The snow has melted here in Indiana. Now we can see what’s been left behind under all that slush, ice, and snow. It’s also time for spring cleaning.
Don’t neglect the outside of your home in the spring. It’s the best time to conduct a full home maintenance inspection.
Here’s our spring checklist with 16 tips to help you find and repair any damage as well as get your home ready for summer.
1. Inspect for Winter Damage
The first step is to conduct a thorough visual inspection of the outside of your home. Start at the top, looking for any roof damage such as missing or damaged shingles. Next, look closely for any damaged siding or trim, gutter or downspout damage, cracks in sidewalks or driveway, and even chimney tilt.
2. Inspect Your Home’s Foundation
Examine your home’s foundation for any cracks, bulges, or gaps between the soil and the foundation walls. Winter weather not only causes cracking, but ice can expand existing cracks. Wet soil freezing and frost heave only add to the potential damage.
3. Check the Landscaping Around Your Foundation
Check that shrubs and trees along with any root growth are cut back well away from the foundation. The slope of the landscape is important to prevent pooling of water while routing it well away from the foundation. This will also help your gutters and downspouts do their job.
4. Gutter and Downspout Cleaning and Repair
Gutters and downspouts prevent rainwater from pouring onto your foundation. Clear out leaves and remove any obstructions in the downspouts. Repair any winter damage. You may also want to install gutter guards to prevent leaves from collecting in the gutters.
5. Inspect for Pest Damage
Look both high and low for any pest damage. Roof level damage can come from birds, squirrels, and flying insects. Bird nests frequently crop up in the spring. At ground level look for ants, termites, and even burrowing animals. Seal up any cracks and holes you find to help prevent pest entry.
6. Prune Trees and Shrubs
Trim trees and shrubs and remove any dead branches and limbs. Make sure you cut them back from your home to allow airflow and sunshine that can help reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth. It’s also a good idea to remove any tree branches that hang over your roof. They can damage your home in a windstorm.
7. Clean Up Your Yard
No matter the amount of work you spent this past fall cleaning up leaves, you’ll still find a significant collection of debris in your yard. Remove broken tree limbs, leaves, and dead flowers or plants. Adding new mulch can make a big difference. But make sure you don’t stack up the mulch around your foundation as it can cause basement or crawl space moisture problems.
8. Seed Bare Spots in Your Lawn
During cleanup, you no doubt found some bare spots in your lawn. Spring is a good time to seed those spots to allow the new grass to establish itself before summer heat. Make sure you pick the right seed for your lawn including the amount of shade.
9. Clear Outdoor Drains
Leaves, dirt, and debris can clog your rainwater drainage system. Clear your storm drains and downspout extensions. Wash out the pipes with a garden hose and get them ready to handle the summer rain.
10. Test Your Irrigation System
Moisture control is critical to your landscape and foundation. That applies to drying out as well as excess moisture. Check every zone in your irrigation system to make sure it’s working. Identify any pipes or sprinkler heads that need to be repaired. It’s also a good time to adjust sprinkler coverage and water flow.
11. Check All Outdoor Plumbing
Outdoor faucets can freeze during the winter. Now is the time to test and repair them. Heat pumps and AC units can also be damaged during the winter. Any pool equipment should also be on your inspection list.
12. Repair Screen Doors and Windows
Bugs can be a problem if they find their way into your home through slight tears or even small holes in the screens. Inspect the screens and replace those that are badly damaged. For small holes, you can find repair kits at a hardware store.
13. Power Wash Deck and Siding
Dirt, mud, and grime collected on your deck and siding over the winter months. Use a pressure washer set to the right flow for the particular wood or siding to clean all this off. It will give you a nice clean start to the summer.
14. Seal Your Fence and Deck
After you’ve cleaned the deck and repaired any damage you find, it’s a good time to stain and seal the wood. Do this at least every other year to maintain the wood and protect it from heat, humidity, and rainstorms.
15. Schedule HVAC System Service
Add a regularly scheduled service in early spring for the air conditioning system and fall for the heating system. The last thing you want to encounter is attempting to schedule AC system repair on the hottest day of the summer.
16. Build a List of Summer Projects
Over the winter you’ve probably collected a few ideas for home improvement. You may also have given thought to adding new living spaces such as a workout room, office, or fan cave. This is a good time to build that list and include the spring maintenance tasks that you’ve found. Then prioritize them for scheduling throughout the summer.
If your list of improvements included adding more space, a finished basement could be the answer. But the basement needs to be fully waterproofed before you get started on that type of project.
We operate out of Indianapolis to provide services throughout central and southern Indiana. We can help with your basement or crawl space project or any foundation issues you may have found in your spring maintenance inspection.
Contact the expert team at Indiana Foundation Service for a free inspection and repair estimate.