10 Home Checks to Prepare for the Warmer Months

file0001475476069Homes can take a bad hit during the winter, particularly after this year’s harsh winter. Seasonal damage to a home isn’t always easily visible, but if it’s not repaired, spring and summer storms can add to the problems, says Paul Sullivan, National Association of Home Builder’s Remodelers chair.

NAHB provides home owners with the following 10 tips for preparing a home for the warmer months ahead:

1. Inspect the roof. Roofs should be checked for any loose, warped, or missing shingles. Also, home owners should check the chimney flashing and skylight seals are intact.

2. Clean and repair gutters. Home owners should clear winter storm debris from gutters and downspouts. Also, they should doublecheck that they are still securely attached to the house. Blocked or loose gutters can allow water to seep into your home and damage the trim, according to NAHB.

3. Check for any leaks. The most common culprits for “hidden” leaks: Attics, crawl spaces, and washing machine hoses. Also, look under sinks for damage from frozen pipes, and check your water heater for signs of corrosion.

4. Clear exterior drains. Remove any leaves from underground or exterior drains to prevent any backups from rain and storms.

5. Inspect siding. Inspect siding for pieces that may have come loose during winter storms.

6. Check window and door seals. Examine the exterior caulking on door and window seals to ensure it remains watertight.

7. Patch cracks. Patch cracks in concrete driveways, sidewalks, and steps to keep water out and prevent further expansion.

8. Paint the exterior. This is a good time to paint or touch up the paint on the exterior to help protect it from the weather.

9. Inspect the HVAC. Hire a qualified technician to service the home’s HVAC system to make sure it is running properly. Also, this is a good time for home owners to replace their HVAC filters.

10. Check the home’s grading. Ensure the grading of the yard slopes away from the home’s foundation to keep excess moisture at bay.

For home owners looking for a professional remodeler, NAHB maintains a directory at www.nahb.org/remodelerdirectory.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. I really loved this article. I have passed it on to my clients. How often do you suggest painting the entire exterior of a home?

  2. Hi Langely –
    The National Association of Home Builder’s Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components (http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=99359) says that interior and exterior paints can last for 15 years – sometimes even longer. But usually home owners want to paint more frequently if the color starts looking dull or begins to peel. It can depend on your climate and the quality of paint you’re using for how often. But I found the most common estimates from painting companies seems to suggest repainting the exterior every 5 to 10 years.

    Also, here are some exterior painting tips from the Paint Quality Institute that may be helpful: http://www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?sectionID=124&genericContentID=212317

  3. arthur A Mami sr

    Very interesting and valuable tips for homeowners

  4. Great info for home and business owners. A lot of thing’s people don’t generally think about but invaluable in the long run

  5. Useful tips for every summer of the year. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Great article Melissa – it is important to have your HVAC inspected every year to make sure it is safe and running efficiently.

  7. Prevent your homes from being battered by natural causes with these great tips!