By the time the weather starts to get really nice around here, a bit of spring cleaning just isn’t enough.
First, let’s hope the rain has washed most of the yellow pollen off of your car, driveway, roof and house. If it hasn’t, drag out the hose and get rid of it. Your place will look a whole lot better once you do.
Then, take a look around the outside of your home. Here are some springtime repairs and upgrades that are worth your time and some money to deal with now before they create bigger problems when the weather is unbearably hot.
- Fix your windows. Inspect the outside of each window for cracked paint, soft spots and ugly mold. If you have wood windows, pay close attention to possible rotting wood. Sand away enough of the mess to get a good look at the raw wood. If it’s rotting in a couple of spots, you might be able to get away with patching and painting for another year. But if you see several rotting areas—and if your windows have single-pane glass—your best bet is to replace them. Even if you don’t see any rot on your windows, have them painted this spring. Wood windows, especially, need maintenance every year or two so they won’t rot.
- Examine your doors. You might find rot on the bottom of the door or column, but it’s hard to tell if it has spread to the inside. Anything that’s wood and exposed to rain and sun needs constant maintaining and repainting. Consider replacing wood windows, columns, doors and siding with a vinyl or metal-clad product that holds up better in the Louisiana weather.
- Take a good look at your roof. Position yourself at an angle where you have a view of the whole slope of the roof, up to the top. Look for shingles that are curving upward rather than lying nice and flat. Those are the ones that are in danger of blowing away and of allowing rain water to find its way underneath—and into your attic.
- Clean up your porch and patio. A winter’s worth of leaves, debris and insects is standing between you and your next barbecue. While you’re sweeping and scrubbing, think about whether the patio is big enough for how you use it. A larger “outdoor room” can double as a second kitchen and entertaining area.
- Repair your driveway. If it’s concrete, it’s guaranteed to crack. Small cracks are normal, but separations of a quarter inch or more will let water migrate under the driveway, which can cause bigger cracks later on. If you’re ready to upgrade your driveway, consider using pavers. They let water soak right through, so there’s no standing water or runoff after a heavy rain.
- Cover your gutters. If you’re still climbing up on the roof to clean your gutters every few months, you’re doing more work than you have to. Guards, grids and helmets designed to cover the gutter so leaves won’t get stuck in them still let the water flow through and off of your house.
After you weed and trim and plant and cut your lawn and garden, your home still won’t look ready for summer until you do a bit of annual maintenance on the high-maintenance products on and around your home’s exterior. This year, replace the ones you can with alternatives that require less work, and next spring will be an easier season for you and your family.
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