(BPT) - As winter weather recedes, it is important to assess your home’s exterior in advance of spring rainstorms and summer heat. Proper exterior home maintenance can preserve your property’s appearance and prevent costly damage down the line.
Home improvement experts at Modernize Home Services encourage homeowners to assess three exterior items carefully this time of year:
Gutters perform a vital role in preventing water damage, basement flooding and even foundation damage. Walk around the perimeter of your property, both in dry and wet weather, to observe any areas where your gutters are overflowing, cracking, rusting, separating or discoloring. Look closely at where water is going as it exits downspouts; it should not pool next to the foundation, garage doors or walkways.
Check to see whether water is splashing over gutter sides rather than flowing smoothly through downspouts. “If gutters are clogged with leaves, pine needles or other debris, they cannot efficiently divert water away from the home,” notes Chris Counahan, president of LeafFilter Gutter Protection. “Gutter guards protect against build-up that can cause clogs, and ultimately foundational damage if left untreated, and are a deterrent to some pests.”
It can be wise to schedule gutter repairs as early as possible in the spring before service providers’ appointment wait times lengthen.
Look for warning signs that roof repair or replacement is required. Missing or curling shingles, sagging sections or discoloration can all provide clues that maintenance is needed.
If you noticed icicles hanging from the roof in the winter, it can be an indicator that your roof is forming ice dams. More than a nuisance, ice dams can build due to problems with air sealing or ventilation and cause a range of problems including water leaks; mold growth; damage to insulation, drywall, paint and wallpaper; increased heating and cooling costs; as well as ceiling joist and wall stud rot.
“Cleaning an asphalt roof periodically can extend your roof’s life, if done correctly,” explains Jamie Dulin, VP of marketing at Power Home Remodeling. “It is important to have a professional handle this job, ideally performing a soft wash rather than a power wash. Power washing can damage shingles while a soft wash uses an air compressor to pump a cleaning solution onto the roof.”
Despite regular maintenance, a shingled roof approaching 20 years in age may need to be replaced.
While winter ice, snow or rain can degrade exterior siding over time, harsh sunlight can also cause home siding to crack or fade. Pests, such as woodpeckers and insects, can create serious siding defects as well.
Examine your siding for cracks, indentations, damaged segments, peeling paint, warping or pest damage. It may be possible to refresh some faded siding by cleaning or painting it yourself. “Spring is the best time to complete a siding project, as you don’t want your siding to suddenly expand, shrink or become brittle due to extreme heat or cold,” explains Laura Adamson, marketing director at Aspen Home Improvements in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "There’s no better way to prevent this from happening than to do the job during the spring season, where the temperature is at its sweet spot!"
Cleaning or repairing hard-to-reach sections of a home exterior may be safest to leave in the hands of professionals.
Spring home maintenance
Gutters, roofing and siding may all be slightly worse for wear after a long winter. Spring can also be a good time to check for termite evidence, chimney cracks, broken or uneven walkways, unwanted pests and landscaping issues. Catching problems now and addressing them promptly can minimize the cost of repairs and enable you to extend the life of your home’s outer protection.
Modernize is a reliable and trustworthy solution that thoughtfully connects homeowners with contractors for home improvement services. For a complete spring home maintenance checklist, visit Modernize.com.