Home maintenance doesn’t begin and end with spring cleaning.
But it’s a great place to start. Most homeowners will tell you that upkeep is required 24/7-365. Keeping your home in like-new condition throughout all of the seasons will prevent potentially hefty renovation costs in the future.
So to get your spring off to a great start:
- Clean Out The Gutters: Winter can leave behind leaves and other sediments in your gutters. Begin cleaning your gutters near a downspout, and remove any large debris like leaves and twigs. Clean out the fine buildup by flushing the gutter with a hose in the direction of a downspout. If the water doesn’t drain, there may be a clog in the downspout so you may need to run a plumber’s snake through the pipe to remove the clog.
- Inspect the Roof: When the weather warms up, grab your ladder and head up to the roof to check for any cracked caulk, shingles that are buckling or missing, chimney damage and moss or algae stains. Replacing a few broken or missing shingles costs anywhere from $100 to $150, but larger repairs can cost up to $1,000. Remodeling Magazine cites that a full roof replacement is more than $19,000. If you notice any damage, contact a roofing contractor.
- Check for Pests: The spring temperature rise provides the perfect conditions for pests to take over your property. Homeowners in the Midwest should inspect for termites, bed bugs and other pests after the temperatures rise to the low- or mid-70s. Look for cracked paint, mud tubes on the outside of your home, small blood spots on sheets and dead insects for signs of an infestation. Be able to identify bedbugs! If you suspect an infestation, find a local exterminator.
- Gutters and downspouts: Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Reattach gutters that have pulled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drainage. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.
- Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. Scrape, sand and paint any exposed areas to protect them from further damage.
- Exterior caulking, window sills, door sills, and doorways: Inspect caulking and replace if deteriorating. Scrape out all of the eroding caulk and recaulk needed area.
- HVAC: Heating and cooling systems are complicated. Routine maintenance on the interior and exterior components helps eliminate system failures in extreme weather.
- Foundation: Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for cracking, heaving, or deterioration. If a significant number of bricks are losing their mortar, call a foundation specialist.
- Deck and porches: Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose members and deterioration. Open decks and wood fences 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, hire a deck specialist to treat your deck and fence.
- Landscape: This is a natural for spring home maintenance. Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushes from structures. Limbs and leaves can cut into your home’s paint and force you to have that side of the house repainted. A little trimming can save a lot of money and time.
- Sprinklers: Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly working sprinkler heads. If there is an area of your yard that collects too much water or doesn’t get enough, run the sprinklers to figure out the problem. Not sure how to open up your sprinkler system- call a professional. It may be cheaper to have it opened than to repair damage doing it yourself.
Staying ahead on home maintenance is the best way to stay out of trouble. And the warmer spring weather ( I’m sure it’s coming) is a great time to get out and investigate and fix any damage from the winter weather. The very wet weather provided a glimpse of what can happen when downspouts are clogged and window well drains no longer function.