Spring is just around the corner! Now is the time to be thinking about what exterior house and yard maintenance tasks need to be done for the season. Take a look at these areas and prep by purchasing any materials or parts necessary for the job. Then, when warmer weather hits, you’ll be set to GO!
Roof and Chimney:
Just as with the inside, start at the top. While you might not feel comfortable getting up on a ladder, if you have a pair of binoculars, you can step back from the house and examine pretty much the entire roof from the ground. On the roof, look for missing shingles, shingles which are raised up, flashing that’s out of place, or nail pops. Around the chimney, if it’s made of brick or stone, look for missing mortar or any greenery growing out between the joints. Also examine the flashing around the chimney and places where different roof pitches meet. Be aware that if you have any vents on your roof, the rubber boots around them, which create a waterproof seal, can deteriorate over time. These boots must be replaced at least every 4-5 years. The final roof area to examine is your rain gutters and downspouts. Check that they are secure, have no blockages and are not bent from ice or snow.
No matter your finish, examine the exterior walls for any issues. If you have a brick or stone finish, look at the mortar joints to note any holes or gaps. If you have siding, look for any panels which may have been displaced by winter weather. For all finishes, note any staining, which could indicate water infiltration from gutter problems. For exposed wood, look for holes or damage that would invite wood bees, carpenter ants or woodpeckers to wreak havoc. Fill these with a high grade wood filler.
If your foundation shows any cracks, don’t delay getting a pro in to do a repair. A stable foundation is vital to your entire home, and this is not a repair you can adequately do yourself. While some do-it-yourself sites may tell you to repair it with caulking or masonry crack repair, the only way to truly stabilize cracks is with a special epoxy that chemically bonds the cracks.
In addition to raking up debris and tidying up your landscaping, this is the time to begin your lawn fertilization program for pre-emergent weeds and healthy grass. When you’re working in your landscape beds, keep an eye out for larval termites. It’s far better to stop them there than to let them mature and to eat their way into your home! If you have any patio or deck area, again check the wood and masonry as you did for your house exterior.