How to Help Your Home Recover From Winter

There’s a sense of deep pride that comes with being a homeowner. But with that satisfaction comes its share of weekend home improvement projects and upkeep, too.

Winter is usually rough on your home. Once snow, ice, wind and freezing temperatures calm down, spring is a good time to check how your home withstood the season. When spring arrives, here’s a list of projects to help your home recover from winter:

SPRING HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST

  • Have your roof inspected. This is especially important if you notice any leaks or loose shingles or metal. The freezing and thawing that was so common this past winter can create big splits out of small cracks. Learn more about how to protect your home from melting snow.
  • Fix any ceiling stains. Your ceiling may have a yellow or brown stain if your roof has a leak. If so, first fix the leak before sealing the stain with a sealer/primer then apply a coat or two of paint. Moisture problems can lead to mold or mildew build-up, so fix them quickly before you have a bigger problem on your hands.
  • Inspect windows and doors. Things to look for on doors include bent or broken hinges, frames or edges. Depending on the extent of the damage, you can either repair or replace the door. Also, check screens for holes before you swap out your storm panels.
  • Consider resealing your driveway. A lot of water seeps into driveways during the winter, which can create cracks when it freezes then thaws. If you notice a lot of cracks, consider having it resealed to prevent further cracking.

Related: What Does a Home Inspector Look For?

  • Seal your deck every few years. If your deck is looking worn-down, have it pressure washed and resealed. Read more about deck maintenance in this post.
  • Check your fence(s). Repair or replace any loose slats or rot on your fences. Use epoxy to patch up any worn wood.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Leaves can weigh things down while ice dams can bend and break gutters. Grab a pair of gloves, a sturdy ladder and a trowel to clear any leaves and debris out. Call a professional if you’re not comfortable doing this on your own. Want more tips? Check out this post on how to clean your gutters.
  • Check for ice dams. If you’re dealing with an ice dam and want to try a DIY approach, first remove snow with a long-handled aluminum roof rake. Then fill a pair of pantyhose with calcium chloride ice melter and hang it from your roof so it crosses the ice dam and hangs off the gutter. If that doesn’t melt the ice dam, call a pro—you don’t want to be up on your roof during icy conditions. Learn more in this post on what to know about ice dams.
  • Apply caulk to leak-prone areas. Expansion and contraction can cause openings that will let April rains seep in. Seal it up by applying exterior caulk to leak-prone areas like windows and areas of the siding where walls join together.
  • Inspect outside faucets and hoses. Turn them on to ensure water is still running as it should; if you can stop the flow with your thumb, the water pressure may be too low and a pipe inside your home may need to be fixed.

Additionally, you might want to check your home’s foundation. After winter, a frost heave could cause your home’s foundation to shift.  Learn how to spot the signs of frost heave.