April Showers Bring May Flowers…and Home Maintenance
April showers bring May flowers. And possibly water in your basement or rain seeping through your roof.
Now is the perfect time to do a spring tour of the exterior of your home. A thorough inspection of key areas could save you money now and in the long run.
This month, check out these areas:
Check the grade (slant of the earth) around your house to make sure that water will run away from your house instead of toward it. If it’s soaking into your house instead of your garden, consult a landscape contractor on how to fix the drainage pattern.
Examine your siding for cracking, blistering, or fading—all signs that your siding needs refinishing. Also check joints where windows, doors, and decks meet. Make sure there are no places for water to enter. Remember: windblown rain can enter through small holes and cause big leaks.
Check your gutters for leaves, twigs, and other debris. Pour some water through the downspouts to determine if they are clear and if they’re draining far enough away so the water will not flow back into your house.
In Minnesota, a typical roof will last approximately 20 years. If the age of your roof is fifteen years or more, have the roof checked to ensure it is in good shape. If your roof is more than 20 years old, get ready to replace it before it starts leaking. Inspect your roof for cupped, broken, chipped, or missing shingles. Pay special attention to openings through the roof, which typically are the first places you will see leaking. Look for discoloration on both the interior and exterior of the roof.
Examine the joint where the deck meets the house to see if there are water stains and caulk any open joints. Check the structure for cracks, and look for rot on the board ends, post bottoms, and decking. Then move to the base and check the concrete footing tops for degradation. Finally, clean and seal or paint your deck. Applications typically last two years. Letting your deck weather can accelerate the UV rays that shorten the life of your deck.
Next Steps: Repair
Found some areas that need repair?
- – If you like to do the work yourself and have questions, talk to the staff at your local hardware store. Many have expertise in the quirks and personalities of homes in your neighborhood and can give you great tips and guidance.
- – If you’re not a DIY type, ask your neighbors to recommend “handypeople” in your area or check out sites such as Angie’s List for referrals.
- – Call us! We’re always happy to answer your questions and provide referrals.