The bitter cold, driving wind and snow that comes with winter can take a toll on your home. Now is the time to get your home in shape for the warmer months ahead.  As we emerge from the winter chill and head out to the great outdoors taking some time to check for drainage problems and structural damage will keep your house in good shape and minimize any future repairs. 

Inspect your roof for damage. Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during our winter storms. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired.  Badger Roofing offers a free roof inspection. 

Check the fascia and trim around your home for deterioration. Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood.  

Have a professional air conditioning contractor inspect and maintain your system as recommended by the manufacturer.  Replace your interior HVAC filters.  An annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels.

Clean your kitchen exhaust hood and air filter.  The air filter can be cleaned by placing it in the dishwasher and running it through a cleaning cycle.

Clean clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper, and space under the dryer.  This is one we tend to overlook but it is important to reduce the risk of fire as well as carbon monoxide poisoning.  Call on a licensed professional for this task.     

Check for loose, clogged or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in your basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.

Inspect your yard for low areas next to the foundation.   Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Low spots should be filled with compacted soil. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.

Repair all cracked, broken or uneven driveways and walks to help provide a level walking surface.  All exterior slabs should drain away from your home’s foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.

Remove firewood stored near your home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from your home.

Check outside hose faucets and sprinkler systems for freeze damage. 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.

Have your lawn equipment cleaned and cutting blades sharpened.   Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make your yard work easier.

Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.  Always have a multi-purpose fire extinguisher accessible.  Review your fire escape plan with your family. 

Consider installing a lightning protection system on your home.

Replace all extension cords that have become brittle, worn or damaged

After completing this check-list, enjoy your well maintained home and the warm summer sun!