Spring is the best time of year to clean the house and start making repairs. The weather is warmer — but not too warm — and everything is coming back to life after a long winter. What projects do you have planned for the coming months? Here are seven important home repairs you should take care of this spring.
1. Cabinets and Drawers
The cabinets and drawers in your house — especially the ones in the kitchen — accumulate lots of hair, dead skin, dust and other small particles. These contaminants are more common during the winter because you spend more time indoors and there’s less air circulation. You don’t want that stuff to get onto your clothes and cooking utensils, so you need to keep your cabinets clean.
Start by emptying the cabinets and washing the interior with dish soap. Add a touch of baking soda and use warm water if you encounter any stubborn areas. Let the baking soda sit for a few minutes to let it break down the grime.
You should also perform a weight test and make sure all of the cabinets’ screws are tight before putting all of the items back. If you think the cabinets need more support, you can use different reinforcement tools like wooden shims, L brackets, toggle bolts and brace jigs.
2. Roof Shingles
Your roofing has a rough time during the fall and winter months. Rain and snowstorms can loosen the shingles, allowing water to seep through the cracks. Leaves, tree branches and other debris can also cause curling in asphalt shingles and slowly loosen them over time. Damaged shingles often lead to mold growth, leaks, rotted ceilings and many other problems.
You need to regularly inspect your shingles to prevent these issues. Look out for fading or loss of texture — also known as granule loss. Any loose shingle should stick out like a sore thumb. You can easily restabilize them with stainless steel roofing nails. Trimming any trees and climbing plants near the roof also prevents damage and makes the plants healthier at the same time.
3. Gutters and Downspouts
You’re not done with the roofing repairs yet. You also need to inspect the gutters and downspouts. Ice is a huge problem for these areas. If your gutters don’t have sufficient water flow because they’re clogged with leaves and other debris, they quickly develop ice dams and start to sag. Sagging gutters can lead to broken downspouts, which leads to stormwater leaking into your house’s foundation.
So yeah, your gutters and downspouts are important. Look out for any sagging areas and try to readjust the slope. If the sagging is severe, you probably need to hire a professional. Your downspouts should redirect stormwater at least ten feet from your home’s foundation.
4. Exterior Siding
After you repair the roof, you can move down to the exterior siding. Your siding’s paint is more prone to chipping, peeling and cracking when exposed to cold winter temperatures. Now that the weather is warmer, it’s time to give your siding a fresh coat of paint. This simple repair will make your home pop with color and boost its curb appeal.
Make sure you choose a paint without volatile organic compounds. Long-term exposure to VOCs can lead to many health problems including respiratory illnesses and a higher risk of certain cancers. Using the right paint can make your home prettier and healthier.
5. Screen Doors
Your screen doors could likely use an upgrade this spring. Although you didn’t use them much during the winter, they still experienced damage from snow and ice. Small animals trying to escape the cold could also tear holes in the screen. Now that temperatures are pleasant, you can repair or replace your screen doors without filling your home with cold air.
A fresh set of screens on your front and back doors will create optimal ventilation, which reduces your home’s energy consumption and utility bills. The screens will also effectively filter out dust, dead skin and other indoor pollutants.
6. Driveway Cracks
Your driveway is under a lot of stress from the constant freezing and thawing that happens throughout the winter. Repeated contraction and expansion easily leads to cracks. Plus, any trees next to your driveway can also destabilize the asphalt from underneath. You need to patch up these cracks to avoid more serious damage down the road.
You can refill cracks with a concrete sealant or a new coat of asphalt. The first option is cheaper and easier, but it’s not a permanent solution. If you have any potholes, you will need to hire a professional to remove the damaged spot and resurface it.
7. Sprinkler System
Cold temperatures can also damage your underground irrigation system, especially the sprinkler lines. The concept is the same as with cracked driveways – constant freezing and thawing destabilizes the materials and causes them to break.
If your sprinkler lines have any leaks, you can repair them with slip couplings or replace the damaged area with new piping. This task is much easier when the ground is fully thawed, so you might have to wait until later in the season if you live in a colder climate.
Get a Fresh Start This Spring
Long winters take a toll on your home’s interior and exterior alike. Spring has the opposite effect. It’s a season for new beginnings, when home renovations abound. These seven repairs will improve your home’s safety and appearance, helping you get a fresh start for the rest of the year.