Winter can be unpredictable. One year, there’s hardly any snow and the next, it seems, not a day goes by without blistering temperatures and piles of snow. Either way, once spring starts to breeze in, it’s time to take stock of the damage or maintenance issues winter caused to your home. Use the following spring home maintenance checklist to tackle any repairs or upkeep your house may need.
Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
To prevent misery on those long, hot summer days, make sure your air conditioning unit is in good working order.
You can get your air conditioning unit cleaned and checked by a professional, or you can do it yourself (but make sure you know what you’re doing!). Change and/or clean out filters, remove debris from the unit, clean the coils on the outside, remove or trim overgrown bushes or plants, and make sure the drain is functioning properly.
Harsh winter weather, such as high winds, sleet, and heavy snow can damage shingles. Check your roof for any damaged shingles.
When the snow melts, it can run down to the edge of the roof and refreeze. This is called an ice dam.* Unfortunately, sometimes this water/ice gets pushed up underneath the shingles. Not only can this cause damage to your roof, but it can also cause leaking.
Replace or repair any damaged areas to prevent further problems. If you can’t get the work done right away, protect the damaged area with a tarp.
*If you have persistent issues with ice dams each winter, take steps to prevent them next winter.
Gutters and downspouts
Ice dams and heavy snow can wreak havoc on gutters and even cause them to pull away from the house. Ice can also cause seams in the gutters to separate, which will cause them to leak during that first spring rain.
Clean the gutters frequently and remove ice dams promptly to prevent damage from occurring.
Functional gutters and downspouts are more important than you might think. They channel water off of the roof and away from the home’s foundation. This prevents roof and siding damage, pest infestations, rotting, and a soggy basement.
Walk around your home’s exterior to look for cracked, missing, or loose siding. Any of these can be a major issue and should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid moisture damage, pests, and rot.
If your house is painted, look for any areas of peeling paint. Though scraping and repainting can do the trick, it’s important to discover why it is peeling. Peeling paint can be caused by a variety of reasons, including age, moisture behind siding material or incompatible paint for the siding material. Fix any defects and then repaint with paint that best suits the siding material.
Huge swings in temperature can occur during the winter, especially in the northern states. With these freeze/thaw cycles, your foundation will expand and contract. Unfortunately, this process can sometimes cause cracks in your foundation.
Any cracks in the foundation should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Cracks can get larger with time and allow water and pests through, causing further problems down the road.
Windows and doors
It’s like throwing money into the wind if you have leaky windows or doors. If you noticed any cold air leaking in around your windows and doors over the winter, now is the time to address the problem.
If you aren’t sure what’s causing the leak, here are some suggestions:
- Check weather stripping (and replace, as necessary)
- Check the caulking around the exterior of the window. Recaulk with a quality exterior caulk and paint, as necessary.
While you’re looking at your windows, check screens for holes. Repairing screens is easy and will keep bugs outside where they belong. Family Handyman has a great tutorial on replacing screens.
The attic is easy to overlook if you don’t use it, but it’s important to check it out each season. In the attic, check for the following:
- Moisture, mold, or mildew
- Obstructions or holes in vents
- Leaks in the roof
- Uninvited winter guests (e.g., pests)
Check for any winter storm damage to trees. Any loose, hanging branches should be removed, especially those that are close to your home or power lines.
If you have a wood burning fireplace and used it over the winter, now is the perfect time to clean it. While you can do this yourself, a chimney sweep may be the better option. It’s important to thoroughly check your chimney and clean out the built-up creosote to prevent a chimney fire.
Gas fireplaces need less maintenance than wood burning, but it’s a good idea to have them cleaned and checked to ensure they’re vented and functioning properly.
We’ve gone through the big things to check and repair in the spring, but there are some other, smaller chores that should be on your checklist too!
Don’t forget to:
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Change the batteries too.
- Clean out the dryer vent pipe.
- Clean refrigerator coils.
- Power wash driveways and sidewalks (this is particularly important if you used salt in the winter).
- Check exterior faucets.
- Dust ceiling fans and make sure switch is set on the warm weather setting.
- Ensure dehumidifier is functioning properly.
- Test sump pump and replace batteries in backup
As a homeowner, spending a weekend going through this spring home maintenance checklist is worth it. It saves time and money by getting ahead of any potentially large, expensive problems down the road. And then you’ll be ready to relax and enjoy your summer!
Whether you’re selling or buying a home, the process can feel intimidating and overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to. At Coluzzi Real Estate, we answer all your questions and simplify the process. We’re there for you every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!
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