After a long Minnesota winter - lots of snow, ice, sleet and cold - it's finally time to think about opening the windows to capture those cool spring breezes. But before you throw open the doors, take a few minutes to review this checklist of things to do to keep your home safe and secure throughout the rainy season.
Tips to help property owners safeguard their homes this spring:
Make sure your windows are operating properly. Check to make sure the mechanisms of your windows - whether they're casement, sliding or double-hung - are functioning properly. Lubricate tough-to-open windows to that opening and closing take little effort.
Trim your trees and bushes. Now's the time, before the buds are on the greenery, to cut back limbs that overhang your gutters and to trim shrubbery that's too close to the house. Keeping them away from your home will help prevent moisture buildup, mold, and storm-related damage.
Make sure spring rainfall runs away from your house. Grade your lawn and landscaping beds to direct water away from your foundation. Foundation leaking and cracks can be extremely costly. Use downspout extenders to keep drainage as far away as possible.
If you have ivy crawling up your house, now's the time to cut it back. As attractive as ivy is, it's not good for your exterior, whether wood, vinyl, brick or stone. Ivy traps and holds moisture against the home and forms attachments to exterior surfaces that could degrade their strength and integrity.
Fix any leaks you're aware of. Winter often brings with it ice dams that develop on the shingles over your gutters. If these caused you problems over the winter, have a professional repair the spot, both inside and out to prevent further damage from rainwater.
Repair concrete driveway cracks. Winter cold expands concrete and often leads to cracking. Keep yours from eroding further during this wet, rainy season by patching any spots that may have erupted over the winter.
Clean dryer vents. Spring is a good time to check your vent - clogged vents cause warm air to blow back into the room and, more importantly, can pose a fire threat if left unchecked.
Have your air conditioner professionally checked. Often air conditioning systems require new insulation over the pipes coming into your home and a good cleaning at the base to remove leaves and other debris. This will help the unit function at higher efficiency.
Clear out planting areas. Rake all the dead leaves and plants from your landscaping areas to reduce mold and allow rain to reach the roots of shrubs or other plants. This is most important for those areas up against the house, where added moisture is never a good thing!
Check caulking and weather stripping around all doors and windows. The harsh temperatures and built-up ice can cause caulking and weather stripping to crack and lose effectiveness. Replace any that's worn with new, making sure to paint caulk where required to seal out moisture.
These tips will help you take on spring with confidence that your house and yard are ready for spring!
Info courtesy of Integrity Insurance