Spring Home Repairs

It's time to 'spring' for a home inspection tour

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Winter may be on the way out, but it tends to leave souvenirs: a stain here, gravel where it shouldn't be, peeling paint somewhere else. Here's a short list of what to check on as the weather warms up:

Droopy power lines. If you spot sagging wires that might snag the next delivery truck, notify your electric, phone, or cable company. Not sure whose line it is? Call the electric company first.

Leaky roof. An attic or ceiling stain is a sure sign that your roof has sprung a leak. Replace torn or missing shingles ASAP, before spring rain makes things worse. Roof leaks also occur when a clogged gutter dams up snow or water, forcing it under the shingles (see below).

Clogged gutters. Backed-up rainwater or snowmelt can not only mangle a gutter or downspout, but lead to roof or foundation leaks (see above). Keep gutters clean and in good condition year-round, especially if you live in a wooded area.

Blistered paint. Winter is a menace to wooden trim boards, shingles, and clapboards. The problem: peeling paint or worn-out stain lets moisture into the walls, spawning rot and mold. Your to-do list should include repainting - or at least touching up - as soon as weather allows.

Cracked foundation. Cracks often result from badly drained soil repeatedly freezing and thawing. Always take them seriously, since they promote basement mold and flooding and may lead to structural problems. Ask a contractor you trust to take a look, or consider hiring a professional home inspector for a third-party opinion.

A yard with "bed head." Most lawns look pretty ratty before they wake up for spring. Take time to rake out the dead grass (and gravel, if your driveway isn't paved). Spread a name-brand fertilizer to perk things up.

Heating system care. Schedule your furnace's annual cleaning and checkup. If you burn wood, now's the time to have the chimney cleaned.

Outdoor equipment check. Prep your lawnmower and other seasonal power equipment so it will be ready when you need it.

 If you need a small loan to finance any of these fix-ups, please see us. As fellow homeowners, we're out checking for winter damage ourselves - knowing that a modest investment now will often head off more costly problems later.