The focus of spring home maintenance is to clean up after winter and get ready for summer. Spending time on your home exterior not only boosts curb appeal but it can also increase your property’s value. While the temperatures are getting nicer, spring can be moody – save DIY projects like staining the deck or painting the siding for the summer. A good rule to follow is to start at the top and work your way down to the ground.
Inspect the roof and then follow-up.
Start by inspecting the roof either from the ground or on a ladder, using binoculars. Don’t walk on the roof unless it’s necessary. Look for signs of winter damages such as:
- Missing roofing shingles
- Worn shingles especially in roof valleys where cross wash can become problematic
- Cracked, broken, or curled/warped shingles
- Large patches of damp tiles
- Raised nail heads
- Loose or damaged flashings at the eaves and around chimneys, skylights, vents, and dormers
After inspecting the roof make a list of anything that requires your attention. Since most types of roof damage, including the appearance of moss or mold, can lead to water being allowed in between roofing shingles and the underlayment where it can cause wood rot, leaks, and other issues, follow-up with repairs as soon as possible.
Schedule a gutter cleaning for late spring.
Whether it’s one of your usual DIY projects or you hire professional gutter cleaning service, plan on cleaning the gutters in late spring after the blossoms, seed pods, etc. have fallen from the trees. After removing all of the debris that built-up during the winter months, take a garden hose and flush water through the gutter system to check for any blockages in the gutter troughs and downspouts.
Once the gutters have been thoroughly cleaned, inspect the gutter system for:
- Loose hardware, including brackets that keep the downspouts secured to exterior walls
- Missing hardware
- Sagging or missing gutter troughs
- Faded sections (vinyl gutters) or dents (aluminum gutters)
- Worn seams and leaks
Inspect and clean the siding.
Before cleaning the siding check for any damage. Especially if you intend on using a power washer to clean your home’s exterior, you will want to fix any damaged siding panels prior to applying water. Clear away any objects leaning against the siding. Trim back trees and shrubs that have come into contact with the siding or can scrape the siding on a windy day.
After the prep work’s done you’re ready to clean the siding. Apply water to the siding using a garden hose or a power/pressure washer. If water alone doesn’t get the siding clean, remove stubborn stains and mold and mildew growth with a mild detergent/warm water solution and a soft-bristled brush. Rinse the siding to remove soap or cleaning solution residue.
To protect your home exterior from future water damage, make necessary repairs. If needed seal the repaired areas with the appropriate sealant or caulk.
Take a look at exterior windows and entry doors.
Wash the windows and make them sparkle. Use our brief spring window cleaning guide to help you get started. Remove accumulated grime from entry doors with mild soapy water.
Replace cracked, broken, or missing window panes. If your entry doors include glass panels check seals for damage.
Replace worn or damaged weather stripping.
Inspect window and door trim for cracks, holes, gaps, and peeling paint. Make the necessary repairs.
Ensure hardware on windows and doors is clean and in good working order.
Look for signs of foundation damage.
Take a walk around your home and look for signs of damage to the foundation. Types of damage include pitting, hairline cracks, and vertical cracks large enough to place a finger up to the first joint. Pitting and hairline cracks can be temporarily repaired with silicone caulk or concrete fillers. However, keep in mind that pitting and small cracks are often an indication of shifting which will only increase with time. For large vertical cracks consult a construction contractor and ask for an estimate for how much the repair will cost.