As a Hopkinton resident, Marathon Monday signals the true beginning of Spring. On Patriots Day we watch the runners parade through town, and then I, without fanfare, ingloriously report home and officially begin Spring Maintenance.
At my house, Spring Maintenance is broken into three phases which are tackled separately, with a simple checklist, a can-do attitude and a bottle of suds as just reward after a day of hard work .
-Every home’s maintenance needs are custom. This checklist keeps my home humming-.
Part 1: Exterior Home Maintenance-
Our houses are continuously exposed to the elements. To perform, and look their best we need to maintain them. Semi-annual is a good start, and after a New England winter, Spring Maintenance often can’t come soon enough. The goal is to identify and address problems with the exterior of your home, and remedy them before Summer Sun and fun.
1: On the ladder
Gutters– There is a reason you find “cleaning gutters” on every maintenance checklist out there. Clean gutters ensure proper water drainage away from your home and serve to protect your roof, siding, foundation, and foundation plantings from water damage. Clean gutters (and downspouts!) serve the purpose of their design. Neglected gutters, not so much.
Clogged gutters lead to a host of problems including, improper drainage, pest attraction (cozy home for mice, spiders, carpenter ants), miledew/mold, damage to your home’s physical structure and plantings, wood-rot or corrosion of the gutters themselves, and ice dams.
- Remove all leaf litter and debris from gutters
- Fill gutters with water and check for leaks
- Ensure downspouts are clear and draining water properly away from home
- Gutters DONE
Windows/Doors: By design windows and doors bring the beauty of the outdoors into our homes. Proper maintenance will ensure our cool air stays inside this summer, and pesky mosquitos, moths and their bothersome brethren are kept outside.
- Check, and repair as needed sealing and weather stripping around windows and doors
- Remove and wash window screens
- Wash exterior windows
- Install screen doors for summer season
- Windows/Doors DONE
Siding: The siding and color of your home distinctly represent its design, character and charm. Your home’s siding is substantial, and Spring Inspection for chinks in the armor will serve to protect and beautify.
- Powerwash home siding
- Check for damage from pests
- Carpernter ants/bees
- Inspect/sand down areas requiring paint touch-ups
- Touch up exterior paint
- Siding DONE, finally
2. On the roof : From the ladder to the roof, it is time for a physical inspection of how your home survived winter’s worst. To the trained eye, evidence of damage will be apparent at once. Visual clues to look for include:
- Loose shingles
- Popped Nails
- Chimney/mortar damage
- Damaged chimney/skylight flashing
- Off the roof, DONE
3. On the Ground- Finally I am ready to check the foundation and any subterranean exterior features of my home. Oftentimes, if not inspected, this is where critters and crawlers will attempt to take residence.
- Inspect foundation vents and ensure screens are intact
- Clean out window wells
- Check exposed foundation for visible signs of water damage or cracking
- Ground list, DONE
For most, home maintenance is a tedium we wish we could, and sometime do neglect. However, that persistent nag in the back of our heads is right; “neglect today, problems tomorrow.” I was recently chatting with my dentist friend, and realized that we offer the same service. For your health, or your home’s, semi-annual maintenance is an absolute necessity. If you concur, but don’t have the time or inclination for DIY home maintenance, contact MEC.
My Spring Maintenance is done. Ready for my beer, and my 6 mo. appointment at Great Hill Dental