Spring is in the air, and that means many people who purchased homes last year need some spring home repair tips. Whether it is something a new homeowner never considered or is something that they were wondering about when they bought their home, there is no shortage of spring home repair tips for first-time homebuyers to be overwhelmed by. That is why we have put together a quick guide of what we think are the 6 most important spring home repair tips for any homeowner.
Our list starts with checking your roof, then your siding and exterior, then you should check on your plumbing system and re-evaluate having a septic system if you have one. After doing some systems checks it is time to buy new stuff or invest in sustainable choices like solar panels and then we go over what many new homeowners discover to be an essential home repair – pest control.
Check Your Roof
Checking your roof belongs on any list of spring home repair tips. If your roof is in poor condition that can lead to more issues than just leaks. You could lose a large part of your heating budget if your roof isn’t properly maintained. One of the simplest ways to check your roof after winter is to look on the ground for shingles that may have come off in harsh winter winds. Of course, you may not find any missing shingles on the ground so you should perform a sight inspection of your roof to look for bare spots. If you do not feel comfortable getting up on a ladder, then you may want to contact a roofing company to go up on your roof and look for damage.
Hiring the roofing company to do an inspection is a good idea because they may spot an issue that you don’t even know is there. Perhaps they will find a spot where flashing has flown away and let water up under the shingles and creating a rotten spot. Or maybe they find a maple seed that has germinated and is trying to make your roof a green roof with no soil. It is a very good idea to have a roofer come out and make sure your roof maintenance routine will keep your home protected.
Look at Your HVAC
Another item to add to your list of spring home repair tips is a review of your HVAC systems if only to avoid an HVAC repair in the middle of summer. The ventilation systems in a home can provide a cozy nesting place for many local birds, this can lead to obstructed airflow and buildups of hot air in your home. Checking your vents is a really important part of making sure your HVAC system is running smoothly. Another important part of HVAC maintenance is the cleaning and replacing of the filter.
Part of how air conditioning systems help improve the air in a home is with the filter. Some have replaceable filters that you can just pick up from your local hardware store. Other air conditioning systems require you to hire an expert to replace the filter. If you have anyone with allergies in your home, then cleaning and replacing the filters will allow them to breathe better. Another reason to get a new filter is because of the fact that air conditioning uses a lot of moisture which can lead to mold buildup if not properly cleaned. Once mold gets into your home it is very difficult to get rid of it.
It is also a good idea to have you HVAC maintenance person come in and check your furnace to make sure your heating system will kick back on again when it gets cold. That way you can avoid an inspection again in the fall.
Repair Your Home’s Exterior
After you inspect your roof and service your HVAC systems then next thing on the checklist of spring home repair tips is checking out the exterior of your home for any loose siding or other damage caused by winter winds and snow. Not only should you inspect the exterior of your home, but you also need to remember to inspect the exterior of your garage too. Many homeowners find some damage to their garage doors caused by lazy shoveling or other snow removal issues. Maybe ice build up got into the garage door tracks and bent it slightly which minor right now could lead to some real damage if not properly addressed.
Once you’ve made sure your siding is all intact and that there is no damage to your garage, it is time to check your gutters. This is likely a multi-part process where you start on the ground and end up on a ladder. First you will want to check your downspouts for cracks that may have happened when water froze inside them. Then you will want to look for any loose gutters and make an appointment with a gutter repair company to get a bid for reattaching the gutter. After that you will want to get out your ladder so you can properly clear out the leaves from last fall to allow the spring rains to properly run through your gutters. Clean flowing gutters prevent gutters that sag off the roof line and can extend the life of your gutters.
Perform Plumbing Maintenance
After you’ve made sure that your exterior is in ship shape you want to move on to another one of the spring home repair tips, the plumbing checkup. Freezing winter temperatures really put your plumbing at risk, especially if your power went out for an extended period of time or if your home has insulation problems. Some older homes have very cold basements or foundation cracks that let in freezing air then you may have had some nearly frozen pipes. If you have had air in your faucets but cannot find a leak, then you should hire a plumbing service to help locate the problem. Once you’ve confirmed that your plumbing made it through the winter intact you can also discuss with your plumber ways to make sure it stays in good condition for years to come. That way you are able to plan on plumbing upgrades like plastic hosing instead of metal pipes that can prevent burst pipes in the future.
