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Keeping Up with Spring Home Maintenance

Indianapolis is no stranger to a fake spring or two – or what feels like 35 fake springs. But now that it’s May, regular warm weather should be here to stay for the next few months. If you haven’t started already, spring is the time to check off home-maintenance tasks and prepare your house for summer. Hopefully, you won’t need to conduct all the repairs listed, but checking for potential repairs now will mean fewer, expensive surprises in the months to come.


  1. Get an AC Tune-Up – Even if we experience cooler temperatures during the next few weeks, test your air conditioner (AC) now. You don’t want to discover it isn’t working properly when temperatures soar. Getting your AC serviced from a qualified HVAC technician costs around $75-200 for simple tune-ups, with a national average of $100, according to HomeAdviser. This will ensure you have cool air when you need it, while extending the life of the AC.


  1. Inspect the Roof – Now is the time to check for any damage winter wind, snow and freezing rain may have inflicted on your roof. Do a quick inspection from the ground or from a ladder if you feel comfortable, but do not get up on the roof yourself. Look for missing, curling and buckling shingles, which leave openings for water to damage the roof’s underlayment. Check to see if there is a lot of shingle grit on the ground or coming out of downspouts. Also, are there any wet spots or stains along the edges or corners of your home’s ceiling? These are all signs that the roof needs repairing. For a more thorough examination, contact a professional.


  1. Clean Out Your Gutters – To clean the April-rain waste that may be stuck in your gutters, use a garden trowel or gutter scoop to clear out loose debris. If you don’t feel comfortable using a ladder, you may want to contact a professional to do the job. Gutter cleaning can cost anywhere from $50-$250, depending on the linear footage of your home. Cleaning out gutters in spring or the end of fall will keep water from backing up in your gutters and from seeping indoors.


  1. Inspect Screens, Windows and Doors – Large holes or rips in your screens allow for insects and other pests to make your home, their home. Double check each screen in your house for any holes larger than they should be. You can easily repair these tears by purchasing a screen repair kit from a hardware store or larger online merchants. For window and door frames, make sure you’re reapplying exterior caulk to gaps ¼” or larger. Additionally, adding weatherstripping around doors keeps the comfortable air from leaking outside, which saves you money on your AC bill in the summer and heating bill in the winter.


  1. Check for Termites – Check for termites during swarming season, starting in March ending around June. Termites will  ruin the wooden structures of your home if not caught in time. Look for crumbling wood or “sawdust” on the floor, the presence of mud tubes within the walls, and tiny-winged insects flying out from holes in the exterior woodwork. Also, knock on your walls and wood structures to check if the wood sounds hollow. If any of these are present, it’s time to call a licensed pest control company. Since treatment costs are determined by the size and scope of the issue, catching a problem early could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.


  1. Inspect the Foundation – The freezing and thawing of water in the winter can cause cracks in a home’s foundation and allow for moisture to seep into your home’s structure. Any cracks will likely need to be sealed using epoxy or polyurethane; however, foundation repairs are better left for the experts and not a recommended DIY fix. Attempting to solve the problem yourself could lead to significant structural damage. To further prevent foundational cracks, look for un-even soil levels surrounding your home. If there are any dips that might allow for water to collect against the house, pack in soil to keep water from pooling up against the house.


Addressing these spring maintenance tasks now can provide you with piece of mind and save you from major, expensive issues down the road. The more upkeep and preventative measures you take now, the better shape your home and bank account will be in for years to come.


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