This year has been a rough winter for most places, and it’s not over yet. Harsh winters can cause a significant amount of wear and tear in our homes. As spring approaches, you may think that cleaning is the only thing you need to do to recover from the winter months. However, you may need to address some maintenance issues as well. Consider inspecting the following parts of your home to ensure that it stays in prime shape year around.
It’s always a good idea to look around the outside of your home, especially after severe weather. Extreme weather like rainstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms and even extreme temperatures can cause damage to the outside of your property.
Relax, a roof inspection doesn’t always mean that you must climb up there with a ladder. With knowledge of the damage you’re looking for and a good pair of binoculars, you can usually see if there’s trouble. One thing to look for is shingles that have shifted. This problem might suggest that a fastener has failed and needs replacing. Look to see if any shingles are missing or cracked. Also, try to see if any nails are popping up. If they are popping up, that could cause the shingles to become loose, which could cause water to leak underneath.
Whatever siding you may use for your home, look for spots near gutter downspouts and under eaves that may indicate trouble. Water stains may mean that the gutters aren’t containing your water runoff coming from your roof adequately. If you have wood siding, look for areas that are open. Knots that may have popped out and damaged areas can make way for ants and other critters into your home. If possible, you may want to give your siding a good clean with a good, strong pressure washer to prevent the mold from growing on the side of your house.
Windows and Doors
Leakage around windows and doors can cause many problems for your home, including making your electric bill increase. Make sure that the caulking and weather stripping has stayed together and is tight. If It hasn’t, replace weather stripping, scrape old caulking off and replace with new caulk. During the winter months, if you noticed condensation between double or triple paned windows, the weather seal is compromised. If the seal is compromised, the window or glass needs replacing. Remember when cleaning your windows never to use an abrasive cleaner or pressure washer. You don’t want to damage the caulking or scratch the windows. You can clean window and door screens with soft detergent and lay them out to dry, but never power wash screens.
Check your foundation walls, concrete, floors, and masonry for chips and cracks. You can caulk, for the time being, if necessary. Experts suggest that if you can fit a nickel between a crack, call a professional foundation expert immediately. The foundation is an essential part of your home. If the foundation shifts, it can cause a lot of other things to go wrong.
Deck and Porch
Be sure to check your patios, porches, and decks, including your railings and stairs for deterioration and lose parts such as pieces of wood and nails sticking up. Your outdoor wood furnishings should be treated once every four to six years depending on the amount of exposure they receive from the rain, snow, and sun. Hammer down any loose nails, replace pieces of wood if needed, and stain your wood every four to six years to keep the weather from getting the best of your porch, deck, or patio.
Gutters and Downspouts
Clean debris and leaves out of gutters and downspouts. Reattach gutters in places that may have come loose from the house. Run a hose across your roof to check for leaks. If you find any, you can use epoxy or caulking to seal them.
Springtime is often a good time to clean areas that go neglected throughout the year. General cleaning isn’t the only thing on the inside that needs to be done to ensure your home stays in optimal condition.
Dust and vacuum things like railings, window casings, ceiling fans, and tops of cabinets. Wash or dry-clean draperies and use a damp cloth to clean blinds. Vacuum furniture and mattresses. You may consider renting a carpet cleaner if you don’t own one for a deeper clean on your carpets. If you notice a significant amount of grease buildup in your kitchen, you can wash the cabinets and backdrop with water and soft detergent. You can use the same combination in the bathroom where mold and mildew might have accumulated. When cleaning tile, keep an eye out for missing or worn grout which can worsen water damage if not fixed.
This spring, check for clogged drains, leaking faucets, and damp pipes. Check under the sinks to be sure that connections on your hoses and pipes are properly sealed. Make sure there’s no wetness around your dishwasher, as this could indicate a problem. Check your washing machine hoses for dampness, bulges, or cracks.
As springtime approaches, you’ll want to make sure that your air conditioner is in good working order. You’ll want to make Ensure the drain pans are draining freely. Check the hoses for any leaks and change the filter. Vacuum any dust that has built up on the connectors and the unit.
Attics and Basements
Look for any critters or insects that could have invaded your home and check for mold. Basements and attics are prone to dampness unseen in other areas of the house and are often not as well insulated from the outside temperatures. These factors can cause mold to start growing. Mold usually looks like green or black blotches that appear similar to stains. In the basement, look for cracks that start from the base of the walls as this could suggest leaks. Also look at the exposed frame for cracks that are a quarter of an inch thick. If you see any, you may want to do a pest treatment.