What’s Your Strategy for Spring Cleaning?
Following a long, cold winter, it’s refreshing to have the warmth and sunshine. Many people use
the change of seasons as motivation to start sprucing up their property.
Even though some choose to begin spring cleaning on the inside of the house, at some point you want to clean up the dead plants in last year’s flower gardens, the layer of dirt covering the siding of your home, and cleaning the windows that you can barely see out of.
Other tasks like cleaning the gutters and inspecting your roof are also essential spring projects. Other areas to inspect include the foundation, wood trim, the chimney, and the outside faucets.
This post offers a great list of exterior home maintenance tips for the spring:
Examine Roof Shingles
Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.
Probe the Wood Trim
Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood.
Check the Gutters
Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.
Use Compacted Soil
Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.
Examine the Chimney
Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
Inspect the Concrete
Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home’s foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.
Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure.
Check Outside Faucets
Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you’re at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.
Read the full post here: 10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring
Using a power washer to wash the winter grime off of your siding, shutters, and cement is a great way to quickly groom your property. You have to be careful with a high-powered washer so that you don’t damage anything, as a gas pressure washer has much higher water pressure per square inch (PSI) and gallons per minute (GPM) than an electric power washer.
They usually come with various nozzles for different tasks. Some have a wider pattern for general cleaning along with a narrow pattern for removing deep stains. You can also purchase accessories that help reach high spots and surface cleaners that supercharge your cleaning efforts.
This video offers some tips for tidying up the exterior of your property with a pressure washer plus a few other tidbits:
A few other ideas for making your outdoors safer and inviting is to check the deck or patio for loose railings and boards, especially on stairs. Give your deck a coat of stain to keep water from absorbing into the wood and prevent mildew, splintering, and cracking.
Clean door and window screens and check for holes to keep the bugs out. Repair any loose or damaged door and window frames and replace broken or missing hardware.
Giving your roof the once over is going to lower the potential for damage caused by winter’s ice, snow and winds that are part of the Front Range of Colorado. Removing branches, leaves, and other debris will give you a better look at any obvious issues.
Now it’s time to inspect the siding of your home. Repairing any areas that have peeling and chipped paint on trim and siding will keep water from finding its way into the exposed wood. This post provides more info:
Inspect the siding
Is there mildew growing anywhere? Catching it before it gets out of hand is key. If the siding is seriously faded, or if you are just tired of the dated color, you can consider painting it as a cheaper alternative to replacement. (Try this solution for cleaning your siding!)
Check wood surfaces
(trim, doors, shutters, window sills, door sills, thresholds)
Check these places for splits and cracks. If there is any peeling paint, repaint the surface to keep moisture from damaging your wood.
The key is to never leave exposed wood for any period of time. This just invites trouble.
Call a Denver exterior home painter to find out more about costs of repainting and repairing the outside of your property.