With warmer temperatures and longer days, spring is a perfect time to perform routine home maintenance. Here is a list of 10 tips that can help you identify any problem areas caused by winter weather and prepare your home for the warmer days to come:
1.) Roof and Gutters
Winter can be hard on your roof. Be sure to check for cracked or missing shingles and any shingle shift. Fixing this issue may only require replacing a few shingles or fasteners. Clear your roof and gutters of all debris buildup. Regular gutter maintenance and inspecting downspouts can also help prevent future foundation issues.
2.) Exterior Walls
Examine areas around downspouts and under eaves. Keep an eye out for water stains, as these can be signs of inadequate runoff. Peeling paint can leave your siding more susceptible to moisture which can lead to costly future repairs. Wood siding? Look for signs of rot and openings that may give way to insects, rodents or birds.
After the harsh winter months, you should inspect your home for foundation problems. Cracks in your foundation, even small ones, can lead to major structural problems if left unrepaired. If you see bricks cracking, bowing walls or gaps in windowsills, it’s time to call USS for a FREE estimate.
Examine the exterior of your chimney for signs of damage, especially the joints between bricks or stones. Notice something growing or a white calcium-like deposit? These are signs your joints are absorbing water, instead of repelling. It may be time to re-seal. If your chimney is tilting or leaning, this is a symptom of a failing foundation and you will need to consult a foundation repair expert, like USS.
5.) Basement or Crawlspace
Spring is usually a rainy season and can be an excellent time to check your basement or crawlspace for water damage. Common signs of water entry can include: mold or moisture damage, musty odors, condensation on A/C ductwork, insulation or pipes, buckled hardwood floors and rotting in floor joists. USS offers FREE interior or exterior waterproofing estimates to help you find the best solution and create a healthier home for your family.
6.) Preventing Leaks
Take the time to test faucets, inside and out, for signs of leakage. Clogged drains and sweaty pipes can also be signs of trouble. Don’t forget your appliances! Check around your dishwasher for water stains and examine all washing machine hoses for cracks, bulges or dampness.
7.) Air Conditioner
Don’t wait until the heat of summer to check your air conditioner! Turn your unit on and make sure it works. Some simple tasks that can help keep your unit running smooth are: clearing debris from the outdoor coils, changing interior filters, checking hoses for leaks and cleaning the return grills.
8.) Dryer Vents
Did you know that dryers were the cause of more than 15,500 U.S. home fires in 2010? Cleaning lint and other debris from the dryer duct and vent can help prevent fires from occurring. Pay attention to warning signs such as increased drying time, clothing and machine temperature, and burning smells. Also, check your outdoor vent hood opening to make sure it closes. These areas are notorious for bird nests.
9.) Driveways and Sidewalks
Notice the cracks in your sidewalk or patio grew during the winter? When water gets into a smaller crack and freezes, it expands creating larger cracks. If your concrete is sinking, cracking or tilting, don’t replace it…raise it instead! With the USS “PolyLift” System, concrete leveling and repair is eco-friendly, moisture resistant and takes minutes, not days. Contact USS for a FREE estimate today!
Trimming tree branches back about 5-7 feet away from house helps keep moisture away from roof and siding plus it keeps out unwanted visitors, like squirrels and raccoons. Did you know trees and their roots can affect your home’s foundation? Pay special attention to the species of trees, distance of the trees to your home and if the trees existed before your home was built. Check the direction of your sprinklers and irrigation systems. Water sprayed toward or against your foundation may cause flooding in your basement or crawlspace.
By examining your home and addressing issues in a timely manner, you can prevent larger, more expensive repairs in the future. We recommend inspecting twice a year, in the fall and spring, to keep your home in top condition.