Springtime is just around the corner, and most people are thinking about house maintenance as the frigid winter draws to a close. Consider this basic checklist for maintaining your home.
- Tree Trimming – Winter storms can be rough on trees and result in broken or dangling limbs. This may not be a do-it-yourself task, and some larger jobs will require professionals. Be sure to only hire licensed and insured companies if needed, with an arborist on staff to determine the proper tree trimming techniques to protect the trees and your home.
- Gutters and downspouts – Thanks to those beautiful trees in and around your yard, gutters can end up clogged with debris that affect how well they can manage the rainwater coming off your roof. Homeowners can usually handle this task on single story houses, but be cautious any time you’re on a ladder or roof. Be sure to check the downspouts too, and make sure they’re draining water away from the foundation (see our blogs in landscaping regarding drainage around your slab).
- House cleaning – Spring is a wonderful time to pressure wash your house and restore the appearance. Regular, proper cleaning of your painted finishes can extend the life of the paint by removing surface dirt and growth. Garden sprayers can be used to apply mixtures of soap, water, and bleach to aid in the cleaning process. Rinsing with a garden hose or pressure washer is usually required to obtain optimum results. Use caution with pressure washers, as powerful water pressure can damage bricks and delicate paint finishes.
- Hoses and sprinklers – Rolling out those hoses that have been stored over the winter months is a good idea. Sometimes blockages occur from small critters seeking out nesting spots during the winter. Be sure to watch for wasp nests inside hose reels too! This is a good time to assess in-ground sprinkler systems to make sure harsh winter temperatures have not created leaks in pipes or spray heads. You may need to trim turf grasses back around pop-up sprinkler heads or trim shrubbery to allow for proper spray patterns within planting beds.
- Miscellaneous – Take time to walk around your house and really look at all the nooks and crannies, under roof overhangs, on top of the roof itself, areas around windows, and all those places you might not typically notice. The adage “if it’s ain’t broke, don’t fix it” does not apply to your house! Take the time to inventory parts and features of your house to spot a small problem before it becomes a big problem.
Depending on the size and features of your house, developing a maintenance list may feel daunting. A suggested approach is to walk around your home from afar, noting any concerns, followed by a closer inspection to look for smaller, more detailed conditions needing attention. Pay close attention to wood rot or decay, peeling paint, gaps in siding and caulk, etc… Do not forget to look at the grounds near your house for signs of prolonged water retention near the foundation. If these tasks are beyond your skill level, consider the services of a professional home inspector to help develop your Spring Home Maintenance list. (See our blog on Why do I need a Home Inspection? for guidance on home inspection tasks).