Start your spring exterior maintenance plan by grabbing a pen and paper and taking a walk around the full perimeter of your home. Compile a list of any necessary repairs you discover. Breaking these tasks down later into categories and prioritizing them will make the list more manageable.
Trim Trees & Bushes You need relatively clear access to your home’s exterior to complete most maintenance tasks. A good place to start is to trim back any trees and bushes from the side of the house and hanging over the roof, gutters, and power lines. Remember to give the same attention to any outbuildings, such as a detached garage or storage shed.
Power Wash Power wash the siding, porch, deck, patio, walkways, and driveway, wherever there are stubborn dirt stains, fungus, mold, or mildew. If you plan to use detergents or bleach solutions, be sure to use safe, biodegradable products recommended for the specific surfaces you are cleaning.
Chimney & Fireplace Inspect the chimney for any mortar or brick damage. Cracked or crumbling mortar should be removed and replaced, known as repointing. Examine the brick or stone for signs of peeling or flaking, known as spauling. Significantly damaged or missing stones should be replaced. Some minor masonry jobs can be done yourself. Thoroughly cleaning and then sealing the chimney’s entire exterior surface with a high quality brick and stone sealer will help reduce further damage. If you find significant mortar or brick damage it is generally best to consult with a professional.
Once the heating season has passed, have the chimney professionally inspected and cleaned, especially if you use a wood stove or fireplace regularly during winter. Doing this in spring or summer will avoid the fall rush and you may even get a break on the price.
Roof, Gutters & DownspoutsInspect the roof of your home and outbuildings for any signs of leaks or damage including buckling, curling, or missing shingles. Shingles and metal flashing around chimneys, vents, and in valleys should be firmly adhered. Consult with a roofing specialist if you suspect repairs are necessary. Gutters and downspouts should be flushed and inspected for any leaks. If you find leaks, thoroughly dry the area to be repaired and apply a quality, exterior caulk to seal any holes, joints, or gaps.
Siding, Doors & Windows Inspect for gaps where air and moisture can get inside. Remove old caulk and thoroughly clean areas in need of repair. Allow to dry completely and apply a quality, exterior grade caulk.
Foundation, Driveway, Walkway & Patio Inspect the concrete for cracks or pits. Minor defects can often be repaired on your own but larger jobs may require a professional. Keep in mind it can be difficult to match a patch to existing concrete. Carefully consider repairs in high visibility locations. If you notice significant cracks or damage to the foundation you should have it professionally inspected immediately.
Decks & Porches Examine decks and porches for any damage or rot. Replace any deck boards in poor condition and secure loose boards or railings. Apply stain or sealer to wood decks to prevent decay. Resurface waterproof decking as recommended by the manufacturer’s warranty.
Remove all fallen branches, leaves, and other debris from the lawn. De-thatch the lawn with a good raking prior to the first mowing. Mow lawn down to two inches, being careful not to ‘scalp’ the grass with the first mowing. Lightly apply a quality fertilizer that contains an effective weed killer.
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