After a long, wet winter, spring’s bright sun and warm winds are a literal breath of fresh air. The only problem? That sunshine is highlighting your bulging gutters, cracked sidewalks, dripping faucets, and dead plants from last year’s flower beds. Now that the rain and winter storms have passed, you can start to look for damage around the home and make any repairs needed, while prepping your home and garden for summer.
7 Tips for Spring Maintenance
1. Check the Gutters
Check for loose or leaky gutters caused by improper drainage, which can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Be sure to point downspouts so that they drain away from the foundation and are clear of debris.
2. Examine Roof Shingles
You should examine your roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter storms. Shingles that are cracked, buckled, loose, or missing need to be replaced right away. The flashing located around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer, if needed.
3. Reseal Woodwork
Outdoor woodwork like wood decks, fences, railings, trellises, pergolas, and other outdoor structures will stay in better condition and last longer if they’re stained or re-sealed every few years. Don’t forget to always check for termites.
4. Use Compacted Soil
Low-lying areas in the yard or depressions next to the foundation should be evenly filled with compacted soil. Heavy spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and structural damage. Additionally, when water collects in these low areas in summer, the moisture creates a breeding ground for insects.
5. Inspect the Concrete
Always inspect concrete slabs for any signs of cracks or movement. Other than near a backyard pool, all exterior slabs should drain away from a home’s foundation. Fill any cracks with a concrete crack filler and when weather permits, power-wash and seal the concrete.
6. Check Outside Faucets
Don’t forget to check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. To do this, turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you’re able to stop the flow of water, then the pipe inside the home is probably damaged and will need to be replaced.
7. Check Screen Doors and Windows
Window and door screens are designed to let the breeze flow in and keep insects out – but this doesn’t do any good if they are full of holes and tears. Spring is a great time to repair screens around the exterior of the home.