Inspect your roofing materials.
Inspecting your roof before winter hits is essential for preventing damage to your home, and inspecting your roof after the season has passed is equally important. Winter weather can wreak havoc on your home. You don’t want a lovely spring rain to turn into a roof leak. Inspect your roof for damage by looking for peeling, cracking, and sagging materials. When shingles shed granules excessively, this is a sign of damage that can lead to curling or peeling. Missing granules also make your roof more susceptible to damage from the sun, which could be a problem in the upcoming summer months.
Take a close look at flashing.
Damage and leaks often occur on the areas of your roof where there is flashing. You’ll want to be sure that all flashing around chimneys, vents, and any other seams is unharmed and firmly attached. The safest way to inspect your roof is from a ladder without climbing onto the roof, which is what we recommend. If you’re unsure whether what you’re seeing is damage, it’s best to call a professional to make an inspection and give an estimate.
Manage growth around your home.
Trees and shrubs grow in the spring and summer, so it’s important to manage them around your home before they get out of hand. Trees can drip moisture onto your roof and drop debris into your gutters, and overhanging limbs could fall during a storm and cause damage. Trim trees back in the spring, leaving five to seven feet of clearance between the branches and the edge of your roof.
Moss and mildew are additional issues to monitor in the spring. Moss traps moisture on the roof, damaging roofing materials and shortening the roof’s lifespan. Mildew isn’t necessarily harmful to the roof itself, but it can leave stains that lower your home’s curb appeal.
Gutters and Downspouts
Your gutters are critical for keeping water away from your home. Over the winter, they may have taken a beating from snow and ice buildup. The pattern of freezing and thawing can be hard on your gutters, causing them to stretch and break. In spring, it’s a good idea to thoroughly inspect your gutters and downspouts for winter damage. A broken or clogged gutter can lead to a huge problem if it’s not fixed before a heavy rain.
Clean gutters of any debris that may have found its way inside. You can clean gutters by simply pulling debris out using a ladder and gloves. Your downspouts should send water 5 feet from foundation walls. If you notice water isn’t flowing properly through the downspouts, they may be clogged with debris as well. You can use a plumber’s snake to break up debris in the downspout.
Siding and Trim
If you have vinyl or wood siding, inspect it in the spring and evaluate its overall condition. Look for obvious damage such as cracks, loose or missing pieces, or rot. Wood siding can rot if mold or mildew traps moisture for too long. Wash away any mold or mildew so you can clearly see any damage that may exist. Correct any damage as soon as possible to make sure your home stays protected from the elements.
Water stains on your siding usually indicate that your gutters aren’t functioning properly. You may notice efflorescence on brick siding, which is a whitish, powdery residue that is left when water evaporates. While it’s usually just an aesthetic issue, it can also indicate that you have a problem with excess moisture. If you notice this on your siding or trim, contact a professional to have it examined.
Spring is a great time to manage all the parts of your property that are often overlooked. Yard work is a staple for the spring season. Take advantage of nice weather and tackle your landscaping. Landscaping keeps your home looking great on the outside, but it’s also important for managing soil erosion and water drainage. The ground should slope away from the house to keep moisture away from your foundation and prevent water damage. Trim shrubs and foliage away from your home’s siding. While you’re trimming, also check your foundation vents for damage. The vents need room for airflow, so make sure nothing is blocking them.
When spring rains come, you want your home to be prepared to handle the longest torrential downpour. Your sump pump is an important defense against flooding. Check to make sure your pump is functioning properly by pouring water into the pit. If the pump activates and begins to push water out, it is functioning. According to InterNACHI, your pump should also be inspected by a professional each year.
It’s a good idea to give your chimney an inspection and cleaning during the spring months. A thorough cleaning should be done to look for cracks or crevices. When cracks exist, you run the risk of attracting nesting birds or insects in spring and summer. Chimney cleaning and inspection should always be conducted by a professional.