Spring is here. With daylight saving time and warmer days, we begin to appreciate the early spring, and we look forward to the spring real estate market. It’s also a good time to begin to assess your home maintenance and to make those repairs that are crucial for the upkeep of a home.
Here’s a list of suggested items to check as the winter season comes to an end:
Rain gutters. Oftentimes, after the weight of snow throughout the winter, rain gutters will break, rust or chip. They are actually very crucial to a home because they aid in removing moisture from the house. Repairs on rain gutters may range from patching a hole to securing the gutter along the house if it is removed. With proper care and maintenance, rain gutters should last for awhile. Also, be sure to clean gutters throughout the year to remove leaves and other items.
Check for frozen pipes. Unfortunately, we recently had a frozen pipe in our home, so we know from experience it is not a fun process. One of the ways to check for frozen pipes is to check your water hoses outside. Hoses should be removed prior to winter, but if you did not do this, be sure to ensure they are not bulged, which could indicate they are frozen. Bulged pipes are also a cause for concern. If this is the case or if your water will not flow in the house, you may have frozen pipes. Turn off the water, as the thawing of the pipes typically causes the big problems (water thaws then gushes out, and the frozen pipes act as a barrier).
Chipped paint on the house. Sometimes, an extreme winter causes paint to fade or chip on a home. Repairs can oftentimes be handled by the owner. Take a chip of paint to a hardware store to match the color and touch up the exterior. Of course, we recommend testing a patch prior to completing the entire project. A basic paint touch up may save a significant amount of money, as a homeowner may not need to repaint the entire house. This will aid in the curb appeal of the property as well.
Moisture. Please check your crawl space. One of the common problems we see in homes results from moisture in the crawl space Mold, mildew and foundation issues may result from the moisture. If there is standing water, it may require a sump pump to remove it. Additional ways to mitigate moisture include ensuring a slope on the soil outside the house and having a downspout that carries water five to 10 feet from the house.
Check the roof. Sometimes the roof takes a beating during winter, especially if you had the roof shoveled to remove the snow. Be sure to inspect for broken or missing shingles and replace them as needed. This will avoid leaks in the home. Also, check for any stains on ceilings inside the house, as these may sometimes be indicative of a roof leak. (Stains may also indicate attic moisture or ice dams, so either way, they should be inspected carefully).
The above list is a start to some spring preparation for your home. Sometimes, we see owners wait to fix a home until right before they sell it. You can save time and money by staying current with home maintenance after the winter and enjoy living in a well-kept home. Or, if you plan to sell your home this year, take these precautionary steps to avoid further issues in the inspection process.
Don Ricedorff is a Realtor at The Wells Group in Durango, and a past president of the Durango Area Association of Realtors. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.