Spring home maintenance tips from Marvin Windows and DoorsBy Marvin Windows
A few simple steps now could save you big money later
Warroad, Minn., March 15, 2010 – Spring is a great time to give your home a check-up. The cold, ice and snow of winter can be tough on a house. You may be able to make a few small fixes now that will save you big money later. And if everything checks out perfectly — great. You’ve just given yourself peace of mind for the rest of the year.
Here are some spring maintenance tips from Marvin Windows and Doors.
- Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean. If your gutters or downspouts are blocked, water can infiltrate your home through the eaves. And if your downspouts don’t carry water well away from your foundation, you could get water in the basement during spring rains.
- Look at your roof. The freeze-thaw cycle can lead to cracked or broken shingles. Also look for shingles that are missing, curling or cupping. If you have a flat roof, look for any pools of water – a sign that your flat roof isn’t draining properly.
- If you can do it safely, check the flashing around chimneys and vents, and in the valleys between roof pitches. This is a common area for leaks.
- Check the caulk and seals around your window frames, both where the window glass meets frame and where the frame meets the side of your house. If there are any gaps, seal them with caulk or a foam sealing product.
- Test your windows from inside the house to make sure they’re operating smoothly. Check to be sure the weatherstripping is in good shape. Lubricate the mechanism with a dry lubricant — oily lubricants attract dust and dirt, which can eventually restrict the window’s movement.
- Give your patios and decks a pressure washing. Also check your patio door. As with the windows, inspect the caulking where the door frame meets the side of the house. Make sure the tracks are free of debris and check to see that the door slides smoothly.
- If your windows or patio doors need replacement, remember that the federal government is offering a tax credit of up to $1,500 for energy-efficient products purchased in 2010.
- Look at the siding on your house. For wood siding, make sure the paint is in good shape and check for loose nails. For vinyl siding, look for cracking, warping or gaps between the panels.
- If you have brick siding, check for “spalling.” That’s when the face of the brick chips or pops away, leaving the interior of the brick exposed to moisture.
- If you have air conditioning, clean away any leaves or debris that have accumulated on the outdoor condenser unit. Then get the AC inspected and serviced by a professional contractor.
- Trim the shrubs around your home so they’re not touching the house. Make sure the ground slopes away from your foundation, to drain away water. If there are depressions or gaps, fill them in with stones and soil.
- Change the air filter on your furnace and check around the base of your water heater for leaks.
- And don’t forget to get your barbecue grill out of the garage!