With a ladder or binoculars you can usually spot any roof repairs yourself. Cracked or missing shingles/tiles should be glued or replaced to prevent water and pest intrusion. Also look for any build up of leaves or debris that could clog gutters or prevent water from draining off the roof.
Whatever kind of exterior surface you may have (stucco, siding, brick, etc.), maintaining it is necessary. Stucco cracking is most common in Florida and should be taken care of annually. Cracks are not usually an indication of foundation issues, but rather the home settling in. They can, however, allow water penetration and cause big issues later on if they are not addressed in a timely manner.
When it comes to poured concrete foundations, keep your eyes peeled for cracks. If cracks in the foundation (not hairline cracks in the stucco, remember) exist, routine caulking won’t cut it. You will need to hire a foundation expert to properly bond the cracks using a chemical reaction.
Window leaks are also as common as stucco cracks. The perimeter of the windows and doors need to be check and caulked or add weather stripping to seal the edges. This can help with energy costs as well as water intrusion. However, if you see condensation inside the glass on the double or triple-glazed windows during the winter months, that could mean the weather seal has been compromised and either the glass or the whole window needs replacing.
Leaky faucets or supply/drain lines can wreak havoc on your home. Be sure to check under sinks, and look at the connections and fittings. Look for water stains on the toekicks around the dishwasher, and washing machine hoses for cracks, bulges or dampness.
Just as you readied your furnace for fall, now is the time to make sure that air conditioning units are in good working order for the warmer months ahead. Change the filter, check hose connections for leaks, and make sure the drain pans are draining freely.
Search for signs that insects and critters have colonized. Also, search aggressively for mold, which often takes the form of gray or black blotches. Proper insulation and good ventilation will deter mold growth in the attic, so take action now to prevent the problem from multiplying in the warmer months ahead.
Dampness in a basement suggests higher-than-normal relative humidity, inadequate ventilation and the need for a dehumidifier. Check the base of poured-concrete walls for cracks and evidence of water penetration. And use a flashlight to examine exposed framing. If you see what looks like tunneling on the wood, call a pest control company.
Spring is a good time to clean areas of the house that often go neglected. Dust or vacuum chair rails, window casings, tops of wall-mounted cabinets and ceiling fans. Launder or dry clean fabric draperies and use a damp cloth to clean wood and vinyl blinds. Vacuum upholstered furniture and mattresses, and consider renting a carpet cleaner to shampoo carpeting.
Look for warped, loose or splintered boards, and do a good sweep to remove any leaves and debris that might have accumulated 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 manufacturer’s recommendations on seasonal care.
Keeping your Lanai free of debris, critters, and insects is a great thing. Replacing torn or missing screens is a great way to enjoy your outdoor space before it gets to hot.