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Check over your roof this spring

Published On: May 20 2013 03:49:41 PM CDT

By Chaya Kurtz, Networx

Winter weather can damage a house in big ways and in small ways. From animals nesting in vents, to leaves that have accumulated in the gutter, to moisture that can accumulate around a house's foundation, there is a lot to check for when the weather turns warm. This list of home maintenance tasks to perform in spring is not exhaustive, but it hits the places that most likely were beaten on by weather. I have not addressed electrical systems in this article; call a licensed electrician to inspect your electrical system.

Give Your Roof a Spring Check Up: According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, these are the parts of your roof that you should inspect in spring and fall. While they recommend hiring a roofing contractor, if you are very cautious about safety, it is possible to do a roof inspection yourself. You'll need to clean your gutters, since debris may have accumulated in them over the winter, and they need to be clear for summer rain storms. Check your shingles for discoloration, missing shingles, warping, peeling, and mold. Inspect around chimneys and pipes for any gaps in the flashing, or rust spots. Check that no animals have nested in your chimney or pipes. They also recommend checking interior walls for water damage, as well as ceilings. Water damage could be related to a leaky roof.

Check Your Outdoor Concrete for Cracks: Check your concrete foundation for cracks. While small cracks are normal, large horizontal cracks or cracks that are wider at the bottom than at the top are signs that your foundation might need to be repaired. Make sure that no water is accumulating around your foundation, and that all drain pipes direct away from it. Check concrete stairs and walkways for signs of damage or rotting, and check for cracks in driveways and sidewalks. Test the railings that are set in concrete steps to ensure that they are stable.

Tune Up Your HVAC System: Climate Makers, a Virginia Beach HVAC contractor, suggests a 40 point spring HVAC tune up and check up. Included on their list is measuring operating pressures, checking controls, and cleaning condenser coils. It's also a good idea to install animal-proof vent closures on your outdoor vents to prevent animals, like mice, from entering your house through your vents.

Inspect and Repair Your Deck: Read our guide to how to clean a deck for detailed instructions. Also read our guide to preparing your deck for summer.

Assorted Other Spring Maintenance Projects: The sky is the limit when it comes to maintaining your house, but here are a few other tasks that it makes sense to do in the spring: Check window screens for rips; clean storm windows and screens; replace storm windows with window screens; sweep and dust your screened-in porch; uncover, clean, and repair outdoor furniture; turn the compost; inspect exterior paint for peeling spot or bubbles; touch up exterior paint; install awnings to shade your house from summer sun; prune hedges and pull weeds; tune up the lawnmower; mow the lawn; and don't forget the spring cleaning.

Source: http://www.networx.com/article/spring-home-maintenance-check-list

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