Now that the flowers are blooming and winter appears to be finally leaving the area, it’s time to take stock of some areas of your home. Winter weather and time can do damage to your home and belongings, but by completing these ten maintenance chores, you’ll be ready to get outside and enjoy the great weather without a worry.
- Examine Your Roof Shingles
Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys may need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.
- Check Your Wood Trim
Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood.
- Inspect Your Gutters
Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.
- Fill In Low Areas
Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. When water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.
- Check Your Chimney
Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
- Get Cracking on Concrete Damage
Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home's foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.
- Store Firewood for Summer
Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure.
- Check Your Outside Faucets and Hoses
Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you're at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.
- Service and Inspect Your Air-Conditioner
Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. Change interior filters on a regular basis. Don’t forget that many HVAC companies offer affordable maintenance contracts for bi-annual inspections and service discounts.
- Check Your Lawn Care Equipment
It’s been a few months since you’ve fired up the lawn mower, trimmer and blower, so now is the time to do some maintenance on them to keep them running efficiently this spring and summer. Check oil levels and replace with new oil as needed, sharpen blades and make sure everything is in good working order.