Now with hints of warmer weather coming, we can get outside and see how the house survived the long winter. Before you know it, summer will be here and many other things will take up your time; so take advantage of the time you have now!
Look at the roof. Get up on a ladder if you are able; but better yet call a professional. Have them check all the shingles, flashing, and the chimney. Winter can be hard on roofs and inexpensive fixes now will prevent you from needing a new roof later. If your roof is older, start budgeting for a replacement. Check the gutters for leaking. Make sure downspouts are long enough to divert water away from the foundation.
Look around at the concrete. Repair any cracks with concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When the weather is steadily warmer, you can power wash and seal.
See how the exposed wood around the outside is doing. Use a screwdriver to prod the wood around your windows, doors, railings, and decks. Repair or replace as needed. Always repaint or seal with a good outdoor rated paint or stain.
Service the A/C unit. Doing it now will ensure you beat everyone calling the HVAC guy in May when the first hot days come. Clean away any vegetation or other debris around the unit; it needs free flowing air around it. You can use bushes to screen the unit but keep 3 feet of air space around it.
Check your outside faucets. If you can stop the water flow with your thumb, it’s likely there is freeze damage in the line. Consult a plumber. Check all the hoses for dry rot, check hose couplings, and repair or replace as necessary.
Start the lawn mower and other lawn machines like the leaf blower and trimmer. Check their plugs and cords for safety. Old corded trimmers and blowers can be replaced with battery powered units.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO