Keeping your home in top shape requires year-round care. While each season brings different tasks and challenges for homeowners, spring is an especially important time – it’s when to assess winter wear and prepare for summer.
Many big home repairs start out small but, left unattended, become more costly problems. By taking care of little issues now, you can save yourself a lot of money and stress in the long run. Keeping a list of what needs to be done, and when, can help you to avoid and prevent the most common household problems.
Many of the necessary tasks are probably easy enough for you to take care of yourself. However, if you don’t feel comfortable or don’t have the proper equipment, consider hiring a qualified contractor to help you.
Inspect your roof. Shingles that curl (turn up) and claw (turn down) can make your roof inefficient and susceptible to leaking. Check around vents, skylights and chimneys for leaks and repair as necessary.
Don’t forget to check your roof from the inside too. Look in the attic for any signs of moisture or surface discolouration on the underside of the roof that may point to leakage from above or air leaks coming from your house.
Get a chimney check-up. Have a professional chimney sweeper clean/inspect your active or decorative chimney. Professionals should also check the chimney flue and cap for cracks or leaking.
Clean gutters and drain pipes so leaves won't clog them and be sure they drain away from the house. Drain outside faucets.
Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting. Replace rotted siding or trim.
Check foundation walls, floors, concrete and masonry for cracking, heaving, or deterioration. If you see large cracks or a significant number of bricks losing their mortar, call a professional.
Spring is also a great time to clean your windows, screens and hardware and replace storm windows with screens. Check your screens for holes or tears first and repair or replace them if needed. Examine putty/caulk lines around exterior windows and doors and ensure weather stripping creates a good seal.
Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs and railings for loose members and deterioration. Open decks and wood fences need to be treated every four to six years, depending on how much exposure they get to sun and rain. If the stain doesn't look like it should, or water has turned some of the wood a dark gray, hire a professional to treat your deck and fence.
Prune landscaping and create good drainage. Shrubs and landscaping help against soil erosion, but should be planted to form a negative grade, which means water will flow away from the house. You don't want growth up against the foundation of the home itself.
Inside the house:
- When it’s warm enough outside, turn off your gas fireplace pilot lights where possible.
- Carry out the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance for your air conditioning system and ventilation equipment. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for cleaning instructions or hire a qualified contractor.
- Check your smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms and replace the batteries.
Reopen any valves for outside hose bibs that were shut off last fall.