SPRING HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST – Ground Hog day has come and gone with no shadow in sight.

According to legend we will have an early spring this year. As winter ends it’s time to give your home a complete physical, inside and out, to get ready for the warm-weather months. With spring weather just around the corner it’s a great time to take advantage of moderate temperatures to get a head start on what should be an annual spring home maintenance routine.

EXTERIOR INSPECTION – Its good to do a walk-around of your property, especially after a storm. Winter is tough on roofs. It can also take a toll on windows, walls, foundations, gutters and decks.

ROOF – You don’t need to climb up there yourself; with binoculars and a keen eye, you can probably spot trouble. Do you see any shingle-shift? Any cracked or missing shingles? What about nail-pops? That’s when nails push the tabs of the shingles up, allowing water to get in where those nails are coming through. All of these will need to be addressed by a professional roofer to keep your roof at peak performance.

EXTERIOR WALLS – Whether you have wood siding, stucco or brick, look for trouble spots, especially under eaves and near gutter downspouts. Water stains normally indicate that your gutters are not adequately containing roof runoff. If you have wood siding, check for openings, damaged areas or knots that have popped out, making way for carpenter ants, woodpeckers and other critters that may nest in or burrow through.

FOUNDATIONS – When inspecting the exterior of your home be sure to examine the foundation from top to bottom for masonry cracks. Routine caulking by homeowners won’t do the job. Hire a professional who can use a two-part epoxy injection system that will bond cracks chemically.

WINDOWS – Leaks around windows will let in warm summer air and let cooled indoor air escape, so be sure to check that any caulking and weather stripping you have in place has remained intact. If you experience condensation inside the glass on double- or triple-glazed windows during the winter months, the weather seal has been compromised and either the glass or the window will need to be replaced. Make sure to spring clean your windows – inside and outside. If screens were on all winter, remove and clean them with mild detergent. Lay them on a dry surface, like a driveway, to air-dry before putting them back on. Never power-wash screens as it could damage the mesh.