Spring Time Tasks You Should Consider Doing
Spring Time is here. St. Louis did not have it as bad as some other areas of the country but I can bet that everyone is ready for the warm up. Now that the birds are coming around (and our beloved St. Louis Cardinals on April 7th – but who’s counting, right?) there are a few things one should consider doing around their home.
1. Check Your Roof
Your roof protects and shields your entire home and contents, important wouldn’t you say? You will want to check to make sure there are no loose or missing shingles. Clear branches or debris away and off the roof. Check all pipe flashings for integrity (squirrels love to chew on the lead flashings). Check your furnace vent cover is in place and intact. If you have a satellite dish, check where it attaches to the roof is sealed. Make sure all roof vents are free of debris and not obstructed.
2. Clean Your Gutters, Downspouts and Drain Extensions
When the rain arrives you want to kindly direct it as far from your home as you can. Ensuring that your gutters are clean is very important. Don’t forget to test the downpouts as these can become jammed from time to time. Whether you have the black drain pipe or another downspout extender, be sure it is clear as well. This protects your foundation and home from unnecessary water penetration and PRESSURE. Water close to the home foundation can create immense pressure, which only leads to bad news over time.
3. Remove Leaves from the Perimeter of Your Home and Flower Beds
Removing the leaves allows water to drain away from the home. In addition, it helps keep odors down as clumped leaves can become moldy and rotten if kept in a constant state of moisture.
4. Check the Caulk around Exterior Doors and Windows.
It is important all entry points into the home be properly caulked to eliminate water penetration. Windows, doors and smaller entry points like cable lines, water spigots, AC Lines. Walk the perimeter of your home. If you see dry, cracked or missing caulk – remove it and apply new caulk as needed.
5. Power Wash the Exterior of Your Home
Using a mild soap detergent, the same you use for washing dishes – suds up your home. Using a soft deck brush and extension handle work the trouble areas. You will these mostly on the North face of the home as it does not get the sunshine and mold likes the shady parts of a home. Using a low to medium setting on your pressure washer – rinse all the soap and dirt off and let it dry
6. Clean Your Windows and Screens
A mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and some old newspaper is all you need. Mist your windows and rub with crumpled newspaper until you hear the squeaky-clean sound. Remove your screens and rinse with a low-pressure nozzle on your garden hose.
7. Power Wash Your Deck, Patio, Sidewalks and Driveway
Again, using dish soap or a mixture of bleach and water is all you need for this task. Pre moisten the area you are working with a low-pressure setting from the power washer. Apply the cleaner and use the same scrub brush you used on the exterior of the home. Clean the area then rinse with a low-to medium setting on the power washer. You are not attempting to sandblast layers off, just trying to clean the surface.
8. Seal Your Deck or Patio
Once your deck or patio is dry from the power washing and looks completely clean – it is time to seal. Check the weather to have a 24-48 hour window of no rain from the time you start to seal. This allows ample drying time, which allows the sealer to work better in protecting your deck. There are a multitude of sealers, each better than the other dependent on circumstances such as material, age, sun exposure.
9. Schedule a Service Visit for Your Air Condition System
Do not wait until we are hitting upper 80s to schedule your service call. Schedule it now. A complete check of the system is important along with a thorough cleaning of the air coils. By the way, be sure to check your filter’s monthly. It helps keep those a coils clean which makes your system more efficient. (Which in turn saves you money) Galmiche and Sons is whom Benhardt Construction calls first for any heating and cooling needs
10. Clean and Grease Your Garage Door and Opener
Garage doors and openers are like washing machines – nobody thinks about how important they are until they are broken. Check the guiderails for dirt and debris. Wipe with a throw away towel if need be. Then place a piece of cardboard where you will be oiling, greasing, and work some into all the rollers for the door. Lightly grease the garage door opener chain. This is also a good time to check the safety reverse on the door, the safety beam and the open and closed height setting.
11. REPLACE ALL Smoke Detector Batteries
First – you should have a smoke detector in every sleeping space, hallway and furnace room. Second – go buy NEW batteries and replace all the batteries in every detector, period. $10-$20 bucks and a few minutes of your time are worth you and your family’s safety. So do it. The National Fire Protection Association goes into even more detail here.
12. Fill and Caulk or Patch Expansion Joints and Cracks in Your Concrete
Freeze/thaw cycles along with water penetration are the two major arch enemies of concrete. Freeze/thaw shifts the earth under the slabs while water penetration removes the base the concrete sits on. Patch and fill cracks and expansion joints as they develop.
13. Seal Your Driveway
Unbelievably your driveway, walks and porches really love the attention of a good sealer from time to time. It helps protect your concrete from oils and water as assists in the longevity of its useful life. Again, there is a multitude of products available. We have had great results with the products and methods we have used.
14. Seal Your Wooden Fence
Your fence is not a cheap investment. A good clean and wash is recommended for a fence of any type. If you have a wooden fence and it needs a new coat of sealer or protection – now would be a good time to do so.
Your home is most likely your single most expensive investment. Following this list will help your investment keep its value and eliminate the need for costly repairs due to years of neglect. Spring is a great time to be active and get some fresh air. If you have any questions or comments please feel welcome to contact us, any time. If you, a friend, coworker or family member would like any of these tasks completed by Benhardt Construction and Remodeling – we are able to do so. Click Any Time to Schedule a Free Consultation with Benhardt Construction and Remodeling
Oh and before we go, three things I just thought of – they are all pretty self-explanatory
1. Dethatch Aerate Fertilize and Over Seed Your Yard
2. Sharpen Your Lawn Mower Blades
3. Complete the above list, grab a cold adult beverage, sit on your deck – patio – front porch and toast yourself to a job well done!
Image courtesy of Detanan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net