Once the last snow has fallen, and the deep freezes have passed, it’s time to take stock of what damage winter might have done, as well as catch up on any fall home improvement projects you didn’t get to.
Remember, home maintenance not only has the immediate benefit of increased comfort, it also saves you the cost of expensive repairs down the line. Here are some key areas to focus on.
Start at the top. Break out your ladder and scan your roof for any missing shingles or other damage caused by winter’s freeze-and-melt cycle. Also, keep an eye out for any moss, which could cause shingles to curl, and, potentially, blow off in high winds. Any dark streaks you see are likely caused by algae and are not a threat to the integrity of the roof. You can remove the moss (and algae) yourself using a solution of bleach and water. Click here for a guide on how to do that. For other roof repairs you may need to call a professional.
Declutter your gutters. It’s time to clear out any debris that might have collected during the winter. Keeping your gutters clear is critical to ensuring they work properly and don’t cause water to back up on your roof and into your house. Again, it’s important to be mindful of your safety when working off of a ladder. Follow these tips for how to clean out your gutters.
Get cracking. Next, it’s time to check your foundation for any new cracks that might have formed over the past few months. While you’re at it, do a check on your driveway and any brick or concrete walkways or other surfaces, like an outdoor patio. You may be able to fill in smaller cracks with silicone caulk or concrete fillers. For more serious damage, replacing the concrete may be necessary.
Don’t forget your faucets. Turn on any outdoor faucets to make sure they are in working order. One trick is to put your thumb over the opening. If the flow of water stops, you should consider calling a plumber. Also, look out for any visible leaks.
Do some window dressing. Hopefully, before the winter, you caulked up or taped over any gaps in your windows, to keep the heat from escaping and the cold air from slipping in. If you didn’t, you can still save on energy bills down the road by doing so now. And, if you did, go back over your work to fix any loose caulking or tape.
Show your AC some TLC. Make sure your HVAC filters have been replaced. This should be done every three months to protect the air quality in your home. Keeping the filters clean also could save you up to 15 percent on energy bills. Now is also a good time to get your AC professionally serviced.
We hope these tips help get you in shape for the start of spring. Remember, keeping up with maintenance not only benefits your home, it also protects your wallet, as your homeowner’s insurance does not cover costs due to negligence.