March 20th has come and gone so spring is officially here! The good news is that the sun is shining, warm temperatures are here to stay and those fresh, spring breezes are a pleasant – and most welcome – reminder that winter is behind us. The bad news is that our recently departed winter weather has left its mark on your home and property. The truth is, your post-winter checklist might be pretty long, so we thought we’d pass on a few suggestions on what to look for to ensure that you can get those chores done quickly and start enjoying this amazing spring weather!
Examine Your Gutters
Gutters are a very important part of your homes exterior. They direct rain away from your roof and your home, protecting both in the process. Winter temperatures, snow, rain and hail can do a number on your homes gutters, so now is the time to do a thorough inspection to ensure that they are in proper working order. While you are removing the debris that tends to collect in your gutters, check for signs of normal wear and tear, winter storm damage and most importantly, leaks. Pay close attention to the type of debris in the gutter, excessive shingle granules and debris can be a pretty telling sign that your roof needs some attention. Leaky gutters are not very effective and can result in roof damage. Be sure to check your downspouts. It is important that they are allowing water to drain away from the foundation and that they remain free of any debris.
Closely Examine The Roof
Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. This is especially important if you received hailstorms or extremely low temperatures and snow this winter. Remember, warm temperatures, the sun and spring showers will only serve to exacerbate existing problems. Cracked, buckled and loose shingles should be replaced as soon as possible, and shingles that appear to have suffered granule loss should be replaced as well. Important note: climbing on the roof isn’t for everyone, as a matter of course, we do not recommend the practice. We recommend that you inspect your roof with a good pair of binoculars from the safety of the front and back yard, or engage a roofing professional for a thorough inspection of your roof.
Inspect The Chimney
During the roof inspection, it is a good idea to check the flashing around vent pipes and the chimney. Also be sure to check for cracks and other damage around the exterior of the chimney. Springtime is also the perfect time to have a professional, certified chimney sweep come out to inspect and clean the flue.
Spring is a good time to trim the branches of shrubs and trees away from your house. Keeping branches 5 to 7 feet away from your house will keep them from conducting additional rainwater onto your roof and siding. Additionally, clearing these limbs will discourage squirrels and raccoons from exploring potential nest locations in your attic.
It is important to keep painted surfaces in good repair by scraping off any chipped or peeling paint and repainting any exposed surfaces. Winter storms and exposure to elements can cause heavy wear and tear on painted surfaces. Left untreated, these problem areas can lead to wood rot and severe damage.
Check Foundation Vents
They call it spring-cleaning, and that pertains to the whole house, not just the inside. So, while we’re at it, let’s not forget the foundation vents around your home. Be sure to check screens for damage. Clean the vents by hand or with a shop vacuum. Repairing damaged and broken screens is crucial because rodents of all shapes and sizes can squeeze through even the smallest of openings.
Inspect Yard Damage
Winter brings snow and rain, and snow and rain can cause drainage issues to your property. It becomes important to inspect for low areas in your yard and most importantly, around or near your homes foundation. These areas should be filled with compacted soil. April showers might indeed bring may flowers, but they can most definitely bring foundation flooding and damage as well.
Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home’s foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.
Check Outside Faucets
Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you’re at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.
Service A/C Units
It won’t be too long before your AC will be put into service, so now is the time to have it checked out. CrewPros recommends that you have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate much more efficiently than dirty or clogged coils, so it is important to keep those clean to ensure peak performance. Including an initial annual service call in the spring will ensure that your system is operating properly and efficiently. Additionally, we recommend that you change interior filters on a regular basis.