Spring Fever: Home Maintenance After A Long Winter

Do you wash your car? Do you change the oil, too? Well, what about your home? In most instances a persons' home is their single largest investment and often times one of the most neglected areas. Whether you live in a new home or an old rustic farmhouse, your home needs on-going maintenance, especially after a long hard winter. Winters can be particularly hard on a structure. Items that were in good condition before the onset of winter may now need some tender loving care. Spring time when we change our clocks to Daylight Savings Time is the perfect time to perform this maintenance. It's also a likely time when energy levels are high for a person, desiring to burn off some "cabin fever". Below is a listing with maintenance suggestions for some of the more likely areas your home will need after-winter maintenance.

Gutter / Downspouts: These areas in particular are hard hit. Fasteners may be loose causing the spouting to sag and function improperly. They may need cleaning to remove debris. Ensure all downspouts are properly connected and diverting water away from the structure. Make sure all joints are properly sealed. With April showers inevitable, you'll need properly functioning spouting.

Porches / Decks: These areas receive a tremendous amount of wear and tear from snow and ice laying on them, and often times shoveling removes the top layer of sealant. Ensure all these areas are properly sealed before summer. Re-Secure any loose steps, boards or rails.

Roofs: The harsh winter may have caused some shingles to become loose, blown off or missing. Repair any of these damaged areas in order to properly protect the interior of the structure. This is also a good time to seal around any roof projections such as chimney's, skylights, etc.

Air Conditioning: Hard to believe, but soon it will be hot. Spring is a great time to have your air-conditioning system cleaned and serviced. This servicing should always be done by a professional technician. It will include checking the need for refrigerant, cleaning filters and cleaning the outside compressor unit.

Smoke Detectors: This is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and check for proper operation. HHI recommends changing batteries every time you change your clocks.

Outside Faucets: Open up your outside faucets and make sure there is no visible damage or leaks from frozen pipes. Repair as necessary.

General Overview: Walk around your home and evaluate each side. High winds, ice and driving snow may have caused vinyl siding to become loose or missing. Aluminum soffit / fascia areas may be loose or missing as well. Make sure all window screens are in tact and in good condition. Make sure your electrical service entry cable is properly secured to the structure and has not come loose.

In Summary, protect your investment. All houses, new and old, require periodical and on-going maintenance. Spring time is one of the best two times of the year to perform this much necessary maintenance. An out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude will quickly allow your home to deteriorate. It is also much more costly to make repairs after years of neglect rather than simply perform general maintenance.