It's that time of year. Days are getting longer, birds are finally chirping in the morning, winter coats are being packed away...Spring is here! For many of us, that means it is time to get out the broom, mop, latex gloves and extra sponges for that yearly spring cleaning. But, it isn't just the inside of a home that needs a complete dusting, for preventative maintenance the entire home needs a look over. If you aren't sure where to start, here are 10 spring maintenance tips for your home.
1. Examine 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. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.
2. Check the Gutters
Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. 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.
3. Clean the Siding
Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If the wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If the paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.
4. Examine the Chimney
Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
5. Inspect the 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 professional. If you can slide a nickel in your concrete floor, slab or foundation, call a professional.
6. Look over the 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 gray, hire a professional to treat your deck and fence.
7. Service the Air Conditioning Unit
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.
8. Check all Power Equipment
Check your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yard work easier.
9. Annual Landscaping
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.
10. Check Outside Faucets and Sprinklers
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. Look at 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.
Don't know who to call if you have a problem and need a professional? Ask us for our local recommendations!
Sources cited: http://www.homeadvisor.com/r/spring-maintenance-checklist/#.WL2DoPnyuUk
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