Spring is here and that means it’s time to go outside and start enjoying the warmer weather. But before you fire up the barbeque, it’s important to take care of some outdoor home maintenance tasks. Winter weather can be tough on homes, and while the interior of your home may be fine, the exterior of your home may not be. Tackling preventative maintenance tasks now can avert costly repairs or replacements in the future. The experts at Riverhead Building Supply recommend putting the following tasks on your spring maintenance to-do list:
Check outdoor decks
Examine your deck carefully for loose boards or components that are worn, damaged, cracked, rusted or rotted. Inspect the floor of your deck, stair treads, posts, beams, joists, railing, balusters, footings and fasteners. Repair or replace damaged components and secure anything that is loose.
Clean/prep decks and railings
Clean and prepare your outdoor decks and railings. Get rid of the dirt, debris, mold and mildew that could damage your decks and railings. Keep in mind that there are different cleaning solutions and methods for natural wood vs. composite materials. Be sure to use the care and cleaning guidelines appropriate for your decking and railing material.
Examine outdoor steps and handrails
Broken or worn out steps are not only unsightly, they are also a safety hazard. Inspect your outdoor steps for signs of damage or missing components. Look for tread damage, weathering, insect damage, mold, and splitting. Check handrails to make sure they are not loose or in need of replacement. Anything that is damaged should be repaired and anything that is missing or beyond repair should be replaced.
Inspect your roof
Harsh winter storms can wreak havoc on any roof. Even one missing shingle can cause leaks and draining problems which can lead to mold, rotted wood, and more. Look at your roof for signs of damage, missing shingles or anything that needs to be repaired or replaced and take care of the problem as soon as possible.
Mold, mildew, dirt and grime accumulate on all types of siding, even the ones that are considered low-maintenance. There are different cleaning methods for vinyl, composite and other man-made materials vs. wood. Many people rely on high pressure power washing to clean siding, but most experts suggest against that. The high pressure can damage wood fibers and push dirt further into the wood. Pressure washing can also damage vinyl siding as well as windows, planters, etc. One of the worst things high pressure power washing can do is force water behind the siding. This is never good. The water can remain there and cause mold. Soft washing and cleaning by hand are less harsh cleaning options.
Inspect windows and exterior doors
Well-maintained windows and doors are important for your home’s security, energy-efficiency and aesthetics. Now is the time to inspect your windows and doors to make sure they are operating properly. Casement windows should open easily, double hung windows should be easy to push up, doors should close securely, and sliding doors should glide well. Here are some other window and door maintenance tips:
- Make sure the locks are working
- Tighten loose screws or hardware
- Clean sliding door tracks
- Adjust screen rollers so screen doors glide easily
- Oil any squeaky hinges
- Replace broken hardware
- Replace ripped screens
- Check weatherstrip and replace if necessary
- Clean windows and casings
- Check paint or finish
Install your screens
Get ready to let in the warm fresh air and install the screens in your windows and patio doors. Check all screens for damage and repair or replace if needed. If you have young children or pets, you may want to consider using screens made with special stronger materials that can handle more pressure on the screen.
Check and clean gutters
Leaves, sticks and dirt can get clogged in gutters causing roof leaks and water damage both inside and outside your home. Clogged gutters also attract rodents, insects and mold. Make sure water is flowing into the downspout and draining away from your foundation or any structures. If your gutters are clogged, take the time to clean them or hire a professional. This is also a good time to clean debris out of the dry wells around basement windows.
Preventative outdoor home spring maintenance tasks are essential for keeping your home in optimal condition. By identifying and taking care of any issues now, you can prevent them from becoming bigger and more expensive problems in the future.