Spring Home Maintenance
For most people, your home is the single biggest investment you will make in your lifetime. We see and care for the inside of our homes daily, but when was the last time you took a thorough look at your home’s exterior? Believe it or not, spring is here and as much as we’re ready to spring clean the interior, the outdoor spring maintenance should be equally important. Now is the perfect time to start a top to bottom inspection of your home’s exterior. Here are some important, but often overlooked, areas you should inspect and if necessary, perform maintenance or call for repair.
Exterior surfaces: Check for mold, mildew, algae or moss present on shady sides of your home. Look for loose bricks or siding pieces. Look for trouble spots – especially under eaves and near gutter downspouts. If you see water stains that could indicate that your gutters are not containing water runoff from the roof and likely need cleaning. If you have wood siding, check for openings, damaged areas or knots that have popped out, allowing space for carpenter ants, woodpeckers or other animals to move in.
Doors and windows: Check for cracks or holes and repair as necessary. Use a screen repair kit to fix holes or tears that bugs can sneak through. Leakage around doors and windows will allow warm summer air in and let cooled indoor air out, so check that caulking and weather stripping is still intact. Repaint trim as needed.
Roofing: If you’re comfortable, get up on the roof and do a close inspection. If it’s too high or you’re uncomfortable up there, you can use a pair of binoculars to look for damaged or missing shingles and signs of rust, cracking or leaking. If you find issues, call a professional to assess the damage.
Chimney: While you’re looking at the roof, check the chimney. Look at the joints between bricks or stones. Have any fallen out? Is there anything growing on the surface? If so, that might mean water is seeping in.
HVAC: Remove leaves and gunk from the top and exterior parts of your outdoor air conditioning units. Make sure the unit is running well, and if needed, schedule an inspection or repair.
Foundation: Your home’s foundation is subject to lots of environmental stress. Expanding and contracting soil, moisture and poor drainage are some of the most common threats. Things to look for (inside as well) include cracks in walls, a wall crack in the basement that extends from floor to ceiling, doors that stick, sagging floors, pooling water near a slab foundation, or a wet crawl space after a rain.
Decks and porches: Check decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose pieces or broken components. Decks generally need to be treated every 4-6 years, depending on how much exposure they get to sun and rain. If the stain doesn’t look like it should or water has turned some of the wood a dark grey, it’s time for stain and/or sealant.
Lawn and property: Take a walk around your entire lawn. Do you see shrubbery encroaching on windows or sidewalks? Are there bare spots in your lawn that need reseeding? Look for exposed tree roots that need trimmed or covered and areas where your dog or other critters have created holes that need filled. If there are areas that need reseeded, now is the time to make a plan and gather materials.
Taking a little time in early spring for outdoor maintenance and you’ll be ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor on the sunny days ahead!