Another factor that some homes need to consider is the septic tank. The septic tank is more than just a tank, it is a whole system dedicated to cleaning wastewater. It is important for those with a septic tank to know how it works in order to prevent septic tank failure. The septic tank operates with a layered system of waste with solid sludge on the bottom, wastewater in the middle and oily scum on the top. The wastewater flows out a filtered pipe to the septic field where it gets cleaned and filtered back into the water system by a combination of bacteria, gravel, and soil. When you get a septic tank cleaning, what is really happening is the septic company pumps out all the sludge and scum to create something of a reset for the tank.
It is important that you have a professional inspect your septic tank each spring, so you know when it is getting close to needing to be pumped. This professional will be able to tell you about the health of your septic system and let you know when it will need to be replaced. While you may be tempted to have your septic pumped yearly, that may be too frequent for your system and can lead to premature failure.
Of course, if your home is hooked up to municipal water and sewer then you can just be thankful you do not have to stress out wondering when your septic system will need replacing.
Make Any New Improvements
Now that you’ve been scared away from septic systems forever or are calling your municipality to find out how to get hooked up to the water/sewer system we can move on to the fun part off the spring home repair tips checklist. New stuff! Spring is the perfect time for improvements such as solar panel installation or smaller ticket items like painting your deck a new color. There are many improvement options out there that are done in spring. Lots of people choose this time to refresh their window treatments and invest in new blinds. Other people start a review of their gardening gear and flowerpots so they can incorporate new designs and plan their garden and flower beds.
Springtime is when all the hardware stores come alive with new products to add to your home. Maybe you think your door fixtures are dull and dated, well you can stop by your local hardware store and pick up something that suits your home better. Hardware stores also start to display their fencing options so you can put in that privacy fence you wanted, or you can provide your new puppy with a new fenced in yard to keep safe. Other stores are loaded with new patio furniture options so you can upgrade your old set with something less beat up. Even if you are just replacing outdoor cushioning, that still counts as a spring home repair. Plus, you can take your old patio furniture and sell it to someone else looking to upgrade their outdoor space. Sometimes a simple home facelift can make you want to enjoy the space more.
Get Rid of Pests
Part of getting rid of your old outdoor furniture and getting new outdoor furniture likely led you to discover some critters you do not want around your home. From mice burrowed into old outdoor cushions to a massive wasp nest tucked under the eaves of your home, getting rid of pests is a must for any list of spring home repair tips. As the weather warms and creatures come out of their winter homes you will discover that your home sheltered an alarming number of critters. It is easy to buy a have a heart trap that you can use to get that stray cat to the ASPCA, but some critters require professional assistance.
When you wake up to the abhorrent stink of skunk and realize in the middle of mating season that skunks have nested under your porch then you know you need a professional. Or you take your trash out and come face to face with a raccoon colony raiding your cans. Maybe you go to open your window and end up getting chased out of the room by bees that have built a hive in your walls! You need a pest control service to handle those problems. Another benefit of hiring a professional is that they can do an inspection for small pests that cause a lot of damage, like the dreaded termites. A trained pest control specialist will know what the beginning of a termite infestation looks like and will be able to provide early intervention so that you can prevent further damage to your home.
There you have it, a list of spring home repair tips to inspire your springtime maintenance checklist. Maybe you never though about skunk mating season before but now know why it is so stinky in the spring. Or maybe you thought you understood how your septic system works but now are wondering if the prior homeowners over or under pumped the septic tank. Maybe you thought the little trees growing out of your gutter were cute but now realize that they are a serious threat to your home. Now you are contemplating gutter guards so that you always have free flow in your gutters.
Perhaps you hadn’t considered how a drafty basement can lead to leaky pipes or that flexible hosing was even an option to protect your home from burst pipes. If you were wondering what all those commercials about HVAC filters were about, hopefully now you have gotten in touch with an HVAC technician to make sure your air is clean as well as cool this summer. You probably knew that a solid roof was important but didn’t realize it needed an annual inspection to make sure your home stays safe.
These are just a starting point of spring home repair tips, but they are a solid jumping-off point to keep your home well maintained.