Spring is here and along with the milder temperatures, budding trees and outdoor activities comes the annual clean. Taking steps to carry out regular maintenance and repairs on the home will help avoid big problems later down the line. Here is a handy checklist to ensure your home is fresh and ready for the summer season.
• Roof: Shingles that are cracked, buckled, loose or missing should be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys should be checked and, if necessary, repaired by a professional.
• Gutters: Loose or leaky gutters will cause improper drainage which can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Add extensions to downspouts to carry water at least 3 to 4 feet away from the house. Gutters may have expanded and contracted due to winter cold so make certain they are flush to the roof with no sags or dips. Consider having gutters professionally cleaned and gutter guards installed.
• Air conditioner: Having your AC unit serviced by a cooling professional will help save money on energy bills – and be sure to change the filter.
• Doors and windows: Add weatherstripping to the doors and caulk around windows to keep the summer heat outside. Before washing window glass, clean out the sills and tracks with a soft brush or vacuum attachment. Don’t forget to repair screens or clean them by placing on a flat surface and scrubbing with soapy water.
• Exterior surfaces: Remove accumulated dirt, mold and stains from the siding, deck, sidewalks, driveway and garage floor, fences and lawn furniture. Inspect brickwork and stucco for deteriorated mortar. Replace rotted siding or trim and repaint as necessary.
• Water sources: Examine outside faucets for freeze damage and all hoses for dry rot. Check a sprinkler system by running the system through all the zones manually and looking at each of the heads to make certain none are damaged or broken. Observe the water spray and adjust the direction if needed. Fill in any low areas of soil with compacted dirt to avoid flooding and insect breeding.
• Chimney: Call a chimney sweep for an inspection and sweeping and to make certain the caps are in place and the damper is working properly.
• Attic: Remove any bird nests and obstructions over vents, repair damaged soffit panels, check for roof flashing leaks and wet spots in insulation that may require expert attention.
• Gas grill: Clean the grates, burners, drip pans and the outside of the grill. If unfamiliar with the proper method for cleaning the burner assembly, call in a professional.