Preparing Your Home Exterior for Spring Months
As we shake off the last few frosty nights of winter and head into spring, homeowners have the perfect opportunity to get outside and prepare their home’s exterior for the coming season. Winter can be brutal on the exterior of a home, and the beginning of spring is the best time to take stock of any damage and make the necessary repairs before spring rains start to hit.
Clearing the Debris of Winter
Once the snow has melted, if you live in an area where it freezes for long enough that snow accumulates, chances are you’ll find your yard littered with dead tree branches, fallen leaves, and even a few misplaced gardening tools or toys that were left out before the first winter storm. Dead plant material that fell during the winter and was subsequently buried under a layer of snow has had plenty of time absorb moisture, thaw and refreeze, and generally decompose -- a process accelerates when the weather gets warmer. Start your spring preparations by clearing the debris off your lawn, garden, deck, and walkways.
Once the worst of the debris has been cleared, you will likely notice stubborn dirt and grime on sidewalks and stone paths. If your area uses road salt, a residue of salt may remain, which can lead to damage. Hose off walkways the best you can, but for a thorough cleanup, a professional cleaning team can help. The COIT team can have your walkways shining in the spring sunlight in no time.
Repair Any Damage Before the Spring Rains
As you inspect the outside of your home, keep an eye out for damaged caulk, wood separation from the foundation, and siding pieces that may have been loosened by winter weather. Check the seals around doors and windows to ensure they’re still tight, and make repairs as necessary. A fresh layer of paint on your house’s exterior, or at least a few touch-ups, will keep it looking great and provide an extra layer of protection from the elements in the months ahead.
Check and Maintain the Roof and Gutters
Roof shingles have a limited lifespan, and regular roof maintenance is one of the most crucial steps a homeowner can take to protect their investment. A leaky roof is more than just a pain – it can cause extensive structural damage to the home, and lead to moisture-related issues such as the growth of toxic mold. After the rough winter months and before the spring storms hit, check your roof thoroughly for any missing or broken tiles or shingles, or those that are starting to lose their grit -- a sign that they are old and may soon need replacing.
When April showers hit, you need gutters to function correctly. Clear your gutters of leaves and other debris to avoid clogging and water damage, and make sure gutters are both securely fastened and pointing away from the foundation of the house.
Check Water Fixtures
Outdoor water systems can be damaged by freezing water. To make sure all is running smoothly, test any exterior faucets. Try placing a thumb over the spigot when it’s turned on; if you can stop the flow of water, it is likely that there is a damaged pipe somewhere in your system. An intact system should generate enough water pressure to push through. This is also a great time to check any hoses for dry rot, cracking, and other issues.
As we move into spring, take this chance to get outside and prepare the exterior of your home!