Spring has finally sprung in the North! The thirteen weeks between winter and summer are the busiest time of the year for home improvements and maintenance. After homeowners have been stuck inside for months we become anxious to get outside and enjoy the sunlight. The one drawback, the sunlight enhances the gutters filled with decaying leaves, the burnt out landscaping, moldy roof line and deteriorating deck. Thirteen weeks till summer fun starts so prioritize and get a move on the important repairs.
The first place I like to start is with the gutters. Especially in spring when everything is melting and rain is inevitable. Check your homes gutters to ensure they are secured to the house. Clean all debris from the gutters and make sure that they are flowing free of debris. When gutters are not performing properly water can build up and cause improper draining into the crawl space or basement. It is also important that your downspouts are in working order and draining away from the house.
Water pools in areas that are low lying within your yard. These pools of water tend to create damage if too close to your homes foundation not to mention they foster bacteria growth and insect infestations. Any low area in your lawn, especially those close to the home should be assessed and soil brought in. Compact soil in low lying areas will help to create a secure foundation for your home.
Wood around your home needs to be thoroughly checked over. One way to check for soft or rotting wood is to carry a screwdriver around and press the wood around windows, door walls, railings and decking. If you come about a soft area it is time to replace the wood. It is cheaper to maintain then to replace. This is especially true with decking. If you notice spots of your deck getting weak, replace the wood and use a sealer to minimize future wear.
The spring time is the perfect time to inspect the roof and attic. From the ground you should be able to do a thorough check for missing shingles, loose granules and any other obvious damage from the winter. If you see any buckling, cracking or loose shingles call a roofing contractor to come out and do a detailed roof inspection. They will be able to assess if the roof can be repaired or if a new roof is inevitable.
If your home has a fire place and you have stored wood close to the house for the winter spring is the season you should move it. Wood stored close to the home is a safe haven for a variety of inspects and outdoor pests. To store the wood to keep it good for later use build a structure that is about a foot off the ground and away from the home. You can cover the dry wood with a tarp to keep it dry throughout the season. If you must keep wood close to your home try to move it at least two feet away from the foundation.
Turn the water on under the house for your hoses. Also do a check of exterior faucets as well as a quick check on your crawl space entry. Make sure the lines are open and water is flowing freely. This is good to d once you are sure your area is free of frost and freezing. Also check to see if the hose has suffered from dry rot if it was not safely stored inside for the winter.
Check and clean household electric and gas equipment such as your mower, weed whip, chain saws and trimmers. Get these in working order. This is also the time when you should check your outside grill. Fill the propane, check the burners and grates. You can replace defective parts inexpensively without replacing the entire grill. Don’t forget to check the central air as well; before you know it the hot summer will be upon you and no one likes to be too hot or cold when they sleep.
Enjoy the spring and the motivation it brings as you take on your homes maintenance and work to keep up on all the little repairs before they take a turn for the worse. For instance a roof repair is ten times cheaper than the installation of a new roof. A mower belt is far less expensive than a new mower. Spring maintenance saves homeowners a lot of money in the long run.