Now that spring is officially here, it's time to get out your to-do list and tackle much needed home repairs and maintenance.  We know, it's April 1st, but this is no April Fool's joke.  Home maintenance is important to do throughout the year, but this is one time of the year when it is particularly important.  Now is the season to inspect the exterior of your home and see what winter may have left behind. It's also time to make sure your home is ready to handle the storms you know are coming our way. Plus taking care of things now means you'll have more free time to relax later on.

So where do you start with exterior home maintenance?  Having a checklist like this is a good way to make sure you cover the most important things.  You may have items of your own to add, but these tasks should have priority.

Gutters and Downspouts

Believe it or not, this is one of the most overlooked areas on a home. You can find that a lot of the build-up that happens on a roof starts because of a blockage in the gutters and downspouts.  Two things need attention:  clean-out of debris that accumulated over the winter, and inspecting and testing to make sure they are in good working order.  One of the best ways to do that is to grab a partner and have one person eyeball the gutters while another one runs water through them with a garden hose.  Look for these issues:

  • Does the water spill over anywhere?
  • Are there leaks coming from the gutters themselves?
  • Do any sections sag, or are parts pulling away from where they are mounted?
  • Is the water flowing freely from the downspouts and away from the foundation of your home? (You don't want it to pool up.)
If you notice any problems, now is the time to get repairs made. You want to be ready for those heavy rains. Check for Signs of Pests

It's common for critters to look for warm places to hide during the winter, so check for evidence they found their way into your home.  Loose sections of siding may conceal a point of entry, or you may have small holes in your soffits or near your roof gables that indicate a rodent  or bat found its way inside.  You'll want to make sure your unwelcome guest has left before you seal up the holes, though.  You may need an exterminator as well as a siding repair company.

Seal Up That Wood

Any exterior wood (siding, window frames, entry doors) may need a fresh coat of stain or paint as well as wood sealer.  Don't forget your deck, either.  Unless you've got composite decking, it may be time to have your deck refinished.  No matter what material you have, you may need to have it cleaned. Power washing works great, but we don't recommend it unless you're experienced in its use.  We've seen more than one deck with severely damaged boards due to improper use of a power washer.

Other Exterior Repairs

Walk around your home and give your siding a good looking over.  Look for signs of bulging or warping, missing sections, cracks, etc.  If you have wood siding, evaluate the condition of its finish.  It may be time for a new paint or stain job.  Also check caulking and window glazing to see if any needs to be replaced.  Siding repairs should be done now prior to storm season.  And if winter was especially hard on your siding, you may want to consider having new siding installed.  Our top recommendation is our seamless steel siding.

Check the Roof

Your roof is the most important protective element of your home. Is it in the best shape possible?  If your roof is older or it's been a few years since you had it inspected, now might be a good time to get that taken care of.   You can do a visual inspection from the ground yourself - look for loose or missing shingles.

Making your home more energy-efficient might be something you should think about when going through the home maintenance list of to-dos.  Spring is a great time to get replacement windows and exterior doors installed.

If you detect problems with any of the exterior elements of your home, give us a call.  We are a licensed Minnesota building contractor and energy efficient home exterior services are our specialty.  We serve the greater Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area.