Home ownership comes with many benefits and even more responsibilities, especially seasonal home maintenance. Those in Kansas have to contend with unpredictable weather that can include large swings in temperature, harsh winter weather and spring storms. This weather can take a toll on your property, leading to frustrating and expensive repairs.
While your home is unique and may have additional or different upkeep needs, the following checklist will help you get ready for the changing season.
Outside the house
Foundation: Extreme temperatures, temperature swings and moisture can cause significant damage to your home’s foundation. If you’re in a particularly moist area, additional settling of the land under your home can increase problems. Walk around your home’s property to look for cracks and other signs of damage after the last thaw of the season. Be sure to note issues and seek professional help for cracks and other types of damage.
Gutters: Gutters play an important role in protecting your foundation by keeping water flowing away from sensitive areas. You should make sure they are free of debris so that spring showers are ushered safely down and away. While you’re looking for debris, make sure that your gutters are well connected and in good repair, including downspouts.
Roof: Roofs take a lot of damage during every season, so it’s important to inspect it before spring storms hit. Look for loose, damaged and missing tiles. If you find any, have a professional inspect and repair the issue as soon as possible. You’ll also want to look inside your home in areas that correspond with external damage.
Exposed wood: Wood trim, fencing, stairs and other areas of exposed wood needs to be inspected carefully. You’re looking for soft spots, discoloration and signs of bug infestation. These issues should be looked at by a professional before they grow into expensive situations. And remember to take measures to project exposed areas come fall, before the fall weather sets in.
Walk your property: After the last freeze, you’ll want to walk your property and check for signs of dead or dying branches. When spring storms come, these weakened branches can be torn away by winds, leading to property damage or injury. Remember though, it’s best to call a professional to remove most branches unless you’re equipped and experienced in doing so. You’ll also want to inspect your driveway, fencing and other storage sheds for issues.
Inside your home
Water damage: Water can cause big problems for your home, including mold. You’ll want to look at all of your walls and your ceiling to catch issues like discoloration or soft spots. If you see anything suspicious, you’ll want to call in a professional quickly because water damage can be costly to deal with.
Pipes: Freezing weather can lead to pipe damage, even if you aren’t aware of it. For this reason, you should look under sinks and near all water-using appliances for signs of moisture. Use your hand or a paper towel to try and find even slight moisture. This can help you find leaks before they cause too much damage.
Basement: If you have a basement, you’ll want to inspect it just as closely as you do your foundation. Look at any windows, vents, and sub-ground walls for signs of moisture. If you find any issue on the exterior of your foundation, pay extra attention to your basement. And if you find any cracks or moisture, contact a professional. This type of situation can be serious and costly, so you’ll want to address it.
HVAC system: Your HVAC system may have external and internal parts, but you’ll want to have it checked out by a professional long before the summer rush. This will ensure that your system is working properly and efficiently. If any issues are found, it gives you time to get the fixed during the more mild part of the year.
Another seasonal item you should add to your checklist for every season is to check the operation and batteries on every smoke and carbon monoxide detector in your home. You should also make sure that you have a working fire extinguisher and that everyone knows where it is and how to use it. If you have a garage or workshop, you should have an additional fire extinguisher there as well.
There’s no doubt about it, owning a home is rewarding but it definitely comes with a lot of work. This checklist is a great starting point for your spring maintenance, but you might need to add items. And of course, if you run into an issue that you cannot handle or aren’t sure about, call a professional. A little help when an issue is small can save you the time, trouble and money that can be caused by larger home repairs.