Spring is an excellent time to clean your home and check in on regular home maintenance tasks that might have been neglected over the winter. Here is a list of 10 tips to help you identify any problem areas caused by winter weather and prepare the property for the warmer days ahead:
1. Roof and Gutters
Winter weather can be tough on a roof. Check for cracked or missing shingles and any signs of shingle shift. It may only require replacing a few shingles or fasteners to fix this issue. Clearing debris buildup from the roof and gutters is also important. Regular maintenance of gutters and inspecting downspouts can help prevent future foundation issues.
2. Exterior Walls
Examine areas around downspouts and under eaves for water stains, which may indicate inadequate runoff. Peeling paint can leave siding more susceptible to moisture, leading to costly repairs in the future. For wood siding, look for signs of rot and openings that may give way to insects, rodents, or birds.
After the harsh winter months, inspect the property for foundation problems. Cracks in the foundation, even small ones, can lead to major structural problems if left unrepaired. Signs such as cracking bricks, bowing walls, or gaps in windowsills may indicate foundation issues.
Check the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage, especially the joints between bricks or stones. If you notice something growing or a white calcium-like deposit, it may be time to re-seal. If your chimney is tilting or leaning, this could be a symptom of a failing foundation and require consultation with a foundation repair expert.
5. Basement or Crawl Space
Spring is usually a rainy season and can be an excellent time to check basements or crawl spaces for water damage. Common signs of water entry can include mold or moisture damage, musty odors, and buckled hardwood floors.
6. Preventing Leaks
Test faucets, inside and out, for signs of leakage, and check for clogged drains and sweaty pipes. Don’t forget to examine appliances such as dishwashers for water stains and washing machine hoses for cracks or dampness.
7. Air Conditioner
Don’t wait until the heat of summer to check the air conditioner. Turn on the unit and ensure it works properly. Keep the unit running smoothly by clearing debris from the outdoor coils, changing interior filters, and checking hoses for leaks.
8. Dryer Vents
Cleaning lint and other debris from the dryer duct and vent can help prevent fires from occurring.
9. Driveways and Sidewalks
Check for cracks in sidewalks or patios that may have grown during the winter. If the concrete is sinking, cracking, or tilting, consider repairing with the USS “PolyLift” System, an eco-friendly, moisture-resistant solution.
Trim tree branches back to keep moisture away from the roof and siding, and keep unwanted visitors away. Trees and their roots can affect the property’s foundation, so pay special attention to the species of trees and their proximity to the property. Check the direction of sprinklers and irrigation systems, as water sprayed toward or against the foundation may cause flooding in the basement or crawl space.
By examining the property and addressing issues in a timely manner, you can prevent larger, more expensive repairs in the future. We recommend inspecting twice a year, in the fall and spring, to keep the property in top condition. We’re re-sharing this helpful information from our friends at United Structural Systems.
Have questions? Please reach out! We’re here to help.