You may be busy thinking about working on your lawn and garden but don’t forget the other areas of your property. Winter weather is tough on the exterior of your home as the cold temperatures, ice, and snow can leave it slightly damaged and dirty. This can drastically affect the appearance of your home. Regular maintenance and cleanup can help reduce the damage that might occur during a storm or heavy rains. So, roll up your sleeves, go outside, and get after these simple maintenance jobs. Keep your place in tiptop shape to fend off potential problems and unexpected repairs. The following Spring outdoor home maintenance tips will get your property cleaned up and ready for the warm weather.
Gutters are one of the most important things to hit during your spring cleaning session. If the gutters on your property are blocked, heavy spring rains can cause some serious damage. When gutters are blocked, water doesn’t drain properly resulting in lots of moisture settling near the foundation of your home. This can cause serious flooding in the basement and even damage the foundation. Properly cleaned and functional gutters will direct water away from the foundation and disperse it.
The salt and grime of the winter might be caked up on outdoor surfaces around your property. Make sure you inspect your property and figure out what areas need to be pressure washed to get back to their warm-weather glory. Make a list of everything you want to hit and inspect it prior to your cleaning session. You’ll want to be sure that there is no damage on surfaces you’ll be blasting with high pressure.
Inspect Your Roof
Your roof does the hard work of shielding you from rain, hail, snow and scorching heat. Return the favor with some TLC — knowing your roof is a system where little problems can turn into big headaches. If you’re cool with heights, do an inspection from a securely set ladder. If not, use a pair of binoculars. You’re looking for: curled and missing shingles, rusted and pitted flashing, and cracked caulk around pipe collars, skylights and other roof penetrations. The typical lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is 15 to 20 years. How do you know? Lots of granules in your gutters is one tip-off that your roof may be getting old. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, it’s time to replace the roof.
Sidewalks and Other Asphalt
Winter’s varying temperatures, combined with snow and ice treatment methods, can wreak havoc on your asphalt. The expanding and contracting of winter moisture will most certainly cause damage to your asphalt over time. Be sure to inspect all the asphalt on your property for damage. Once you have a full picture of the damage, make a plan for repair. Potholes in driveways can cause serious damage to vehicles, while cracks and crevices in sidewalks can cause personal injury. You’ll save money in the end if you get right on repairing any damage before disaster strikes.
Spring is a good time to trim branches of shrubs and trees away from your house – get an early start before leaves grow and while you can see individual limbs. Keep branches 5 to 7 feet away from your house so they can’t conduct moisture onto your roofing and siding. You’ll also help discourage squirrels and raccoons from exploring ways to nest in your attic. Always use clean landscaping trimmers and cutters to prevent the spread of plant diseases. Clean off blades with a little bleach on a rag, and dry the cutting surfaces thoroughly. Keep tools sharp to prevent tearing bark.
Check Foundation Vents
A house with a crawl space has vents along the foundation walls. The vents provide air circulation that helps dissipate excess moisture and prevent mold growth. The vents have screens that keep critters from taking up residence under your residence. The screens usually are recessed and become catch-alls for leaves, twigs and assorted debris. Spring is a great time to clean out foundation vents and check screens for damage. Clean the vents by hand or a shop vacuum. Repair any damaged screens knowing that a rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, and mice can get inside a hole barely bigger than the diameter of a pencil!
Keep painted surfaces in good repair by scraping off any chipped and peeling paint and spot painting exposed surfaces. The worst thing you can do is leave wood exposed, because that’s when it will begin to rot. Choose a warm (but not hot) dry day to spot paint. Scrape off any failing paint. Sand it down so there are no rough edges, prime the bare wood and paint it with a high-quality exterior paint. To best camouflage your spot-paint job, paint boards completely from seam to seam.
As you check over your house, if any substantial damage is found, contact Xtreme Home Improvement to help with needed repairs and rebuilds. This will ensure the job gets done right the first time and your home will be protected from future issues. Enjoy the time you spend outdoors and your safe, comfortable home.