The Care & Feeding of Your Home: Spring Check List
By “Handyman“ Bob Strong
Now that spring has almost sprung, it’s time to get our homes ready for all the weather that is going to be thrown at it, including lots more rain, wind and eventually a baking sun. Start with a complete walk around the house, checking for and correcting anything on this list that applies:
- Clear leaves and other debris from around the outside air conditioner. Remove the cloth or plastic cover if one was used.
- Clear debris out of window wells, storm drains, gutters, downspouts, and downspout extenders.
- Inspect gutters for signs of sagging or damage. Fix as necessary. Check downspout extenders to make sure they’re firmly attached.
- Trim back overhanging limbs on trees. If allowed to lay on the roof, they can damage it. If they shield too much sun, they can promote the growth of moss. Trim back shrubs if overgrown around house. Allowed to rub the siding, they will damage paint and excess moisture will promote the growth of mold.
- Check weather stripping on windows and doors for fit and condition. Repair as necessary.
- Seek and destroy early signs of bird and stinging insect nests in key spots like eaves, ledges, etc. Once they get a good nest built, you’ll have them for the rest of the season.
- Repair any weather damage/holes/cracks on the roof, siding, trim, and windows.
- Have chimney cleaned and checked (if you didn’t do it in the fall).
- Remove insulation from outdoor faucets, if you haven’t already done so.
- Turn on water to outdoor faucets. Turn on irrigation system; check sprinkler heads. Make repairs as necessary.
- Clean and inspect all window and door screens. Repair or replace as necessary.
- Have air conditioner checked and serviced by a professional.
- Check bricks or blocks for cracked mortar or loose joints.
- Check painted surfaces for paint failure, water damage, or mildew.
- Check caulking where two different materials meet, where wood siding joins the foundation wall, at inside corners, and where the window and door trim meets the siding.
- Check for broken or cracked glass and replace as necessary.
This is the list I used to maintain hundreds of homes during the past two decades. It served me well as a guide. Each home is different, so it’s likely not everything will apply to yours. When you do get finished, however, your home will be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at it. And, best of all, you’ll have peace of mind.
Handyman Bob offers home improvement advice on his radio show, Around the House, every Saturday from noon to 2:00 on FM News 101 KXL. And, during the week, he performs residential and commercial asbestos surveys. Learn more at http://EnviroTest.biz