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Inspecting your home after winter

Inground sprinkler spray water on beautiful green grass

After what felt like an endless winter, everything is slowly starting to thaw out and melt. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year, and as a new homeowner, I am starting to observe new things on my home that I need to inspect, and projects I want to tackle this summer. I purchased my home in the dead of winter with snow piled up on the exterior, so I couldn't fully see everything as much as I would have liked. Now that I have a clear view, it's time to start my spring maintenance checklist and inspect for any damage sustained during winter.

  • Examine your roof. Inspect your shingles to see if any blew away or were damaged during winter. Shingles that are loose, cracked or buckled need to be replaced. If you come across any of these issues, call a professional to assess the damage.
  • Check the gutters. Grab your gloves and clean out all of the leaves and debris in your gutters and downspouts. Then, inspect your gutters and make sure they aren't sagging. Make sure the downspouts are facing away from the foundation for proper draining.
  • Inspect your driveway and other areas with concrete. Look over your driveway and sidewalks for any sign of cracks or movement. If you see any, you can fill them in with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk.
  • Check the outside faucets and hoses. Turn on the water to make sure it's still running properly and place your thumb over the opening. If this stops the water flow, the water pressure may be too low and one of your pipes may be damaged. Call a professional for further assistance.
  • Inspect windows and doors. Check for bent or broken hinges, and any cracks or holes. Depending on how serious the damage is, you can either replace or repair your door. If you have a screen door, you can usually buy a repair kit to fix any holes or tears so bugs can't sneak through. If your windows look good, take the opportunity to wipe down the interior of the window sills if there is any dirt or mold present.
  • Inspect your deck and fences. If you have a wooden fence, repair or replace any loose slats or rotted sections. For your deck, look for any signs of water stains or discoloration. Remove any loose or rusty nails, and make sure the railings and stairs are secure.
  • Run your in-ground sprinkling system. Turn your sprinklers on to make sure they are working properly. Also look for any leaks or broken sprinkler heads, and readjust them if needed.
  • Inspect your AC unit. Clean up any leaves or branches around the cooling unit, and change the filters. If you want a professional cleaning or a tune-up, you can call a qualified heating and cooling contractor.

Good luck and happy spring!

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