Spring is Coming - Here's How to Prepare Your Home

Aside from a recent snowfall in Nanaimo, the weather is showing us that it's time to get ready for spring! This is the time of year that we start to get outside more and more, and it's important to keep up with your home maintenance so that when we get even better weather you are ready to take full advantage of it and enjoy your outdoor space! Here are some quick tips of what to focus on when preparing your home for spring time. This doesn't only apply to if you are getting ready to sell your home! These maintenance tips can increase the longevity of the outside of your home and protect your homes value for years to come.

1. Clean gutters and downspouts

Gutters and downspouts keep water away from your home to increase the longevity of your roofing and siding and it's important to make sure that they are operating properly. If they are severly blocked, you will likely notice that during heavier rains they are overflowing due to the flow of water from the gutter to the downspout being restricted. When your gutters and downspouts are in working order all the water should flow from the downspout into a drain that pulls water away from your home. When water is overflowing from your gutters it is not reaching this drain away from the home and can cause issues with the foundation of your home.

If you're comforable with it, you can get on a ladder to check for anything that may be blocking the flow of water. This is a good opportunity to also check for spots in the roof that water may be getting through such as unsealed nail holes, or damaged roof shingles. In addition to making sure that the water is flowing properly through your gutters and downspouts, check for any rust, cracking or holes that water is escaping through and assess if they need to be sealed or replaced.

2. Seal and Fix Cracks

When water gets into various areas around your home and freezes and melts during the winter, you may notice areas that have developed small cracks around your foundation or paved surfaces such as patios or driveways. While these small cracks on their own aren't detrimental, leaving them untreated allows them to grow larger and create more separation which can start to be a problem. Do a walk around your property to look for these small crack and seal them to keep further water from getting in. Also do some investigating into how water may have gotten into these areas and if there are some prevenative measures that you can take to avoid further exposure to the elements.

For these small cracks, you can likely use a rubber cement sealant that goes on just like paint. For larger cracks where the rubber cement isn't covering over the crack, you can use a caulking solution to fill the gaps.

While you are doing this, you should also take a quick look at the edges of the exterior windows to ensure that there aren't any gaps or old caulking that needs to be replaced. If you do notice this, it's important to scrape off any old sealants before applying any new sealant to ensure that everything is properly sealed.

3. Assess and Organize your Outdoor Space

If there is anything in the yard that has been sitting through the winter, such as wood piles or yard waste, you should ensure to clean these areas up. These areas that have stayed wet throughout the winter can become an insect breeding ground if not dealt with before bug season hits and allow pests to bug you throughout the rest of the year. This also applies for areas that you notice puddles or water build up.

4. Check Outdoor Fixtures

It's important to check your outdoor faucets after the winter to ensure that the plumbing hasn't been damaged through the winter. Sometimes if there is water remaining in the pipes the cold winter weather it can freeze and lead to problems with water flow that you will want to address before you need to be watering the lawn or garden. These fixtures also include all of your outdoor lighting to ensure that nothing was damaged during winter storms or snowfalls, which we had a lot of this past year! Another thing to inspect would be if you have a heat pump. This is the time of year that homeowner's start to look at updating their heating systems so if there are any repairs or replacements to be done, you want to make sure that you get this done before the big rush and book an appointment to have everything inspected. This is also your quarterly reminder to check your furnace filters!

Not only do these tips help to increase the longevitiy of your home, but it also increases your overall curb appeal. In the case that you are preparing your home for sale, this will also show potential buyers that you take proper care of your home and build more value in your property.

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