Most homeowners know seasonal maintenance is a must. Spring is
the perfect time for routine maintenance checks on many areas
of your home. But how do you decide what needs to be done, and
in what priority?
The experts at ServiceMagic.com,
a Web site
that helps connect homeowners with prescreened contractors in their
area, offer the following checklist to help you shape up your home for
Gutters and downspouts: Remove leaves and debris from
and downspouts. Reattach gutters that have pulled away from the house.
Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drainage. If leaks exist,
dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.
Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from
growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If
wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer
coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand
smooth before painting. (Also see -> All about siding - a homeowner's guide.)
Exterior caulking: Inspect caulking and replace if deteriorating.
Scrape out all the eroding caulk and re-caulk the needed area.
Window sills, door sills, and thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges,
repaint or replace if necessary.
Window and door screens: Clean screening and check for holes. Holes
bigger than a quarter leave plenty of room for bugs to climb in. Patch
holes or replace the screen. Save bad screen to patch holes next year.
Tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint. Replace
broken, worn, or missing hardware. Wind can ruin screens and frames
that are allowed to flap and move, so make sure they are securely
fastened. Tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.
Drain waste and vent system: Flush out system.
Hot water heater: Lubricate circulating pump and motor.
Evaporative air conditioner: Clean unit, check belt tension and
adjust if needed. Replace cracked or worn belt.
Heat pump: Lubricate blower motor.
Foundation: Check foundation walls, floors, concrete and masonry for
cracking, heaving, or deterioration. If a significant number of bricks
are losing their mortar, call a professional. If you can slide a nickel
into a crack in your concrete floor, slab or foundation, call a
Roof: Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves and soffits. Check
flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls.
Decks and porches: Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs and
railings for loose members and deterioration. Open decks and wood
fences need to be treated every four to six years, depending on how
much exposure they get to sun and rain. If the stain doesn't look like
it should, or water has turned some of the wood a dark gray, hire a
professional to treat your deck and fence. (Also see -> Deck trends for new decks and makeovers.)
Landscape: Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushes that
are touching structures. Limbs and leaves can cut into your home's
paint, requiring that side of the house to be repainted. A little
trimming can save a lot of money and time. (Also see -> Early spring garden guide - what to do in the yard and garden now.)
Sprinklers: Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed
lines and improperly working sprinkler heads. If there is an area of
your yard that collects too much water or doesn't get enough, run the
sprinklers to figure out the problem. If it's not something you can fix
yourself, call a professional before your lawn needs the water.
About The Author... To locate professionals who can help you with your spring maintenance
check list, visit www.servicemagic.com.