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Mike Holmes Spring Maintenance Checklist

03-21-18 1:41 PM by HomeID
Mike Holmes Spring Maintenance Checklist

Mike Holmes' Complete Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

When most people think of spring they think April showers, the birds and bees, maybe a barbecue or two. What do I think? Spring home maintenance…and my boat.

Spring is that special time of year where we get to see how well our homes have made it through the winter. It’s when we give our homes the once over and assess the situation. I see it like checking a ship that made it across the Atlantic. You want to make sure it’s still in good working condition. And you’ll want to do the same for your home because winter puts your home to the test. What are we looking for in our preventative maintenance checklist? Things like cracks in the foundation, leaks and water damage—both inside and outside the home.

How to Inspect the Interior of Your Home

The first thing I would do is look for water stains in the attic, especially around the rafters. I’ve said it before, but your home’s first line of defense is its roof. The attic can tell you if it’s holding up. While you are in the attic, take the time to check for signs of rodents or other critters that could be nesting in the rafters. Also, check for gaps or areas of compressed insulation that will need to be addressed.

Take a look at the caulking around the windows and doors. If it’s cracked, replace it. There’s a lot of good caulking on the market. Educate yourself so you know what you’re buying. A rubberized exterior caulking moves with the window framing as it expands and contracts thanks to changing temperatures, so the seal doesn’t break. While looking at the caulking, check the window frames for any signs of damage or decay. Also, check the trim and siding for chipping and peeling to see if it is time to touch up the paint.

How to Inspect the Exterior of Your Home

If you have puddles in your backyard, front yard, or along your fence it could mean you have grading issues. That means that you will need to call a professional landscaper to re-grade the property. If you don’t fix the problem it’s only going to get worse, every year. A grading issue on your property can lead to an issue in your home, like water coming into the basement. The grade should slope away from your homes’ foundation, and surface water should be directed to the public storm water system or designated ponding areas on your property.

Check the mortar in between bricks. If it’s been eaten away by salt it could need repointing. If you have a stone path that was dry set—instead of set in mortar—brush stone dust or sand into the joints. This locks the pavers and prevents weeds from growing in between the stones. Look for signs of wear or damage to your sidewalks and driveways. Especially pay attention to areas that may have risen, causing a trip hazard and have repairs performed as needed.

And of course, check your roof. From the ground, look for missing, torn, buckling or curling shingles; asphalt granules in eavestroughs AKA gutters (you have to clean your eavestroughs too!), as well as shingles with missing granules. These are all telltale signs that you might need to reroof. Also check any screened vents including soffit vents for signs that they are becoming clogged with dust and debris.

Inspect your deck for loose screws and protruding nails, corroding fasteners and rotting wooden boards to help you determine whether or not your deck needs repairs. Having something handy to list all the issues you spot can also help. For those bigger jobs, try mapping the layout of your deck on paper (grid paper, ideally) and track all the issues you find along the way. If you are unsure of your deck’s safety, contact a professional, such as a certified deck inspector.

Spring is also a good time to check the air conditioner. As soon as the warmer weather sets in, air conditioning repairs go up. That means you might be waiting for a while if you need to get your A/C unit fixed. You don’t want to wait until it’s already hot. So, stay ahead of the game and check to make sure your A/C is working now.

How to Hire a Home Inspector

You might also want to think about getting a home maintenance inspection. A good one will provide you with a home maintenance checklist and will point out all the issues in your home and how to best prioritize repairs. Plus, having just gone through the brunt of winter, any problems in your home should be more visible—that’s why home maintenance inspections are popular in the spring. But be careful. Not all home inspectors are created equal. If you get a home maintenance inspection, make sure you hire a qualified inspector who knows what they’re doing. How do you know if they’re qualified? Ask a lot of questions.

Questions like, how long have you been a home inspector for? How many home inspections do you normally do a week? A month? A year? What are your certifications? Do you have any? Do you have insurance? How much? The more you ask the more you know, and the better position you will be in to hire the right professional that will help you and your home.