Common Home Maintenance Issues That Arise as Weather Warms
As the weather starts to warm up and thoughts turn to spring, the musings of the homeowner often turn toward maintenance.
Indeed, as snow melts and rain begins to arrive in larger quantities, there are a number of maintenance items that become important.
Failure to correct any problems quickly can lead to potentially expensive or large-scale repairs or replacements down the line.
Between snow melt and spring rains, there is a lot of water for the ground to absorb or shrug away in run-off. This can cause localized lawn or garden flooding.
You may also find yourself with a broken irrigation system. According to The Sprinkler Guy, not taking measures during winterization to drain the water from your sprinkler system can require expensive repairs later.
A professional can get your system back in working order and help your drainage system to remove excess water from your grounds. Be especially wary of water pooling near your foundation, which can cause cracks and leakage.
Broken HVAC Unit
As you start to stare down the prospect of summer heat, you’ll want to make sure your air conditioning unit is in proper working order after going through winter.
This is especially important for units that are left uncovered and exposed to snow and ice. It is usually worth having your HVAC unit professionally inspected and cleaned in the springtime.
Not only will this ensure that the unit is operable, it may catch small problems before they turn into big ones that require replacement of the whole unit.
With melting snow and heavy rains, this is a common time for roofs to spring a leak. While hiring a professional inspector can be a good idea, according to Certainteed, there is plenty of opportunity for a homeowner to keep an eye on things.
Walk around at ground level and look for piles of decomposing leaves or algae growth on the roof. Missing, curling or damaged shingles and tiles are all leaks waiting to happen.
If any problems are noticed, use a ladder to access the roof. However, always take safety precautions when going onto a roof or ascending above one story. Don’t forget to inspect and clean out gutters. You may also wish to check your attic for signs of leaking or dampness.
Your driveway and pavement are prime areas for winter problems to become evident in spring.
The cycle of freezing, unfreezing and refreezing plus the addition of salt or ice-melting chemicals and the incessant ploughing or shovelling of snow can wreak havoc on your asphalt or even concrete.
According to Greenway Industries, repairing cracked asphalt is important to prevent further damage. Use asphalt fill for larger cracks or potholes. Narrow cracks can be sealed with tar to keep out moisture.
Sealing your asphalt every few years can also help prevent damage.
Rotting Exterior Wood Trim
Many homes have wooden trim around the exterior. It is most common around doorways and windows.
If you have wooden decks or railings, these can also become vectors for rot. This happens when seals are broken and water seeps in and damages the wood.
Visually, this will present as warped, distended or discoloured wood. When spotted, such an area can be probed with a screwdriver for any weak spots. If the screwdriver can easily push through and create a hole, it means the wood is rotten.
If you find any, cut it out to remove the damage and replace it with fresh exterior-proofed wood.
Move Stored Firewood Away From the Home
Another important task is to ensure that any loose wood, especially firewood, is moved away from your house.
There’s a reason for this. As spring arrives, so do bugs. Most notably, according to Environmental Pest Management, termites and carpenter ant infestations may occur during this time.
A stack of firewood is a tempting target, and when stored against the side of the house, it could entice the bugs to expand into the home itself. You should also inspect bushes and trees that are near the house and clear out dead or rotting wood from these areas.
If bringing wood into the home, be alert for any signs of contamination by pests.
Inspect Water Spigots
Lastly, check your exterior water spigots. Ideally, they have been insulated for the winter to keep the pipes from freezing and cracking. If the water supply was shut off, the first step is to turn it back on.
Then, visually inspect your spigots for leaks. If none occur, gently turn them on and allow them to run for a few moments. Low or uneven pressure may indicate issues with the pipes.
Leaking from the handle means a crack. After turning the spigot off, check back after a few minutes to ensure it has fully shut down and is not leaking.
If a serious leak is detected, cut off the water supply and contact a professional for repair.
For many, the oncoming spring represents a positive change as the weather warms up and winter snows vanish. However, failure to perform necessary maintenance can transform spring into an expensive problem.
If you take care of your home and property, you can avoid costly surprises, breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the seasonal change.
Here are some more great spring tips: 3 Major Threats to Your Lawn and How to Fix Them