Spring Home Maintenance Tips
After a long and cold winter, spring's bright sun and warm winds are... well... a breath of fresh air. The only downside? All those rays, spotlight the damage left behind by bleak cold winter weather. Follow these 5 tips to ensure your family and home are ready when the anticipated season arrives in Eastern North Carolina.
1. Look Up!
Check your roof for damage. If you're afraid of heights, don't worry. With binoculars and a keen eye, you can probably spot trouble. To keep your roof at peak performance, look for any missing or damaged shingles. If you have a torn or broken shingle, rain can penetrate around the nails and cause damage to your home. Do you see any shingle-shift, suggesting that some fasteners may have failed? Often nails push the tabs of the shingles up, allowing water to get in where those nails are coming through. After assessing the outside of your roof, climb in the attic and inspect for any holes or leaks you might not have noticed.
Fix and replace any damaged or missing shingles. Replace any fasteners that have deteriorated. Found a leak? No problem! Simply replace the shingles or flashing, above the location of the leak. Leaks often occur where flashing has been installed incorrectly or has been damaged. If the flashing is channeled into a wall, dust any debris from the joint, removing any old mortar or sealant as necessary. Use the end of a screwdriver to push flashing clips, into the joint, to hold lead firmly in place and run a continuous bead of lead sealant along the joint.
2. See for Yourself!
Did any areas of your home feel particularly cold this winter? The source of discomfort may be your windows. If they are not installed or sealed properly, they could be hampering your ability to keep the air at a comfortable temperature, causing an unnecessary spike in energy costs. With old windows, the glazing putty may have grown brittle and fallen away, leaving the glass rattling in place. Double-hung sashes of wood windows can shrink with age and wear, letting in warm air. Even newer vinyl or aluminum windows may have worn-out gaskets and weather stripping. Test to ensure the sashes are working properly. Check to make sure any weather stripping you have in place has remained intact. If you experienced condensation inside the glass on double- or triple-glazed windows during the winter months, the weather seal has been compromised, and either the glass or the window will need to be replaced.
Spring-clean your windows—inside and out—using window cleaner and a cloth or squeegee. Never use a pressure washer, as you might scratch the glass or crack the caulking around the window. If screens were on all winter, remove and clean them with mild detergent. Lay them on a dry surface, like a driveway, to air-dry before putting them back on. Reseal the exterior of your windows with a high-quality polymer such as caulk or silicone.
Replace the window. A worn, rotted, or chronically rattling window is simply past its useful life. Replacing old windows is a job for a pro. You’ll be able to take your pick of low-maintenance frame materials, as well as low-E and insulated glass options.
Cost: About $600 per window.
3. Inspect Your Exterior Walls
Whether you have wood siding, vinyl, stucco, brick, or cement, look for trouble spots especially under eaves and near gutter downspouts. Water stains normally indicate that your gutters are not adequately containing roof runoff. If you have wood siding, check for openings, damaged areas or knots that have popped out, making way for carpenter ants, woodpeckers and other critters that may nest in or burrow through. Look for cracks in your cement siding, replacing if necessary.
To fix water damaged walls yourself, first remove the rotted boards completely, wherever possible. Cut out the rotted sections from boards that cannot be removed. Smaller sections of the rotted wood can be cut out with a rotary tool and an attached saw blade accessory. Cut and install new boards of the same dimensions as the original boards you removed. Toenail them in place, with framing nails angled through the top and bottom ends of the board. Reinforce the wall at the top and bottom by installing aluminum hurricane brackets at the top and bottom of replaced or repaired pieces. This will help to keep the wall from shifting back into its old position.
To replace damaged vinyl siding, use a zip tool to unlock the siding from the surrounding pieces. Use tin snips to cut out the damaged area. Use a table saw or circular saw to cut a patch from a good piece of vinyl. The patch should be larger than the piece you removed. Run a bead of adhesive caulk around the back of the patch, and set the patch in place. Then lock the siding back into place.
4. Inspect Patios and Decks
Is your deck or patio your "go to spot" to enjoy the new warmer temperatures? Before you plan that backyard cookout, look for warped, loose or splintered boards, and do a good sweep to remove any leaves and debris accumulated in the space between boards. If the finish on your wood deck is faded or worn, now is the time to clean, stain, and reseal it. If you have composite decking, follow manufacturers’ recommendations on seasonal care. The same is true for wood and composite fences, pergolas, trellises and other structures. If you have a stone patio, a simple hose-down provides all the maintenance required.
Seal your deck with waterproofing wood stains to prevent water damage, while the coating resists mildew and UV damage. Replace any warped or cracked deck boards with new ones, and resecure any loose boards with new deck screws.
The humid weather in Eastern North Carolina can make maintaining a wooden deck seem like a daunting task. Tired of replacing and maintaining all that wood? Replace it with a composite deck. Composite decking is designed for maximum durability. It resists fading, staining, scratching and mold, and won’t rot, crack or warp. It’s also insect-proof and splinter-free, making it safer and more comfortable for families with kids and pets.
5. Check Foundation Vents
Many houses in Eastern North Carolina are built with a crawl space. A house with a crawl space has vents along the foundation walls. The vents provide air circulation that helps dissipate excess moisture and prevent mold growth. The vents have screens that keep critters from building their nests under your residence. The screens usually are recessed and become catch-alls for leaves, twigs and assorted debris.
Spring is a great time to clean out foundation vents and check screens for damage. Clean the vents by hand or a shop vacuum. Repair any damaged screens knowing that a rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, and mice can get inside a hole barely bigger than the diameter of a pencil!
Regardless, if the size of the project requires doors and windows, room additions, or new construction of any size, Goldsboro Builders Supply team of experts is dedicated to providing an organized system, quality standards, efficiencies and controls to satisfy our customers and builders alike. Contact Us today for more information on how to prepare your home for spring or to schedule a consultation with a member of the Goldsboro Builders Supply team.