Spring Property Maintenance Tips
Winters can be rough on a house. If you want to protect your investment it pays to do a thorough inspection each spring. Here are some important things to carefully examine. Building Exterior
- Roofing. Take a close look. Use binoculars if necessary. Are there any missing shingles? Are any of the shingles twisted, raised, or in some manner not laying flat as they should be? Wherever you observe flashing, does it looked securely fastened? Or, are nails protruding? Has the flashing shifted or rippling?
- Gutters. Are the gutters still firmly attached to the building? Are they entirely clean of debris or do you see pieces from the shingles in the gutters? Does water flow easily through each one of the down spouts without any indication of obstruction?
- Vents and Chimneys. Do you see any signs of damage around the plumbing stacks, skylights, or vents? Are all the bricks in place? Are there any obvious changes in the joints between the bricks? Examine the flashing around plumbing stacks.
- Windows. Was there any condensation inside the double panes during the winter? Is the caulking around each window secure? Are the screens in good repair and ready to have the windows opened?
- Doors. Check the weather stripping around each door. From inside, when the door is closed and latched, do you see light coming in from around the door? Do you feel a breeze? Is the caulking around the door in good condition? Are there any indications of dry rot at the base of the door frames?
- Walls. Carefully inspect the exterior walls around the house/unit. Look closely where the walls meet the eaves. Are there any signs of peeling paint on wooden surfaces?
- Foundation. Are there any cracks or heaving in the foundation?
- Satellite Equipment. If you have a roof-mounted antenna and/or a satellite dish, is it still firmly attached?
- Decks. Are the floor boards, railings, and stairs secure? Is it time to re-stain?
- Lighting. Replace burned out bulbs in any external light fixtures. Check to see if all security devices are working as they should.
- Landscape. Does water flow away from the house? Is there any water under the house in the crawl space or puddling elsewhere? Are any trees or bushes damaged?
- Water Systems. Does the irrigation system work? Are all the faucets and hoses in working order? Are there any signs of leakage?
- Air Conditioning Unit. Is it clear of debris? Is it working efficiently?
- Patio/Driveway. Are there any cracks or other damage to the concrete patio, sidewalks, or driveway?
- Misc. This would be a good time to rake the lawn to remove winter debris and to treat your lawn for weeds. Also, clean/repair all lawn furniture, grills, and summer equipment. This may also be a good time to open the crawl space vents. If you have any trellises or fences, be sure to check them for winter damage as well. Don't neglect to check your mailbox for damage.
- The Attic. Take a flashlight and meticulously examine every nook and cranny of the attic. Look for any signs that some animals, birds, or insects may have made your attic their winter dwelling place. Are there any signs of mold or leakage?
- The Basement. Does the basement 'feel' damp? Is a dehumidifier needed? Are there any cracks in the floor or walls? Are there any signs of mice or termite damage?
- Drains. Are all sinks and tubs draining appropriately? Does the toilet flush easily?
- Misc. This is a good time of year to make sure all filters are changed and/or cleaned - the A/C, the microwave, and any other place where filters are used. Check all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Clean the exhaust vents in the bathrooms. Don't forget to check the hoses on your washing machine and to look for signs of corrosion/leaks around your water heater.
- The old notion of 'spring cleaning' is a good one. Clean all your fans, blinds, and curtains. Remove the cushions from you couches and vacuum underneath. Don't leave anything that will attract insects. Wash all windows inside and out, as well as the screens.
These are some of the most important things to be checking each spring. Depending on where you live and what kind of house you live in there may be other items that will require your attention. Send us any other spring maintenance/cleaning ideas you may have.
Keep in mind that several of the above items should only be repaired by a professional.