It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Spring (So Grab the Tools)
As we exit what’s been one of the wettest, soggiest, and dreariest winters in Tennessee history, it’s time to start thinking about warmer weather. However, before you plan your outdoor entertaining, you’ll have to tend to a few home maintenance tasks to make sure the house that got you through winter will get you through summer, too. Things such as inspecting the roof, grading the soil around the house, and taking a quick look around the perimeter will not only make your home safer, but it can also save you some money.
But First, Know Your Limits
As a homeowner, there’s a lot that you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape. At the same time, there’s also a lot that you shouldn’t do. If you notice major damage to the roof, foundation, or any of your major systems, call a professional. Don’t risk the safety of your family and yourself by trying to complete repairs that you aren’t prepared for.
Take a Tour
While some issues may be obvious, others will require a closer look. Grab the ladder and head up to the roof. HGTV asserts that shingles can become lost or damaged throughout the winter months, so it’s a good idea to replace those that have seen better days. While you are up there, look at the flashing around your chimney and clean the gutters. If it’s safe, you should also take a moment to get a better view of the trees in your yard while they are still bare. Keep in mind, however, that tornado season is fast approaching and you want to take care of dead limbs now so that your trees pose less of a threat when the winds begin to whip.
When you get back on stable ground, spend half an hour or so looking at the foundation of your home. If you have a brick house, you can look for signs of potential problems under the windows since this is often a weak spot. Any new gaps between the bricks should be addressed, preferably by an experienced brick mason. Your doors and windows should receive some attention, and if necessary, replace the caulk and weatherstripping around openings.
All Systems Go
In addition to your roof, foundation, and windows and doors, you also want to take the initiative to perform maintenance on your septic, HVAC, and other systems. Flohawks.com recommends inspecting your septic system once per year. Even if you don’t notice any signs of system failure, including odors and septic tank backups, performing routine maintenance — and keeping records of it — is one of the best ways to protect your home from plumbing problems. Speaking of the plumbing, spring is also an excellent time to drain the hot water heater. Although Tennessee is not known for having particularly hard water, calcium and lime deposits can build up over time and reduce the efficiency and longevity of this expensive appliance.
If you plan to head out of town for spring break, you should also make sure that your alarm system is ready to go. High Security Home recommends testing your security panel, lights, and all cameras. Cleaning up the exterior of the house, including getting your flower beds ready for summer, trimming the hedges, and washing the windows, will serve to make your home less of a target for thieves since it will look occupied.
Before you start your spring maintenance initiatives, gather your tools — including your safety goggles, drill, hammer, and screwdrivers — so you aren’t wasting time digging through the garage when you need them the most.
It’s easy to get excited at the prospect of longer days. But if you want to enjoy the warmth of summer and fall, you’ll need to spend a few days in the spring countering the effects of winter.
Created by Brett Engle Diyguys.net and co-authored with Ray Flynn on their upcoming book How to DIY Damn Near Everything to give others the courage and confidence to pursue DIY projects in their own homes.
(Image via Pixabay)