With the change of seasons, comes a new list of chores and home maintenance concerns – out with the snow-blowing and in with the lawn-mowing. It’s important to look over your property to ensure no damage was done during the cold, winter months, paying close attention to these 9 tasks:
Roof: Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. Shingles that are cracked, loose or missing granules should be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys should be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.
Exterior Walls: Look for water stains, especially under eaves and near gutter downspouts. Stains usually mean your gutters are not flowing properly. If you have wood siding, check for openings, damaged areas or knots that have popped out, making way for any pests that may burrow through.
Gutters: Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Ensure all downspouts drain away from the foundation and clear of any weather debris.
Foundations: Low areas in the yard or near the house should be filled with compacted soil to prevent potential flooding that can be damaging to your homes foundation. Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. Ensure all exterior slabs, except pool decks, drain away from the foundation. Fill any cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete. For serious cracks and openings, ask a foundation specialist about a two-part epoxy injection system that will bond cracks chemically.
Windows: Leakage around windows will let cooled indoor air escape, so check any areas with weather stripping or caulking to ensure they’re still intact. If you experienced condensation inside the glass on double or triple glazed windows during the winter months, the weather seal has been compromised, and either the glass or the window will need to be replaced.
HVAC: 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. Also, be sure to change interior filters on a regular basis.
Decks and Patios: Sweep away any leaves or debris, then check for any loose or damaged boards. If the finish on your wood deck is faded or worn, now is the time to clean, stain and reseal it. For best results on all other decking structures, follow the manufacturers’ recommendations on seasonal care.
Attics: Search for signs of insects and other pests that may have colonized. Search for signs of mold, which often resembles grayish-black blobs or spots. Taking action today to ensure proper insulation and ventilation in the attic will help deter mold growth in the warmer months ahead.
Basements: In addition to pests, check the basement for signs of dampness, which suggests a lack in ventilation and the need for a dehumidifier. Cracks generally start from the bottom up, so check the base of any concrete walls for water penetration. Examine exposed framing for signs of pests and call a pest control company immediately if you see any tunneling on the wood.
By conducting proper, regular seasonal maintenance, you will help maintain your home’s value while maximizing the quality and life of your home for many years to come.