint Exterior Surfaces
When the weather is mild, it’s a great time to look at what exterior surfaces should be repainted. This can include your house itself, or simply a fresh coat of paint on your front door. Going into the spring and summer months with new paint can refresh the look of your home dramatically, and is especially great to do if you plan on selling your home as well. While you paint, you should be sure to keep a lookout for cracks that might indicate a larger issue with your foundation. Similarly, you should keep your indoor walls looking fresh and trendy as well. Paying close attention to your interior walls is also a great way to keep a lookout for cracks that could also indicate foundation issues.
- Change HVAC air filters.
- Clean and inspect window screens for damage, A little work now will keep unwanted pests outside your home.
- Look for moisture in the basement and crawl space, Leaks in these spaces could turn into costly repairs.
- Inspect the washing machine water hoses for cracks and the dryer vent for lint buildup.
- Inspect the air ducts for buildup of mold, allergens or debris.
- Make sure your sump pump is in working order.
- Inspect gutters and downspouts for damage and debris, Working gutters ensure that water is diverted from your home’s foundation.
- Trim trees and shrubs that are near the house, This can prevent damage to siding, windows or the roof.
- Inspect caulking around doors and windows for damage or wear, Replace if necessary to increase energy efficiency.
- Inspect the air-conditioning system, Trim brush around the unit and clean the coils if necessary.
- Inspect wooden decks, railings, windowsills and steps for rot, Repair or replace damaged wood, and touch up paint, stain or wood finish.
- Pressure wash patios, decks, driveway/walkways, and outdoor furniture, Pressure wash your soffits and siding too, if necessary.
- Inspect and tune up any lawn maintenance equipment, Sharpen tools, charge batteries, lubricate moving parts and replace old gas.
- Clean debris from foundation vents and window wells.
Spring home maintenance might get you through the summer, but it’s important to keep your home in great condition all year round. This will retain your property’s value and prevent the development of bigger issues such as cracking, sinking and settling.