Spring Home Maintenance To-Do List

By: Danny Lipford
Replacing a loose gutter spike with a gutter screw.

Replacing a loose gutter spike with a gutter screw.

Outdoor Spring Home Maintenance & Repair

  • Roofs: Start by inspecting your roof and replacing damaged shingles. Next, examine the chimney flashing and mortar joints on brick or stone chimneys. Use masonry caulk to repair any gaps or cracks in the flashing. If the flashing is in bad condition, make a quick fix with caulk, then call a roofing contractor to for a more permanent repair.
  • Gutters: Use water from a garden hose to check gutters for leaks. Repair any loose gutter hangers or spikes and use a level to make sure the gutters slant slightly down toward the downspouts. To repair leaks in gutter seams, let the gutters dry thoroughly, then seal the crack using gutter sealer, exterior caulk, or roofing cement.
  • Siding and Trim: After the exterior of your house has been cleaned, make any needed repairs to the siding and trim, then patch and paint bare spots. Scrape away peeling paint, and lightly sand to soften the edges so it will blend in with the old paint. Caulk any cracks, and apply two coats of quality exterior paint, being careful to feather the edges with the paintbrush so the patch won’t show. If the entire house needs painting, watch our video on Exterior House Painting to find out more.
  • Storm Windows & Screens: If your home has removable storm windows, take them down and store until fall. Repair small tears in fiberglass screens by pressing the edges together and applying clear fingernail polish to both sides. Small holes can be fixed with a patch kit. For larger holes and tears, it’s better to replace the entire screen. Once they’re in good shape, clean window screens by soaking them in a child’s swimming pool filled with water and a little dish detergent. Use a soft brush or broom to gently clean both sides of the screen. Reinstall the screens on your windows and enjoy the spring breeze!
  • Drainage: Keep spring rains from flooding your home’s basement or crawlspace by measuring the slope around your home’s foundation to be sure it drops at least 6” in the first 10 feet. It’s also a good idea to add extension pipes or splash blocks on downspouts to direct rainwater away from your home.
  • Attic Vents: Poorly vented attics trap summer heat that can cause your air conditioner to work harder and shorten the life of roof shingles. Inspect attic vents to make sure they’re clear, and check power vents to see if they’re working properly. Replace any damaged or missing screens on vents to keep squirrels out. If your attic isn’t vented, consider adding vents or power vent fans.
  • Termites: Grab a flashlight and inspect for termites. Look around the perimeter of your home, and in the basement or crawlspace, paying particular attention to any areas where wood meets the ground. Look for termite damage on wood framing, termite tubes on foundation walls, and termites themselves. Make sure mulch, firewood, and organic debris are kept away from your home’s foundation; and don’t store wood or cardboard in a crawlspace under the house.
  • Animal Damage: Examine the outside of your home for damage from squirrels and raccoons. Squirrels will chew anything, including trim, siding, shutters, and vents. If they manage to get inside your home, squirrels can be very destructive to wiring, insulation, and anything else in their path. Raccoons are often looking for a place to nest and will tear up vents and fascia boards to set up housekeeping in your attic. Repair any damage and seal potential entry points using a hard material such as fiber cement, sheet metal, or auto body filler. Back attic vents with steel hardware cloth.
  • Septic Tank or Grinder Pump: Prevent costly and messy sewer backups by having your grinder pump or septic tank inspected. Septic tanks need to be pumped out every three to five years. Grinder pumps are installed in homes that are below the sewer line or in neighborhoods with pressurized sewer lines. Annual inspections will make sure your septic tank or grinder pump are working properly.

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10 Comments on “Spring Home Maintenance To-Do List”

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  • Tim vanVonno Says:
    May 24th, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    This is a great piece. I hope you could give a detailed list of products and where they are available. Thank you and more power!


  • Official Comment:


    Lindsay Hughes Says:
    March 14th, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    John, this isn’t the list the most recent episode is referring to. The “4 Seasons of Home Ownership” spring checklist can be found here: http://www.todayshomeowner.com/4seasons/spring/

    Thanks for watching!



  • John Crocker Says:
    March 13th, 2016 at 3:47 am

    Watched your show this morning and liked it; however, the “list” of maintenance items is not a list, it’s a pile of paragraphs spread over multi-pages and not easily printed as a list.

    Just trying to be helpful….

    Thanks for your show — I like it a lot.



  • Joy Bullington Says:
    March 6th, 2016 at 8:17 am

    For the person that tried wet and forget, it takes time, but it will work. I sprayed my bamboo shades that had mildew on them – after I had tried so many other products – and just let it be. After a month or two, the mildew was gone. Beat anything I have ever seen. It is not like other “instant” products.



  • johnnie ireson Says:
    March 2nd, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I found wet and forget at Sams club. tried it. I would not waste my money on it.



  • Natalie Hilbert Says:
    April 20th, 2014 at 5:05 am

    My son’s bedroom is sooooooo small there is no room for a closet. There is no place to put his clothes. He’s an 18 year old so he has lots of t-shirts etc. Any suggestions would be very helpful! Love the show I watch it and also air it on WHIO-TV, Dayton!!!

    Thanks,
    Natalie



  • Mindy Hakanen Says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    I would Love to have Danny come and help us do all this stuff! LOL he would be here forever trying to fix things around our house. We live in the house my Parents owned and it sure needs a lot of updating and work. We are working a little at a time. I love the show and it’s to bad he doesn’t come north sometimes. Like to Wisconsin. Thanks for sharing all the great ideas on the show!



  • Liz Says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Google the product. It looks like you can buy it in some stores and online.


  • Official Comment:


    Ben Erickson Says:
    March 29th, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Linda,
    You can find information on Wet & Forget in our article on 3 Products to Reduce Spring Maintenance at http://www.todayshomeowner.com/3-products-to-reduce-spring-maintenance-on-your-home/



  • Linda Bender Says:
    March 29th, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Saw the Charlotte Today Show. on 3/20/14. I can not find the Wet and Forget that you used for cleaning the gutters??? Where can I find this product. Please I want this products .


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