Spring Maintenance

With the days lengthening and weather warming, spring is a good time to get outdoors and tackle some larger home projects. Now that the threat of winter storms has passed, you can look for damage and make any needed repairs, as well as prep your home and garden for summer.

1. Clean gutters and downspouts. After the last frost has passed, it’s important to have your gutters and downspouts cleaned and repaired. Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause the wood trim at the eaves to rot, and that can invite all kinds of critters into your attic space.

Having your gutters and downspouts cleaned early in the season can also help prevent damage from spring rains. Gutters and downspouts should be clean and running free. If your downspouts are installed properly, water is diverted away from the house so that no water collects around your foundation.

2. Reseal exterior woodwork. Wood decks, fences, railings, trellises, pergolas and other outdoor structures will last longer and stay in better condition if they’re stained or resealed every year or two. Take this opportunity to make any needed repairs to woodwork as well.

3. Check for signs of wood destroying organisms. Beginning in March and going through May or June, check for any damage outside or in your crawl space.  It’s also a great time to have the exterior of your home and the crawl space sprayed for anobiid beatles and other creepy crawlies that can damage your home (or just scare you!).

4. Inspect roof. Winter storms can take quite a toll on the roof. When spring arrives, start by making a simple visual inspection of your roof. Look for missing shingles, metal pipes that are damaged or missing or anything that simply doesn’t look right. If you notice anything that needs closer inspection or repair, call a roofer.  Spring is also a great time to check for moss and clear it from your roof.  Baking soda sprinkled over the moss works great (the rain will just rinse it away), but there are other products available at home improvement stores.

5. Paint exterior. If you’re planning to repaint your home’s exterior this year, spring is a good time to set it up.

6. Inspect driveways and paths. Freezing and thawing is rough on concrete, asphalt and other hardscaping materials. Take a walk around your property to look for damage to walkways, paths and driveways, and schedule repairs as needed. Asphalt can often be patched, but damaged concrete may need to be replaced entirely.

7. Check sprinkler and irrigation systems. Checking your sprinklers or irrigation systems in the spring can save water — and save your plants.

  • Make sure none of the heads are broken or damaged.
  • Run the system through all the zones manually and walk the property.
  • Adjust any heads that are spraying the house, especially windows, as this can cause moisture problems.
  • Adjust heads that are spraying the street, sidewalk or porches to avoid wasting water.
  • If you don’t know how to maintain your sprinkler system, call a professional to do it. You’ll save money on your water bill and protect one of our most valuable natural resources.

8. Prevent mosquitoes. In recent years, we’ve become more aware of the potential danger mosquito’s can pose to our health.  The best way to prevent mosquitos around your home is simply by getting rid of any standing water. There are also plants that help repel mosquito’s and look great–consider planting lavender, marigolds, lemon balm, basil and other mosquito repelling plants.

9. Check screen doors and windows. Screens are designed to let the breeze flow in and keep bugs out — but they can only do their job if they’re free from holes and tears. Before setting up your screens for the warm months ahead, be sure to carefully check each one and repair any holes or tears, no matter how small. You can find screen repair kits at most hardware and home improvement stores.

10. Schedule air-conditioning service. AC isn’t something that a lot of us on the Peninsula have or use, but if you do have it, be sure to keep it serviced by a licensed professional, and change filters at least once per season.

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