It was the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson who famously said that spring is the time when "a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love." If you're a homeowner, however, your fancy should be turning to thoughts of repair and DIY projects!
Not sure where to start sprucing up your home when the snow finally melts? We've got you covered with seven of the most essential spring repairs!
1. Make Your Roof A Top Priority
Winter weather can wreak havoc on your roof--ice dams, shoveling, melting. Once it warms up enough to get out there and start your spring repairs the top of the house should be your top destination.
Take a look at your roof from the inside out, by heading up to the attic. If you can see cracks where daylight is shining in, your roof might require some repairs in that area. You can also verify this by examining the external portions of the roof.
See missing shingles? Make a note of them.
Remember that some roof leaks are not caused by absent or damaged shingles, but by leaky roof flashing. You can take care of small holes with roofing cement. More elaborate fixes might call for professional help.
2. Clean Out the Gutters
While you've got the ladder out, it's a good idea to clean out your gutters and downspouts. Over the winter months, they have likely become clogged with leaves, branches, and other debris.
You can purchase a specialty scoop designed for gutter cleaning, but a child's sand shovel often works just as well. Or don a pair of heavy-duty gloves, get dirty, and dig right in with your hands.
Consider investing in gutter covers, which can come in many forms: mesh screens, clip-on grates, or porous foam. Although these also need regular maintenance, they can save you on replacement gutter costs.
3. Seal Up the Basement
April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring damp basements. If yours has standing water, use a sump pump, a portable utility pump, or a wet-dry shop vac.
Fix any leaky basement walls, and then seal them up tight with waterproofing concrete masonry paint.
4. Screen and Storm Door Repair
When you're fairly sure that the winter winds have stopped blowing, it's time to exchange storm windows for screens. As you tackle each window and door in turn, make sure that the screening is intact and in good condition.
If it's not, pick up some simple supplies and replace the screens yourself. This is a simple project that requires only a new screen, scissors, spline, and a spline-rolling tool.
Your storm doors might also need a little TLC. Check that the closer isn't bent, broken, or otherwise out of shape. It isn't uncommon for storm doors to bear the brunt of heavy winds, which aren't just a cold-weather issue. Keep yours in tip-top shape in advance of those nasty spring gales.
5. Vet Your Vents
Take a walk around the outside of your home, training your eye on external vents. Whether from your clothes dryer or your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, these vents should all have sturdy, intact vent caps.
If the caps are missing, your vents can become very inviting to birds and rodents. Particularly during the first few warm weeks of spring, these critters will be looking for a snug, cozy place to build a nest.
With luck, you won't find any bird families making themselves at home. However, if there are nests or debris in the vents, due to absent or broken caps, you will want to tackle them right away.
It's possible to buy a dryer vent cleaning kit and DIY this chore, but be sure to wear a respirator, safety boots, and other protective gear. Bird nests can harbour bacteria and other toxins. To be on the safe side, call in a pro.
6. Speaking of HVAC Systems
Another of the most important spring repairs that every homeowner should perform relates to your HVAC system. And no, it's not enough to set the automatic timer on your thermometer.
At the very least, inspect the external components of your air conditioner to make sure everything looks A-OK. You will also want to check on the filters, and it's possible that they will need to be replaced.
A more thorough, top-to-bottom check-up is always a smart idea. Remember that your exhaust fans, ceiling fans, and dehumidifiers are all part of the HVAC system that keeps you comfortable, year-round. If something doesn't seem right, have a technician visit your home to inspect your system and make any necessary repairs.
Proper maintenance of filters, ducts, and other aspects of the heating and cooling system isn't just good for your air quality -- it can also save you a bundle on energy costs!
7. Head To the Yard
We know that you're probably itching to get out on the patio or deck and fire up the grill. But before you start marinating those steaks, there are a few more spring repairs to take care of.
If you have large trees on your property, it's likely that you have branches in your yard. Clean up any debris that has fallen, before the grass grows so high that you have to mow! Check the tree branches and prune any that are dead, diseased, or starting to look as though a good strong spring wind would do them in.
Inspect your yard for signs of pests, and address any concerns that crop up. You will also want to aerate and fertilize your lawn, and put down mulch around younger or more vulnerable trees.
Mulch helps retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing near trees. Aim for a three-inch cover, but don't apply it directly next to the tree trunks. After all, trees need to breathe, too.
Once All the Spring Repairs Are Done
Have you ticked off all the boxes on our checklist? Kudos to you! You definitely deserve to kick back with a cold drink and enjoy the beautiful warm weather.
Are there any essential spring repairs that we've forgotten? Head on over to our Facebook page and let us know!