Spring Checklist for the Exterior of your House

Monday, March 14 2016 11:17 AM

You’ve got a to do list of things that need accomplishing before the heat and chaos of the summer returns. Spring is a great time to do all kinds of things around your home.

Here’s a checklist of things that you’ll need to follow up on as the weather gets warmer. 

  • ROOFING: Don’t risk injuring yourself by getting on your roof to look for problems. You can do a pretty thorough inspection from the ground with binoculars or camera to check for things like missing or heavily weathered shingles. You can also inspect the ceilings inside your home to look for water stains that may indicate you have a roof leak.
  • CHIMNEY: Often overlooked, the chimney is one of the first areas for a leak to develop. If it is a stone or masonry chimney, look for damaged grout that may be letting water inside. If it has siding, look for deterioration and especially rust or damage to the flashings. Also, make sure the damper works properly and have the flue cleaned by professionals if it has been several years since your last service.
  • GUTTERS: Your guttering system definitely requires the most frequent inspection and needs cleaning often unless you have a leaf protection system. Even just a few leaves and well placed sticks can block up your entire system and prevent it from protecting your home from water intrusion. Make sure these are properly cleaned and that you have downspout extensions long enough to move the water away from your foundation.
  • SIDING: Most siding materials are not maintenance free and even those should still be inspected every year. Check for signs of decay to see if anything needs repaired or replaced, especially if the material is brittle to the touch or if your house key can penetrate any surface more than 1/8” without significant pressure. Also, look to see if it is time for a complete house painting project or maybe some caulking and paint touchup can help your siding last longer.
  • WINDOWS: Check and operate your windows first. These are good for letting in a breeze but they can be a very important escape route in case of an emergency so make sure that you and others in your home understand how they work. Inspect the weather-stripping on your windows to make sure they are keeping the outdoor air out. Look for fogged up glass and potential rotten areas that may indicate you will need them professionally replaced.
  • DOORS: Of course look for rot, decay, and weather-stripping, but also inspect the security of your doors. If a lock or handle needs replaced, do it immediately so that you don’t put you or your loved ones at risk of an intruder.
  • DECK: Check the safety of your deck first. Are there any soft spots? Is there any unusual movement in the deck or stairs when you are walking on it? Then, replace any protruding nails or screws for security and to prevent tripping hazards. The first places to check for wood rot is in areas that water accumulates, like where the posts meet the ground or flat areas that hold water the longest.
  • PLANTS: Make sure all of your trees, shrubs, and vines are properly trimmed to keep the plants away from the home. Growing into your walls or rubbing on your roof can quickly deteriorate the materials on your home and can become costly repairs.
  • FOUNDATION: Do an interior and exterior visual inspection of your foundation and basement walls. If you see noticeable cracks or shifting, you should document these areas so that you can tell if they are an ongoing problem or not. Your household caulking won’t fix these problems, but a professional foundation repair company that uses a 2-part epoxy system may be able to stop any water intrusion and possibly prevent further damage.
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