With snow melting and nicer weather on the rise, it's time to transition your home from winter to spring. It's also a good time to see just how well your home fared through the ice and snow, and determine if any repairs need to be done. With these 6 tips below you can accomplish both, ensuring you and your home are completely ready for a beautiful spring season.
To get your house ready for the wet spring weather, you'll first need to see what the ice and snow from winter has done. A basic inspection includes checking the gutters and roof for any damage, ensuring that windows and doors are still properly sealed, and verifying that all the pipes made it through the cold without breaking. At the end of this article we prepared a thorough winter to spring checklist for you that you can use to do your home examination with.
1. Gutter Inspection and Clogging Prevention
If you cleaned your gutters before winter began there shouldn't be a lot to clean out now, but it's still good to check on them. If there's any remaining ice you can add some ice melt tablets or de-icing salt to get it running and make sure that they are flowing properly. At the base of the gutters clean up any twigs, leaves or other debris that may have gathered over the winter so it will be able to flow correctly.
2. If It Has a Screen It Should be Clean
All winter, any exterior ventilation has been closed off by snow, ice or just good ol' yard debris. Cleaning these areas will help them start the drying out process by allowing the spring airflow to come through. Vents can usually be found under the eaves and around the base of the home. Mend or replace broken screens and remove any debris that may block it. Another important vent to check is one that if clogged can actually start a fire. This vent is the dryer vent and should be cleaned or replaced every six months.
3. Foundation Checkup
Once all the snow has melted, do a walk around the home to check the foundation for any cracks or areas of pooling water. If you see any pooling areas, get them cleaned out before the rain starts and check on the corresponding floors and walls on the inside of the house to make sure the standing water hasn't caused any issues.
4. Roof Tend, Mend and Defend
Winter storms have been known to damage even the newest of roofs, so it's always wise to do a full inspection before wetter weather arrives. Look for missing shingles, and check roof vents for damage to the spouts or base. Once any repairs are done, finish up by removing any moss using a shovel or pick and then prepare it to defend against any new moss growth by coating it with a liquid or powder moss killer.
5. Pipe Probe
It's time again to get your outdoor hose hooked back up, but first you need to make sure the pipes survived the winter all in one piece. After you've removed any covers and heating elements, check the pipes visually for any breaks. If you don't see anything, inspect the area around it for any water or water damage. If all looks good, turn the faucets on and let them run for a few minutes. Check the area around the spigot once you turned it off and make sure there's no water where it shouldn't be. Also, check on the other side of the wall and floor on the inside of the home to make sure nothing backed up on the interior.
6. Yard Rehabilitation
Your yard has been hidden under a cloudy winter sky, but with spring here it's now ready to come back to life. To get it ready, pull out the lawn furniture that's been stored away, get the barbecue grill ready, and last, but not least, get the fertilizer out. It's a great time for getting your plants, shrubs and trees ready for their spring growth spurt and fertilizer will give them the boost they'll need.
Getting your house ready to make the change from winter to spring is really very easy, especially if you do a walk-around first. As you survey each area, use our checklist and take pictures of any damage. They will be helpful for insurance claims or to help you identify an item that may need repair, such as a specific shingle type, color or a pipe that needs replacing.
My House is Ready for Spring Checklist:
Gutters: Check for debris in the gutters and at spouts. Replace or repair any bent fixtures.
Roof: Inspect for loose or missing shingles. Remove moss and apply moss cleaner.
Foundation: Look for cracks or water pooling outside and inside the home.
Windows and Doors: Check screens for any tears or holes, and check the trim and caulking for cracks or peeling. Also, look for any dampness on the interior windowsill.
Porch, Deck or Patio: Identify any rotting floorboards or cracked cement needing repair. Replace or seal if needed.
Basement: Seal the basement walls and floor with a moisture sealant and inspect for cracks and water damage. Clear and clean floor drains.
Interior Walls: Visually inspect walls where they join the ceilings for any water damage.
Furnace or HVAC: Replace or clean filters and clean any debris away from outside unit.
Plants: Uncover plants and fertilize for spring.
Spigots and Pipes: Check pipes for leaks or breaks. Inspect inside and outside areas around pipes for signs of any water damage.
Detectors: Check fire and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries if needed.