Spring is here and Summer is just around the corner. That means you need to get your home ready for the warm weather. Here are 6 steps that every homeowner should consider
1. Clean Your Gutters & Downspouts to Prepare for Summer Weather
Your gutters can often get clogged. Keep them free of debris by clearing them out on a monthly basis. Downspouts should also be checked and maintained. A downspout should be positioned at least 3 feet away from your home using a water extension or trough so water doesn’t pool around the foundation of your house. Winter can take a toll on gutters, so make sure to inspect them for damage as well. If your gutter is broken, buy a new one and reattach it. Make sure you know how to use a ladder safely before doing so. This Old House offers some great tips on ladder safety you may want to reference should you plan to use a ladder during your home maintenance.
2. Replace or Repair Your Screens to Let the Sunshine in and Keep the Bugs out
Spring may be a great season to enjoy the warmer weather and outdoor activities, but it is also the time when millions of insects hatch. Mosquitoes, spiders, bees, wasps, ladybugs, crickets, and other insects will have a constant presence this Spring and can make their way onto your screens, windows, and into your home. If you have a damaged window screen due the harsh Winter weather, you’ll be inviting a lot more of these critters inside. If your screen has a small tear, make sure to repair it. You can purchase mesh screen repair kits online or at your local home improvement store. If your screen is beyond repair, consider replacing it.
3. Reseal Your Windows if They Have Become Cracked
Window sealant tends to crack or break apart during Winter, so it’s a good idea to reseal the exterior of your windows with caulk, silicone or sealant tape before the rain comes. Start by looking for split or peeling paint or wood that might be rotten. Use a screwdriver to probe joints. If you find rot, fill the damaged area with epoxy resin. If it seems unfixable, remove and replace the rotten wood. Make sure that any caulking and weather stripping is intact. Replace it if needed. You can check for leaks by inspecting areas where different materials meet, like between brick and wood siding. Seal those areas to prevent hot air and bugs from getting in.
4. Clear Your Foundation Vents and Crawlspaces to Keep Animals Away
Make sure to check any exterior accesses that lead to a crawl-space beneath your home. A house with a crawl space that has screened vents along the foundation walls provide air circulation and keep animals from making a home underneath your house. The screens collect debris from Fall and Winter, so Spring is a great time to clean them out and check for damage. Clean the vents and repair any damaged screens.
5. Seal Your Chimney to Stay Cool as the Heat Starts to Kick up
If you have a fireplace, you should consider sealing off your chimney in Spring. Just closing the vent won’t help keep cool air in. Nor will it keep squirrels, birds, insects, and other creatures from accessing your home. To keep your house cool and keep critters at bay you can purchase an inflatable chimney-sealant kit. Imagine a balloon that expands inside your chimney. Before you use a kit, make sure to clean your chimney first with a brush. Before you start brushing, protect your home’s interior from soot by covering the fireplace with a tarp and a shop vacuum. You can find some great chimney cleaning tips at Family Handyman’s website.
6. Check Your Roof for Damage Before a Small Problem Turns into a Big One
It’s important to inspect your roof for damage. Broken shingles or other problems can quickly turn into a big problem when those Spring showers show up. Look for:
- Cracks or tears, blisters or wrinkles
- Shingles that are missing, moldy or decayed, broken or buckled
- Cracked caulk, rust spots, tears, or buckling around roof penetrations on flashing
- Decay or stains on soffits and fascia
Don’t be afraid to call in a roofer for an inspection, instead of taking the risk yourself. A trained professional will be prepared for the dangers of working on a roof and has the tools to inspect it for damage.
By taking care of these unexpected issues, your home will be on the right track for Summer readiness. Taking the time to carefully inspect and repair issues around your home can pay off more than you know in the long run.
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