How to prep your home for spring

The snow and ice are finally subsiding — make sure your home is getting into tip-top shape!

The state line area had a pretty tough winter in 2018-2019. After a big snowfall in early November, there was not much in the way of precipitation until January, but the snow and ice seemed to linger up until about a week or so ago. Finally, the grass is starting to show and mounds of ice and snow have subsided.

We wrote about how to prepare your home for the winter back in December. Simple “hacks” like watching for ice dams, having emergency kits in the house, and preventing freezing pipes can make a world of difference for the value and safety of you and your home.

While spring is a much happier time than winter for those of us in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, homeowners still have plenty to think about. Spring is the time for cleanup, improvements and renovations. As the weather improves, it’s never too early to start thinking about how you can make your home well-maintained for the warm months and ensure that no damage was done in the winter.

We love HGTV just as much as the next guy, and they came up with 10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring that we really felt like we had to share. Here are some of the most important ones:

Examine your roof shingles

Your roof can take a beating during the winter months. Heavy snow, ice, and rain can really wear on your roof. If the insulation in the attic isn’t up to snuff, ice dams can become a problem. Tree limbs can fall onto the roof, too, with little opportunity for removal until the frost has completely left.

Take the time to examine the different parts of your roof and the condition of the shingles. Obviously, the older your roof is, the more likely it is you may need to call a contractor and have some of the shingles replaced. Even if it is just a small repair, it may be beneficial to have a roofer come out and do some work to keep the overall condition of the roof in proper shape. Small repairs will prevent larger problems in the future. NOTE: Never get up on your roof — leave that to the licensed and insured professionals. You can still check the condition of the roof from the ground, or even by using a ladder if you live in a one story home.

Check your gutters

Walk around your home and look for broken or loose sections of your gutters. Just as the snow and ice can take its toll on your roof, the same can be said of your gutters. If there is light rain, go outside and make sure the gutters and downspouts are flowing to the proper areas. Doing this can prevent flooding in your basement and damage to the foundation of your home. If water is not flowing where it is supposed to, the water can easily do damage to your home in a number of ways.

Another way to help prevent water flowing into the basement and damage to the foundation of your home is to use compacted soil in low areas around the house. If water has eroded some of the soil or grass around your home, place compacted soil down to prevent larger issues from arising. Compacted soil can keep the rain water from building up around your foundation and flooding into your basement.

Keep an eye on the foundation

Look in your basement, walk around the outside of the home, and check any concrete slabs for signs of cracking. Cracks can be easily filled with concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. Additionally, power washing and sealing outside patios will keep them in good shape for a longer amount of time.

Check the outside faucets

Damage to your spigots and hoses can be a result of the bitter cold from the winter. Make sure that there are no visible cracks on the outside of the pipes and turn the faucets on to check the flow of water. If you are able to press your finger against the opening and completely stop the flow of water, there may be some internal damage to the pipe that should be checked on. If you didn’t store your garden hoses inside, check to make sure there is no rot or cracks on the outside of the hose.

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