Exterior, Home Improvement, Landscape, Siding

12 Home Maintenance Tips For Spring

5857777188_e02dcdf895Spring is rounding the corner into summer and it’s a good time for Midwest and East Coast home owners to do some special home maintenance and repairs.

It’s been rough this year and your home will need a little extra care to bring it back into shape for next winter. Rough weather can cause all sorts of issues, from leaky roofs to cracked siding and decks, potholes in driveways and splintered window caulking (and glass).

Here are 12 tips for easy home repairs that will fix you right up for next year.

1. Check the roof. Are there any missing, curling or partial shingles on your roof? Severe winter and spring weather can blow off or damage shingles, causing other problems such as water leakage and damage to the interior of your home. You can take a pair of binoculars to assess the damage without having to climb a ladder and crawl on top – and you can look on the ground to see if there are stray shingles that have blown off. If the damage is extensive, you’ll want to call a contractor to make repairs as soon as possible.

2. Check the chimney exterior. Cracks and missing bricks are signs of damage. Make sure you call a chimney sweep to inspect and clean the flue.

3. Check the exterior wood for blistering paint. Bad weather and age can cause little bubbles to form under the paint. These bubbles can expand and pop, causing the paint to curl and flake, leaving the wood underneath vulnerable to cracking from ice and snow.

4. Check the siding. If you have vinyl or aluminum siding on your home, you may need to power wash it to keep buildup from staining your siding. Severe weather can cause debris buildup, which can be unsightly.

5. Check your decks for cracks or worn boards. You might find loose or weather-worn boards or the deck supports pulling apart from their foundations. Get this fixed before that first summer BBQ.

6. Clean your gutters.  Clearing the gutters from leaves and debris will prevent water from backing up and pouring over, creating more water force and possible damage to the sides of your home. Clearing the gutters also helps keep your basement from flooding.

7. Check your driveway. Freezing and melting snow and ice can create cracks and potholes in an asphalt driveway. If cracks aren’t filled, they’ll only get worse. If you have a blacktop driveway, it helps to have that sealed every couple of years.

8. Check outside faucets and hoses for any signs of damage. If you can easily stop the flow of water from an outside faucet with your finger, you may have a damaged pipe inside. And be sure your garden hoses are free of dry rot.

9. Check window caulking. Look for gaps and cracks both inside and out. Holding a lit candle close to the edge of a window can show you a visual of a possible draft if the flame flickers or bends. Storm windows can greatly reduce utility bills and decrease heating issues from severe weather.

10. Check for heat loss on walls and ceilings. Heat loss from poor insulation is one of the most expensive costs results from an especially cold winter and spring.

11. Consider a professional home energy audit to find out where your home may be losing heat from poorly installed windows or insulation.

12. Check your heating and cooling equipment as recommended by the manufacturer. Any forced-air furnaces need to be checked and filters replaced. In general, filters should be replaced every month.

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K.M. is an associate at EZ Storage, a Boston self storage facility with three locations in Natick, Newton and Framingham.