3 Home Maintenance Tasks That Should Be Your Priority This Spring
Everyone knows about spring cleaning, but most people forget that their homes may need more work and attention than that after a long winter. Proper spring home maintenance isn’t just about the cleaning — it’s about checking that every element of your house is still in good health. In this article, we are going to focus on the most essential tasks so you can get the priorities out of the way first.
Gutters and Downspouts
Cleaning and maintaining your gutters isn’t a fun task, but it’s extremely important. If neglected, they can cause leaks and water damage, and they can also become a nest for rodents, insects, or other pests. A poorly maintained gutter could end up costing you thousands of dollars.
Gutters are likely to be clogged in the spring, especially if you didn’t clear them out after the end of fall. Even if you did, many trees shed their last old leaves at this time of year before growing new ones, and freezing temperatures in the winter may have caused blockages.
Gutter cleaning and repair is quite straightforward. Clear leaves, twigs, and other large debris using a trowel and bucket. Then, hose off the rest, aiming toward a downspout. If the water doesn’t come out the other end, you may have to clear your downspout as well.
Once the gutters are clean, check if there is still standing water and if there are any leaks; if so, you will have to do some basic repairs. For further guidance on this, Lowe’s has a very detailed guide to everything you need to know.
The worst of the winter weather has passed, and now it’s time to check whether there has been any damage to the roof. Roof damage can lead to severe leaks and worrying structural issues, all of which are expensive and time-consuming to fix. Use this roof inspection checklist to look for any issues so you can catch them in time. In particular, look for any damaged or missing shingles and cracked or worn rubber boots.
If you do find any problems, it’s recommended that you hire a reputable professional to fix them. This can feel like a significant expense, but it’s worth it given how dangerous roofing can be. Besides, any problems you hadn’t noticed until now are likely to be minor, which can cost as little as $100 and $400 at the most. Just realize that if there are major issues with your roof, it may need to be replaced. Replacing a roof generally costs between $4,900 and $14,100.
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Your roof isn’t the only area that might have been damaged by the elements over the winter months. Another extremely important feature to check is the foundation, as problems with this could cause irreparable damage to the house. Look out for structural damage by inspecting your foundation for large cracks, loose bolts, or badly aligned joints. Chances are you won’t find anything, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
While you won’t be able to do much about foundation problems without hiring a professional, there are other areas of the house where some DIY can help. For example, it’s quite easy to replace damaged boards on a porch and/or deck, as long as you have the right power tools. All you need to do is pry the damaged boards off, cut new ones in the right size, and sand them down. You may also want to treat your porch to a fresh coat of paint or wood stain, especially if it has been neglected for a few years.
Once you have done these basic tasks, you can start moving your way through the smaller checks and cosmetic maintenance tasks, such as landscaping. It’s a good idea to give yourself a few weekends to work through the list so it’s not too overwhelming. This might also be a good time to refresh your toolbox and make sure that even your most basic implements — such as a good tape measure — are up to scratch. Staying prepared is half the battle!
Brett Engle created Diyguys.net and co-authored with Ray Flynn on their upcoming book How to DIY Damn Near Everything to give others the courage and confidence to pursue DIY projects in their own homes.