Perform these simple home maintenance jobs to fend off potential moisture problems, prevent costly repairs, and pave the way for a trouble-free summer.
1. Clean Gutters
What? Again? Yup, consider this the early-spring edition of a twice-yearly (at least) outdoor maintenance task (a big reason folks love single-story houses). Look in gutter bottoms for loose granules that signal your asphalt roof may need replacing.
2. Inspect Your Roof
If you’re cool with heights, do an inspection from a securely set ladder. If not, use a pair of binoculars. You’re looking for: curled and missing shingles, rusted and pitted flashing, and cracked caulk around pipe collars, skylights and other roof penetrations.
3. Repair Paint
Keep painted surfaces in good repair by scraping off any chipped and peeling paint and spot painting exposed surfaces. Pressure wash your home’s exterior and look for any chips in the paint. Exposed wood can rot, so give worn areas a new coat.
4. Trim Overgrowth
Spring is an excellent time to trim branches of shrubs and trees away from your house —get an early start before leaves grow and while you can see individual limbs. Keep branches 5 to 7 feet away from your home so they can’t conduct moisture onto your roofing and siding. You’ll also help discourage squirrels and raccoons from exploring ways to nest in your attic.
5. Ensure Good Drainage
Good drainage is the soul of a happy house. To keep your hacienda smiling (and help put the kibosh on mold, mildew, termites and basement leaks), check to make sure the soil slopes away from foundation walls at least six vertical inches over 10 feet. That’ll move rain and snowmelt far enough away to prevent problems.
6. Check Foundation Vents
A house with a crawl space has vents along the foundation walls. The vents provide air circulation that helps dissipate excess moisture and prevent mold growth. The vents have screens that keep critters from taking up residence under your residence. The screens usually are recessed and become catch-alls for leaves, twigs and assorted debris.