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Brick home with icicles hanging off the eaves

Winterize_HomeA rough winter like the one most of the country just experienced can leave homes beaten, battered and vulnerable to expensive home repairs.  And while you should have emergency savings on standby to pay for such repairs, why dip into it if you don’t have to?

Catching and fixing small problems before they become big ones can save you a lot of money and keep your home looking great and feeling comfortable throughout the year.

Here are some things to look for when conducting a spring home checkup:

 Water, Water Everywhere

All the ice and snow that hung around longer than usual means there’s a good chance one or more areas of your home has water damage. Look for brown or yellow spots on the ceiling and walls (pay special attention to corners), which indicate water has seeped in. Don’t just paint over the spots, find and fix the sources of the leaks to prevent further damage from upcoming spring and summer rain.

 Check the Deck

Fluctuating temperatures and moisture accumulation can lead wooden decks to develop soft, spongy boards and wood rot, which is not only unsightly, it’s also unsafe. Look for boards that are warped or exhibiting signs of excessive wear and have them replaced so you can enjoy your deck safely in the warmer months ahead. Plus, replacing a few boards every year is more economical than waiting until the whole deck needs to be rebuilt.

 Keep Gutters & Downspouts Clean

Clogged gutters and downspouts are often the source of interior and exterior water damage, since they don’t allow water to drain away for your home properly. Ensure downspouts are pointing away from the home so that water doesn’t pool along the foundation or seep into the basement. Cleaning gutters and downspouts regularly – rather than just once a season — takes a potentially big job down to a more manageable level and helps avoid the need for costly repairs.

 Knock, Knock, New Doors

Check front, back, side and garage doors for signs of wear and water damage. They may just need a fresh coat of paint to greet the new season. But if they’re warped, cracked or damaged beyond repair, you’ll want to replace them. Pay special attention to the weather stripping around the door jambs, which may need to be replaced as well. Worn, faulty stripping lets in too much outside air, which can negatively affect your utility bills no matter the season.

 Step on a Crack…

Check driveways, patios, sidewalks and entry areas for cracks in the concrete. Just as with a worn deck, cracked concrete isn’t just an eyesore, it’s also unsafe. You don’t want your family or visitors to your home falling and injuring themselves on a crack in the concrete.

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