Spring is a beautiful time of year. Flowers come out to bloom (including DC’s famous Cherry Blossoms), the weather warms up, neighborhood kids come out to play, and BBQ’s are abundant. But during this wonderful time of year, home maintenance needs to be done. Heavy April rains and intense July heat can cause significant wear and tear on your home. Use the following items as a checklist to make sure your house is ready for whatever the season throws at you.
Check the Roof
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.
Check around your home 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.
Heavy rains and intense heat are especially tough on wood. 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.
Test Outdoor Faucets
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 rot and damage.
Service the AC Unit
Have a HVAC professional come and clean the outside unit for your air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. Be sure to also change interior AC filters on a regular basis.
Lay Compacted Soil
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. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects (such as mosquitoes).
Spring is a good time to trim plants and trees that border your home. Start cutting back before leaves have a chance to grow so you can see individual limbs. Keep branches a few feet away from your house so they can’t transfer moisture onto your roofing and siding. Trimming will also help discourage squirrels and other animals from exploring ways to nest in your attic.
Plant Some Color
Ensure that your home looks lovely by planting some nice spring flowers. Now only will it make it more enjoyable to relax in your yard, your neighbors will also love you for it. Especially if you’re selling your home, well placed landscaping makes a world of difference. You can even turn it into a family activity so everyone can get their hands dirty.