Finally, it’s spring! With this winter’s record setting snow and rain, it’s more important than ever to perform some spring maintenance tasks. You’ll reduce frustration and save money by touring your property to head off problems that may have occurred during the cold winter months.
Here’s a list of my top 10 Santa Cruz home maintenance tasks for the spring:
1. Cut shrubs and trees. Remove dead or broken limbs. Have a professional tree service remove large trees that are dead. Trim overgrown trees and shrubs away from your home to discourage the growth of mildew and moisture.
2. Check your gutters and downspouts. You know the old adage “April showers bring May flowers.” Don’t let all those April showers cause your basement or crawl space to flower with mold. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.
3. Examine exposed wood. Because wood is porous material, it easily deteriorates when exposed to the weather. Inspect the wood trim around windows and doors and your wooden decks and railing. If you find cracked or peeling paint, sand the area and repaint it promptly. Repair split or damaged wood.
4. Inspect siding and stucco. Look for obvious problems, such as warped, missing or damaged boards, holes in stucco, crumbling mortar, cracks, and defective paint.
5. Install surge protectors. Spring often brings electrical storms. Each time a surge occurs, the damage to your electronics and electrical appliance accumulates, weakening the components until they finally fail. Good grounding and properly installed surge protectors should protect your equipment from all but the most severe electrical surges. Select surge protectors that have indicating lights or audible alarms to indicate when they need to be replaced. The surge protectors should be listed to UL Standard 1449 and come with a manufacturer's warranty.
6. Inspect your A/C. Clear leaves and other debris away from the outside unit. Have a professional air conditioning contractor inspect and maintain your system as recommended by the manufacturer.
7. Check for roof damage. Remove any dead trees/branches/litter from the roof. Replace shingles that are warped, loose, cracked or are missing granules. Have a qualified roofer repair damaged flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys.
8. Examine concrete for signs of cracks or movement. Decks, patios, sidewalks and driveways should be checked for winter damage. Before weeds take up residence, fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. Pressure wash and seal the concrete.
9. Check water supply lines. Are any of them dripping or leaking? Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced.
10. Inspect your lawn and garden equipment. Clean equipment and sharpen blades to make yard work easier.
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