Your spring and summer home maintenance playbook

As the days get longer, so does the list of things to do outside the home. More than washing the winter grime off the windows, spring and summer are the perfect seasons to address issues in your home or yard that can lead to property defects and safety concerns.

Let’s start with the obvious… cleaning out leaves and debris from your gutters and downspouts. This will allow rainwater to flow freely where directed, and prevent damage caused by water leaks and pooling. You also want to make sure the downspouts discharge at least four feet away from the house or garage, and that the ground slope doesn’t channel water back to the foundation.

Speaking of the foundation, you’ll want to check it for cracks and deterioration. Cracks typically occur within a home’s first year, and these should not change over time. If the cracks do change, or if new cracks appear, these are signals that you need to have your foundation inspected by an expert. If you have bricks, check to see if the mortar is failing. If so, that will need to be addressed by a professional as well.

Now look at your landscaping. Are the tree branches interfering with the roof or siding? If so, they need to be trimmed to protect the roof and other finishes from damage. While you’re there, also check to see if branches are interfering with power lines or other services accessing your home. If that’s the case, it’s best to call the City or service provider to ensure the work is done safely.

What about those lovely vines growing up and around the walls and verandas? Though beautiful, these invasive plants can cause a lot of damage to the soffits, in and behind the siding, and even up into the attic. Ideally, keep vines off your buildings.

Painting is a relatively easy and cost-effecting way of preventing wood rot, which is a much bigger issue down the road. Examine all wood surfaces like doors, exterior trim and railings, windows, decks and fencing, and if the wood is showing through, scrape, sand, prime and paint.

Planning on building a deck or gazebo this summer? Consider pressure-treated wood for the project. It’s designed to withstand long-term weather exposure. In addition, it’s attractive and doesn’t require staining or painting every few years.

When you turn on your outside taps, make sure to close the bleed valves inside the house at the shutoff valve so you don’t get water running into the home.

If you have drains in the vicinity of your home, it’s a good idea to keep them free of debris, especially during spring and fall when there’s lots of debris around.

Finally, summer is the perfect time to make sure your attic is sufficiently ventilated. Too hot and it can damage your roofing shingles. That’s an expensive prospect, so better to install roof vents as a proactive – and considerably cheaper – measure. Oh, and enjoy the nice weather!

Your spring and summer home maintenance playbook