Springtime Maintenance Tips
Examine Roof and Shingles
Examine roof shingles to see if any are missing or damaged during the winter. Cracked, warped, loose or shingles missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer. If your home has an older roof, you may want to budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles.
Check the Gutters
Check for loose, leaky or clogged gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.
Check the Grading next to the Foundation
Check the grading next to the foundation. It should slope away from the foundation to move water away from the building. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.
Examine the Chimney
Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
Inspect the Concrete
Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs should drain away from the home's foundation. Fill cracks in slabs and driveways with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.
Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure.
Check Outside Faucets
Check outside hose faucets for leaks. If the spigot is leaking around the valve stem when the water is turned on, it can usually be fixed by tightening the packing nut behind the handle 1/8 to 1/4 turn. If the faucet still leaks after tightening the packing nut, the washer on the end of the valve stem needs to be replaced. While you're at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.
Service the AC Unit
Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. Change interior filters on a regular basis.
Check Power Equipment
Check your gas - and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yardwork easier.