Time to get out of your igloo and get some sunlight, spring has arrived! For me and my other Florida neighbors, winter for us was harsh this year. Yeah, that was one tough Wednesday. So when spring arrives, we like to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate the coming warm days than with a few intensive back breaking home improvement projects! It’s too much fun to pass up all of that sweat equity you need to pour into your home season after season. So buck up, roll up your sleeves and get to work fixing your home and prevent all of the troubles that spring/summer’s fluctuating weather conditions can bring.
Gutters Are Fun!
Not really, but I thought the catchy headline might fool you into thinking gutters really are fun. We all know how much it sucks to clean out your gutters. But homes that have gutters filled with leaves and other debris are prone to soffit, fascia and roofing damages. It’s easy enough to buy one of those goofy hose attachments that clean out your gutter so you don’t need to go climbing around on a ladder to get the job done. Better yet, buy one of these gutter cleaning robots and have them do the work for you. Get two and you can have robot death matches in your gutters.
But you don’t have gutters, you say? Tsk, tsk – no robot battles for you. That’s ok; you can still have fun cleaning away any debris on your roof valleys. And while you’re up there, take a look at your shingles. If you see a bunch of loose shingle granules in the valleys of your roof, you may need new shingles.
While you’re poking around your gutters (or roof) it’s a good idea to check around the foundation of your home as well. Fall and winter have a way of settling the ground around your home. Fill in any dips, sags or holes that appear around your home with fresh dirt. It doesn’t take much spring and summer rain to seep into these low spots and cause further foundation problems.
The saying “crack kills” is true for not only the drug and bent over plumbers, but it’s also a killer on your foundation. While minor cracks can just be from aging block joints, more serious cracks should be looked at by a professional foundation expert. You might just need to repoint a few bricks or you might have a sinkhole that’s going to swallow your brother in his sleep. Either way, it’s always good to get a second opinion before more serious troubles have a chance to take place.
No, not those leaky pipes. If those are leaking, you should see a doctor. Your homes pipes may have been damaged from freezing weather and should be inspected. Even a small hairline fracture in your water supply line can end costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars in a short time. That’s why it’s a good idea to check your plumbing for leaks after freezing temperatures have gone for good.
A great way to check your pipes for leaks (if you have a water meter) is to check the meter for movement when the supply line to the home is turned off. If the water isn’t going into your home and the meter is still moving, you have a leak in your supply line to your house. Time to call a plumber!
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Without this trifecta of goodness, your home would likely be a smelly, musty and steamy stink pit of sweat. When spring and summer temperatures rise, you’ll need some good old fashioned air conditioning to get you through the rough patches. Call in your AC mechanic now and have them give it a look over. It might cost you a few dollars now to have some minor maintenance done, but you’ll thank yourself when your neighbors AC breaks down in the middle of summer and it costs them a fortune in repairs yet takes days to get the cold air turned back on during peak AC season!
Windows, Doors and Bears, Oh My!
Nothing beats up a door or window’s weather-stripping like a good cold winter. It always turns the once soft and pliable strip into a gummy and stiff piece of crap. And when weather-stripping fails, leaks, drafts and mold can all become an issue around these portholes to the outer world.
A good way to check for leaky and drafty weather-stripping is to close all of your doors and windows. Turn on your kitchen exhaust vent and light an incense stick. Waft the smoke near your windows and doors. If the smoke billows and blows, you know you’ve got an air leak from a bad weather-stripping seal.
Fill your Gashole
Whoever said April showers brings May flowers never had to mow their own lawn. May always means the start of mowing season and it’s time to get your gas powered equipment in check. Change out the old gas, shine up those spark plugs and clean out the air filters because you’re going to need your lawnmowers, weed whackers and leaf blowers pretty soon.
Have any favorite spring and summer home tips of your own? Share them in the comments section below!