Spring is now behind us (we hope), and as the snow melts and weather warms, it’s time to get outside and get your yard and home exterior ready for summer (and the rest of the year).
Here are 11 areas you should focus on to get your home and yard in tip top shape.
1. Eavestroughs and downspouts
Remove leaves, twigs, and other debris from your eavestroughs and downspouts. Consider installing a guard to prevent debris from collecting in the first place.
Reattach any eavestroughs that have pulled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof to see if water drains from the roof to the downspouts properly. If leaks exist, dry the problem area and seal it with caulking or epoxy.
If you have vinyl siding, clean it with a pressure washer to prevent mold growth. If you have wood siding, check for weathering and paint failure. If wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.
3. Exterior caulking
Inspect caulking and replace any that’s deteriorating: scrape out all eroding caulk and recaulk needed area.
4. Window sills, door sills, and thresholds
Fill any cracks, and repaint or replace, if necessary.
Clean screening and check for holes. Patch holes or replace the screen. If you do replace your screen, don’t toss out your old one; you can use it for future patching.
Tighten or repair any loose or damaged window frames and repaint. Replace broken, worn, or missing hardware. Tighten and lubricate door hinges.
Check the walls, floors, concrete, and masonry of your foundation for cracking, heaving, or deterioration. If a significant number of bricks are losing mortar, contact a foundation professional. If you can slide a nickel into a crack in your concrete floor, slab, or foundation, contact a professional immediately.
Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits. Perform a thorough cleaning. Check flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls. Check shingles for damage and curling and if shingle granules are collecting in your eavestroughs.
7. Deck and porches
Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose members and deterioration. Open decks and wood fences need to be retreated every 4–6 years, depending on how much exposure they get to sun and rain. If the stain look off or water has turned some of the wood a dark grey, hire a deck professional to treat your deck and fence.
While you’re at it, pull out your patio furniture and BBQ from storage. See if your propane tank needs filling.
Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushes from structures. Limbs and leaves can damage your home’s paint and force you to have that side of the house repainted. A little trimming can save money and time.
Check your lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly working sprinkler heads. If there is an area of your yard that collects too much water or doesn’t get enough, run the sprinklers to find the problem. If it’s not something you can fix yourself, call a professional before your lawn needs watering.
Check that exterior lights and motion sensors function properly and replace bulbs as necessary. You can also take this time to re-install solar lights in your walkways and gardens.
Check water heater, dryer, and furnace vents to ensure there are no blockages.
Keeping your home in top shape reduces repair costs and keeps your home lasting for years to come.