With the weather getting warmer and the days growing longer, spring is in full swing here in New Jersey. We’re spending more time outside, enjoying the sunshine and thinking ahead to the summer. And with the state’s stay-at-home order extended indefinitely, we’re also spending a lot more time around the house.
If you’re staying in and have some extra time on your hands, now is the perfect time to tackle your spring home maintenance checklist. Here are some tasks you can do today to prepare your home for warmer days.
Inspect your roof for signs of damage.
The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends checking your roof at least twice a year, specifically in the mild temperatures of the fall and spring. Making any necessary repairs now will ensure your roof can handle more extreme weather when it comes.
Check your roof’s chimney and vent pipe flashings as well as shingles. Look for water spots inside the house, as well as shingles that have blown away after a windy day; these are common signs that there are issues with your flashing. Have a contractor assess whether your flashings need to be sealed – we recommend having your flashings sealed at least once a year to prevent damage.
Check for broken window seals.
If you have insulated glass unit (IGU) windows – also known as double-pane, multipane or thermopane windows – check them for broken seals. If the seals between panes are broken, your windows will be less efficient in keeping out air and humidity. Look for visible condensation or distortion of the glass, which are two of the most common signs of a broken seal.
Windows that receive a lot of sunshine are also more susceptible to broken seals, as the glass expands and contracts regularly with the heat. However, anything that damages the window’s sealant material can also cause the seal to fail. If you suspect your window seals are broken, call a contractor to replace the IGU.
Do an outdoor check.
Your rain gutters and leaders protect your home from water damage, so be sure they are clear and in good repair. You can clean them out yourself if you feel comfortable doing so, but you can always call in a professional to help.
Then, make sure any mulch or soil is graded away from the house. This will prevent water pooling in any low spots around the house. You can add mulch or soil to build up the grade, and then slope it away from the house.
Don’t forget the inside!
While you’re checking the outside of your house, don’t forget to take care of the inside! Use this time to change your furnace filters, as well as drain and refill your hot water heater (we recommend doing this once a year).
You should also look under sinks and vanities for leaky pipes and traps – even a small leak can lead to major water damage when left unchecked. In some cases, you can tighten a loose trap yourself. However, it’s best to call a plumber if you’re facing a pipe or shutoff valve issue.
Important considerations During COVID-19
Whether you’re tackling these maintenance tasks or planning a major home improvement project, you’ll need to consider the impact of COVID-19 on your process.
For projects that require prior approval and inspections (e.g., finished basements, decks, and additions/renovations), allot extra time for communicating with building departments. Since physical buildings are closed, interactions are limited to mail or email, which can take longer than originally anticipated.
Local home improvement stores have also limited their hours, as well as the number of customers allowed in-store at a time. If you’re shopping for home maintenance or smaller DIY projects, it’s best to shop during off-peak hours (usually earlier in the day) and allow extra time. Making a detailed list can also help you get everything you need in one trip. If you’re ordering parts online, be mindful that online ordering and shipping are delayed across industries.
Need help with your spring home improvement project? Fallon Contracting will safely assess your project’s needs and offer a no-cost, no-obligation estimate. Contact us to get started today.