It is almost spring and the spring-like weather has already been here for few weeks in many parts of the country. Some homeowners have already begun to straighten up after the mild winter we’ve had.
It’s a good idea to make a habit of cleaning and maintaining your home every year in the spring and fall. Here are five major areas to look at as you get started.
5 Spring Exterior Home Maintenance Tips
- Analyze Your Roof
It’s a good idea to start by walking around your property especially after a storm. Take a look at any damage that might have been done. We’re getting a series of early spring thunderstorms here in Michigan because of the warm weather.
However, no matter how mild winter may be, a roof inspection is a good idea. Snow and ice can be hard on your roof. We strongly recommend not climbing up on your roof to make an inspection due to safety precautions.
You can spot potential trouble areas with binoculars or with your naked eye. Look for shingle shifting as it may mean some fasteners need replacing. In addition, look for any cracked or missing shingles or nail pops. This is when popping nails push the tabs of shingles up. This isn’t a good situation for your roof, as water can get in through the gaps.
Call your roofing company right away to come replace and straighten anything that needs help.
- Check Your Chimney(s)
Again, from the ground, examine your chimney especially if you have a brick or stone chimney. The mortar joints and bricks should be checked for:
- If they are cracked or missing sections
- If there is any plant life growing in them
- Spalling or cracked brick faces
- White staining on the brick facing
The presence of any of these symptoms indicates that there is some water infiltration into your chimney. The white stuff – called efflorescence – will tell you that your joints aren’t repelling water but absorbing it.
Call a professional to closely examine your chimney to fix and re-seal it with a clear water-resistant barrier.
- Investigate Your Walls and Gutters
Take a good look at any trouble spots on your home’s exterior walls, which are typically under your eaves and near downspouts. Water stains on your wood siding, stucco or brick will tell you that you may have water infiltration issues.
Look for openings, damaged areas or missing knots in the wood especially if you have wood siding. These areas are sitting ducks for ants, birds, squirrels or any other animal that finds it and decides to make a new home there. Have your gutters cleaned and re-secured if they are loose
- Take a Close Look at Your Windows
Any damaged or missing caulking around your windows should be replaced as the first line of defense. While it’s mild outside, you might not notice a difference, but when colder or warmer weather hits, it’ll show up on your energy bill.
Cracked or missing caulk is almost certainly causing a leak. Most likely a leak that is slowly rotting wood while you don’t even notice it.
Condensation on the inside of your double-pane windows indicates that the seals of your glass are compromised. In this case, make a note, and have the glass or the window replaced. This indicates it’s no longer sealing properly.
Next, clean your windows inside and out. Never use a high-pressure spray washer on the outside, or on your screens. It could scratch the glass or crack the caulk and will damage the mesh on your screens. Use a mild detergent on your screens after removing them and let them air dry.
- Scrutinize Your Foundation
Spring is a great time to check for any cracks in your home’s foundation. You need to check it top to bottom and if you find any cracks, call a professional. It’s normal for a foundation – especially in an older house – to settle and cause some minor cracking.
If you want to keep your basement leak-free, these cracks need to be dealt with. Caulking will not solve this problem, so you probably shouldn’t do this one on your own. A professional will use a two-part epoxy injection system which will chemically bond the cracks together.
As you build your annual spring exterior home maintenance checklist, these things will become routine and you’ll be confident you know what to look for. Routine maintenance is the best way to save money on home repair.
If you live in the Southeast Michigan area, give us a call. We would be honored to help.