Spring is just around the corner, and you know what that means… SPRING CLEANING! A lot of people will only think of things inside the home and cleaning up any unwanted junk that you have collected over the years. Have you ever thought about general spring cleaning on the outside of your home? Spring is a good time to get out there and check over your house to ensure it is still safe and everything is in order. We thought we’d help by giving you a list of spring outdoor home maintenance jobs. Take your time, work through them all and know that your home is not only safe but also looking it’s best!
The great thing about most spring home maintenance concerns are things that almost anybody could do without professional help. However, there are many professionals in a range of different jobs who will be able to come and do any jobs that you do not feel comfortable doing yourself. You may wish to use this as a checklist for your own outdoor home maintenance.
Outdoor Home Maintenance Jobs
1. First on the list of outdoor home maintenance checks is to look over the exterior of your home to see how the siding or brick has held up during the cold weather. If there is any siding missing or damaged, this will need to be replaced. If you need a quick fix, you can protect the interior of the wall temporarily by taping over small areas. You should aim to have it fixed as soon as possible however, or you may find yourself with bigger problems later. Ensure that all brick and masonry surfaces are solid without any whitish powder (efflorescence) on the surface. When it gets really cold in the winter the freezing temperatures can affect the masonry and mortar as moisture soaks in and explands. Efflorescence is a collection of soluble salts which is left behind when water evaporates. To remove it, it’s as simple as brushing the surface, you should then seal the brick or masonry to prevent any further issues.
2. It’s important you examine the foundation of your home. This is especially critical if it’s concrete. You need to be aware of any cracks or discolourations that could point to a water leak or moisture source. If you find any you should seal at treat it as necessary. It’s common to find small fissures but if you find large or gaping cracks, this could potentially be a much bigger problem. If you find these, you should consult a professional as soon as possible.
3. Take a look over the paint on the exterior of the home. How does it look? Are there cracks in the paint or has it started to peel? If so, maybe it’s time to start thinking about a fresh paint job? Don’t only focus on the walls, make sure you look at the edges of windows etc. Sometimes all it takes is a little fresh paint to these trimmings to give your home a fresh, clean look.
4. Examine your gutters and downspouts as part of your home maintenance. It’s important to ensure the sections are tight and the assembly is in good repair. If there are leaves and other debris in your gutters, clean this out as much as possible to ensure the water flows away from the house properly. You may also consider getting gutter guards to prevent this leaf and debris build up in the next season.
5. Look over your roof for damage, and clear away any unwanted mess. This includes removing tree branches, leaves and other debris. Check the shingles of your roof to ensure they are all there and that they are not curled or bucked? If you find cracks in your roof, you will need to have these fixed as soon as possible because they may lead to leaks later on. If you find vines or moss growing on the roof, you may need to have a professional come out to take a look. Although it may look pretty at first, vines and moss are an indication of consistent moisture which can potentially lead to roof failure.
6. Outdoor home maintenance is important if you have a chimney. This will also need checking while you are on the roof. Check the metal surrounding the chimney and make sure this is in good shape. Ensure the chimney is stable and solid and there are no leakages in the roof around it. Clean out the chimney also so it is ready for the next cold weather season.
7. If you have special roof features, such as valleys or skylights, check to ensure there is no stagnant water and look for any possible damage that will need repairing.
8. If you have trees around the home, be sure to remove any tree limbs which are hanging too close. If you leave them too close to the house they can do significant damage in a storm.
9. Check each of the doors and windows looking for any weather damage or cracks. Fix these as necessary. If there are rips or holes in your window and door screens, us a screen repair kit to fix these. If they are too badly damaged replace with new screen.
10. If your home has a deck or balcony, you should make sure this is still in good condition by performing a thorough examination. Push on the railings to test for stability and bounce on the decking boards for testing solidity. If there are any popping nails or missing boards, these will need to be fixed. Ensure the connection to the house is also in good condition and look to make sure there’s no rot or damage. If you can dig into the wood with a screwdriver underneath the deck, and find it to be soft, spongy and easily gouged this could be an indication of dry rot and will need to be treated or replaced.
11. The next step on your outdoor home maintenance is to check the fencing and fix any broken or damaged posts or fences.
12. Finally we reach the end of our outdoor home maintenance tips. Hose over the house to give the outside a clean. This will also help to remove any unwanted spider webs that have been built over the home.