YOUR SPRINGTIME HOME REPAIRS AND RENOVATIONS CHECKLISTThe days are getting longer, winter is nearly over and we’re welcoming spring with open arms! The arrival of spring also brings the perfect time to do some heavy lifting around your house to take care of some essential home repairs and renovations that can help keep you leaping forward through 2021.
Springtime repairs and renovations are great for improving the overall look and functionality of your home. But some critical maintenance can also help erase yearly wear-and-tear and prevent serious, weather-related damage. From interior and exterior upkeep and repair basics to roofing renovations and storm drainage overhauls, this comprehensive checklist will help you prepare your home for the impending warmer-weather months.
Outdoor Checklist Household damage from water is the second most frequently filed insurance claim in the United States; however, 93 percent of this destruction is preventable. Below are some tips, tasks and information to help you defeat some of the common culprits that cause water woes for your home.
• Keep It Out of the Gutter — According to Moneypit.com, an overflow of rainwater can cause mold, rotten wood, bugs, chipped paint, slippery sidewalks, cracked foundations, landscape damage and more. With spring showers on the horizon, not to mention seasonal hail and thunderstorms, it’s important to inspect drains and downspouts to make sure they are clear of leaves and debris, intact, and ready for rain.
• Move Up the Ladder — If you plan to tackle the gutters yourself, use a sturdy four-legged ladder and brush up on ladder safety protocol. In addition, gloves and goggles can go a long way in protecting your hands and eyes.
• Don’t Be a Drip — Standing water in your yard could indicate an issue with your sprinkler system. Run a brief test on the zones where you see water, and repair or replace busted or malfunctioning sprinkler heads.
• Shingle Out the Problem — Roof repairs can be among the costliest fixes for a home. Keeping ladder safety in mind, perform a quick visual inspection of your roof for issues. Owens Corning suggests checking for worn, curled, bent, loose, cracked or damaged shingles, as well as bald areas, dark streaks and excessive algae or moss growth.
• Phone a [Professional] Friend — Keeping an eye on your roof and fixing small problems with sheathing, underlay, flashing or tiles can help you avoid major water catastrophes. Just remember, some renovations may prove harder than they appear so be sure to keep the number of a professional handy, just in case.
Indoor Checklist Making springtime repairs and renovations inside your home is every bit as important as tackling outdoor challenges. Some fixes can have a major impact on your financial bottom line, by reducing energy costs and preventing the need for future repairs or complete replacements. We recommend starting at the top — in the attic.
• Evict Unwanted Pests — Make sure your attic space is free and clear of pesky vermin, like squirrels, raccoons and other unwanted furry friends, before tackling any big projects. As we reported in “Did You Hear That?,” pests in your attic and walls are often the result of roof or siding damage. And once they’ve nestled into your space, these critters can make a tasty meal out of your electrical wires and cables.
• Pamper Your Water Heater — If your water heater is located in the attic, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests wrapping an insulating blanket around the unit to reduce heat loss by 25-to-40 percent.
• Replace That Filter — HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) manufacturers typically recommend changing air filters once a month to preserve good air quality. In addition, it’s good practice to also visually inspect each of your HVAC units about every 30 days.
• Caulk windows - One DIY trick to check for air leaking through windows is to light a candle and carefully and slowly move it around each window. Wherever you see a flicker, you probably need to apply the caulk.
• Peel and Stick — Weather-stripping your exterior doors can not only help keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, but it can also save you potentially 10-to-15 percent on your utility bill. Weather-stripped doors also help keep out moisture and bugs. Win-win … and win!