A Homeowner’s Spring Maintenance Checklist

A leaky or blocked gutter can divert damaging water into your home's walls.

Whether you live in rainy Oregon or snowy Vermont, winters are hard on homes. With spring winds and showers and a long hot summer coming, now is the time to perform a thorough spring maintenance to keep your home safe, beautiful, and at its highest possible value.

As you go through your regular maintenance routine, be sure to include checks of these five trouble areas.

Gutters

Debris-choked gutters are a leading cause of water damage. Even a single clog of leaves can redirect water out of gutters and into your home’s walls. Be sure to follow proper safety precautions when inspecting your gutters, and when you’re in doubt, hire a professional.

Plumbing

Cold winters can be brutal on pipes. Get into the basement and check your plumbing hill washing the dishes, watering the lawn, or taking a shower–any time you’re pushing a large amount of water for an extended time. Look for leaks, drips, or even surface moisture. A small leak is an easy fix that will save on your water bill, but if a leak grows and floods, pipe repair will be the least of your problems. Recheck the pipes an hour later for signs of dampness and slow leaks.

Foundation

Runoff and freezing temperatures can cause cracks in your foundation. Be sure to seal these cracks as you find them, and consult a pro if you have any questions about hidden damage or any impact on your home’s structural integrity. Pay special attention to any areas where water might pool against the foundation, often caused by lost soil.

Air Conditioning / Ventilation

Your AC unit will get a workout over the summer, so be sure your vents are free of debris and your filters are new. If you use window-mounted units, ensure that window seals are tight and wall-mounted supports are securely fastened.

Seals

Heat and cold are both hard on rubber seals and caulking. Replacing seals around your doors and windows can pay for itself in just a month and requires very little effort, so there’s no reason to avoid it.