When spring approaches, the warmer weather brings thoughts of enjoying the outdoors. Spring signifies renewal, too, and homeowners start clearing out closets of old clothing and clutter to be discarded. Before you start putting out your patio furniture and sending bags of things to Goodwill, use the spring as time to give your home a structural once-over, checking for needed repairs.
A house can be battered after a long, cold winter. Ice damages siding, and snow accumulation can compromise roof integrity. Snow and ice can cause severe roof damage. Once the snow melts, take the time to do a visual inspection of your roof and siding. Take caution when climbing ladders or doing any roof or exterior inspections or repairs and always reach out to a professional inspector in the case of high or steep roofs. Look for buckling in roof shingles, which is a sign of damaged roof beams. You should also inspect flashing, which is the metal strips surrounding roof vents and edges. These are some of the most vulnerable areas on a roof. If you can easily enter your attic area, take a look at the underside of the roof. If present, water damage will be evident on insulation and drywall. If you see anything unusual, contact a qualified professional roofing company for an estimate.
While inspecting the roof, take a look at gutters and spouts, ensuring that they are clear of leaves and debris and properly connected to your house. If ice or snow has loosened gutter clips, tighten or replace fasteners to ensure that they are secure. Check for proper flow by attaching a garden hose and flushing out the spouts. Where the spouts meet the ground, check for erosion. If the running water is pooling near your home’s foundation, you can divert the runoff away with easy to find plastic channels.
Inspect outside areas such as decks, steps, and railings, too. Winter weather can warp boards, expose nails and screws, and crack concrete steps and foundations. Use a good hammer to pound deck nails flush, or remove rusted old fasteners. Check boards for splits and cracks and consider replacing any that are worn or springy to the feet. Sand and stain decking surfaces to increase their lifespan.
Concrete and paving stone patios can also be damaged during the cold. Chipped stones should be identified and replaced, and once repaired, the entire patio or walkway should be pressure washed to remove grime and mildew. While you have the pressure washer out, give your entire house a blasting. Remove a season of grime to reveal a fresh face for the warm weather. Be careful to not use too much pressure on vinyl siding, which can be cracked with a direct water blast.
Once pressure washing is done, it’s time to turn attention to landscape cleanup. Springtime is ideal for re-mulching beds and pruning trees in advance of new growth. Before adding mulch, trim bushes and plantings, removing any dead branches. Trees should be trimmed to encourage healthy growth, but also to provide unobstructed views and avoid growth into windows and siding. Trimming hedges back about a foot from your house also discourages pests, such as carpenter ants, wasps, and spiders from setting up residence in your home.
With a solid plan, spring and summer can be more about enjoyment and less about costly repairs. Annual maintenance reduces costs in the long run, increases your home’s longevity, and provides fun outdoor living spaces. So each spring, before sending your family outside, make sure that they will enjoy every moment safely.
Written by Bret Engle at DIY Guys Thanks Bret!