Spring Maintenance Checklist
Spring has sprung; it’s time to bring out the spring maintenance checklist! The snow has finally disappeared, and our post-winter homes have revealed themselves. The harsh climate of the Upper Midwest can take a toll on the exterior, and there are consequences of being closed up all those months.
A top-to-bottom, all around examination is in order. If your home is more than a single story, a pair of binoculars may come in handy.
Roof: A thorough inspection can identify potential areas of concern. Specifically, loose, damaged or missing shingles will need to be addressed.
Chimney: The chimney cap should be securely attached and the mesh intact. The bricks and mortar should be free of cracks. The flashing is a little trickier. This article gives a detailed description of what to look for.
Gutters: The weight of snow and ice can shift gutters, causing them to not flow in toward the downspout or leak at seams.
Siding: Look for loose pieces of steel, aluminum, vinyl or fiber cement siding. In brick, stone or stucco siding, cracks and areas pulling away from the wall are the telltale signs of needed repair.
Windows: Broken or loose screens and panes are the most obvious, along with missing caulk.
Wood trim and structure: Flaking, peeling paint and exposed or rotting wood are the issues here.
Foundation: Cracks and bulges can indicate a variety of issues. A foundation pro may be warranted depending on the extent.
Air-conditioning units: Clear debris and leaves and inspect hoses, at a minimum.
The spring maintenance checklist doesn’t just cover the exterior of your home.
Ceilings: Dark stains, especially along exterior walls can be signs of ice dam damage. Water travels, however, making the source of the water intrusion tricky. A roofing pro may be needed to help discover the problem area.
Windows: The same observations as from the exterior – broken panes and damaged screens may be more easily visible from inside.
Furnace: Furnace filters, on average, should be replaced monthly. If it hasn’t been part of your regular home maintenance, it definitely needs to be on the spring maintenance checklist!
Attic: Leaks often are apparent first in the attic, especially if they originate around the chimney. But leaks from nail pops and other issues can be easily discovered here as well. The creepier issue? Animals and rodents that may have decided to make your home their home.
Basement: Whether your basement is finished or unfinished, look for leaks around windows,
Having completed the spring maintenance checklist inspection, what’s next? The to-do list! Using your inspection notes as a guide, create a list of exactly what needs to be replaced or repaired. Note which professionals should be contacted.
It’s also time for spring cleaning! Washing windows inside and out, dusting those hard-to-reach corners of the ceiling, and shaking out rugs signals the change of season. Add a room-by-room cleaning list to that to-do list. Kitchens are often the gathering place in the cold, winter months – comfort meals and holiday baking take a toll.
This is also a great time to contemplate changes and upgrades you’d like to make. Maybe it’s time for that addition, finishing the basement or redoing the kitchen. Or perhaps it’s time to freshen the look with new paint. In any case, design-build firms are a great resource.