In some parts of the country there is still snow on the ground. Yes, I am talking about my own backyard. Still, it will all melt at some point, right? Unfortunately, even though we have done all of that shoveling, the home work is not yet done. Of course, it will be wonderful to work outside in warmer temperatures, with the sun shining down and the gentle spring air.
Annual spring maintenance is important to keep your home running well, and to avoid larger, and more expensive problems later. The more than you can do yourself, the more money you will save. Here is a short list of spring home maintenance items that you should be able to complete on your own. All of these projects require little to no monetary investment.
1. Gutters: Check for loose and leaky gutters. Otherwise, when those spring rains come, you could just wind up with water in the basement.
2. Low Areas: Fill in any low areas in your yard with compacted soil, concentrating especially on areas near your home’s foundation. The spring rain can cause flooding in your yard, and low areas can collect it, forming pools. These pools of water can cause damage to your foundation, as well as provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other biting insects.
3. Wood Trim: Exposed or loose wood trim will let in rain, causing damage to windows, doors, railings and decks. An easy way to check for problems is to take a flat head screwdriver and gently probe at the trim to see if there are any gaps or separation.
4. Hoses: The winter may have caused some damage to your faucets and hoses. Check the faucets for freeze damage and the hoses for dry rot. Repair or replace if needed.
5. Roof Shingles: Take a good look at your roof shingles and check to see if any shingles are damaged or missing. You will want to replace these now, before the rain gets in or the summer sun on your roof makes things worse. Any shingles that are cracked, appear buckled or loose, need to be addressed.
6. Flashing: While you are examining the roof, check the flashing around any plumbing vents, chimneys and skylights. Water can get under loose or damaged flashing, leading to leaks.
7. Concrete: Inspect any concrete you have around your home for cracks or movement. Damaged concrete can be a safety hazard. It can also cause problems with drainage. You can use a concrete filler or silicone caulk to fix the problem. Power wash when dry and then use a concrete sealer.
8. Firewood and Brush: Do you have firewood or brush close to your home? You want to check your property and make sure that these items are at least two feet away from your home. Firewood should be at least two inches off of the ground.