Spring’s arrival means time for spring cleaning, however it’s not limited to the interior of your dream home. Protect your investment, and your family, by performing some routine exterior maintenance.
Here is part one of our spring home maintenance checklist.
1. Clean gutters and downspouts. After the last Southeast Michigan frost, it’s time to clean your gutters and downspouts. Failing to clean gutters can result in major damage such as causing a flood in your basement. Also, when gutters and downspouts are clogged, the wood trim surrounding the eaves may rot which welcomes a variety of critters into your attic. Gutters and downspouts that flow properly ensure that water will be diverted away from your house instead of accumulating around its foundation. Fortunately, cleaning gutters won’t take more than hour. Wear heavy-duty gloves, climb a ladder and pull all of the leaves and debris out. Short on time? You can usually hire someone to perform this task for approximately $40.
2. Seal openings to block insects and varmints. The next step to protecting your dream home from these unwelcomed guests is to seal all of the openings around the foundation. Pay particular attention to the areas where wires and pipes poke into your home. Spray a can of foam available at home improvement and hardware stores for around $6. According to the NPMA (National Pest Management Association), termites cause $5 billion in property damage in the U.S. annually. To thwart insects, minimize all moisture from the foundation by fixing leaky faucets, pipes and air conditioning units. All standing water is an invitation for mosquitos, so do everything possible to eliminate such areas. If you have mature trees, trim them away from your home.
3. Inspect and protect paths and driveways. The fluctuation of freezing and thawing wreaks havoc on concrete, pavers, asphalt and other hardscaping materials. Walk around your home’s paths, driveways and walkways to see if any areas need to be patched. While asphalt can be patched, damaged concrete requires full replacement. Consider renting, borrowing or buying a power washer because it removes mildew and discoloration in a flash, which will help extend the life of your hardscape surfaces. Caution—many people assume power washing decks is safe, however its force is so strong, the water may damage your deck’s wood fibers.
4. Perform deck maintenance. Southeast Michigan’s snow and rain in the winter months, and scorching sunlight during the summer months, are extremely harsh on deck surfaces. Decks should be sealed every year as each season’s temperature cycles and absorption cause wood to rot faster than in consistently temperate climates. To protect the expensive investment you made in your deck, be sure to seal it and if needed, re-stain it.
Check back next week when we share the next items up on our spring home maintenance checklist—sprinkler and irrigation systems; screen doors and windows, and more!
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.