If you’re like a lot of people, winter is not your favorite season. Even in the relatively temperate Southeast, residents crave warm weather and sunshine while they wait for the doldrums of winter to pass. Once spring comes, outdoor living becomes an everyday activity in North Carolina, South Carolina, and the surrounding states. There are, however, some tasks you should do to make sure your house is ready for warm weather every year. You will discover ten key tips as you read on.
- Your foundation – In the wintertime, cold weather and precipitation can wreak havoc on residential foundations. It is important to inspect yours for cracks, crumbling areas, and shifting or heaving at the start of every spring. If you notice foundation problems, call a professional before they get any worse.
- Your siding – If your siding has any cracks, breaks, or chips, it’s important to fix the problem right away before water damage or a pest infestation occurs. Minor problems with vinyl siding and wood siding can be repaired with silicone putty or wood filler, but major issues will require an expert’s assistance.
- Your roof – Roofs take a beating in the wintertime, especially if you live in an area of North Carolina or South Carolina where it snows regularly. Standing snow and ice can damage shingles and other roofing materials, so it’s important to take a look at your roof every spring. If you notice missing or curled shingles or damaged soffits, it’s time to call a roofer.
- Your chimney – Cold winter weather can cause chimneys to crack and high winds can loosen chimney caps. Inspect your chimney for any obvious signs of damage in the springtime so any issues can be fixed long before you need your home’s heating system again.
- Your gutters – With summer thunderstorms just around the corner, spring is the perfect time to have your gutter system professionally inspected and cleaned. Fall and winter can wreak havoc on gutters, so scheduling an annual springtime cleaning is an excellent idea year after year.
- Your wood trim – If your house doesn’t have any wood trim, this tip does not apply to you, but most residences have wood somewhere, often around doors or windows. Wood trim, like wood siding, is likely to crack and rot over the winter months. Having damaged trim pieces replaced will not only protect your home from further damage but will increase the overall curb appeal of your property.
- Your outdoor steps and walkways – Few exterior issues look worse to the naked eye than cracked and crumbling concrete steps and walkways. When the winter season is over, it is imperative for you to inspect these features to make sure they still look good for the coming months when you’ll be spending more time outdoors. If there are problems, consider having them professionally repaired or having your steps and walkways replaced with new material.
- Your attic – This tip is especially crucial for homeowners who already know their roofs have problems. If you have missing shingles or exterior water damage, the odds are good that your attic was also penetrated by melting ice and snow. It’s a good idea to have a mold expert take a look at the space for your family’s protection.
- Your sump pump – The best way to make sure your sump pump didn’t sustain any wintertime damage is to test it using a garden hose. Simply use the hose to fill the pit with water until it hits the float switch. If the pump activates properly, it should be in working order for the spring and summer.
- Your windows – Visually inspect all of the windows in your home for cracks in the glass, gaps between the trim and your exterior walls, and excess condensation between panes. If you notice any of these problems, contacting a reputable contractor should be your next move.
If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of handling all of these tasks on your own, there are a number of general contractors and home inspectors throughout North Carolina and South Carolina who will gladly take a look at your house on your behalf. Some of these professionals even offer discounted rates to clients who return to them every spring, so make sure you ask about the possibility of saving some money by being a loyal customer.