Monday, April 21, 2014
6 Spring Home Maintenance Tips for your Honey-Do List!
Yesterday was the warmest Minnesota day so far in 2014. In fact, it was the warmest day since mid-October of last year! It finally feels like spring is here. Soon many homeowners in the Minneapolis/St Paul metro will be starting "honey-do" list of spring projects. Keeping your home in tiptop shape is essential in maintaining your property’s value. Even if you don’t intend to sell your home this summer, there are a few essential things to check, repair and or replace after a long winter.
As a Minnesota REALTOR®, I see often see homes that have not been properly cared for. Throughout Anoka County, Chisago County and northern Washington County, the areas where I work extensively, I have seen houses with interior ceiling damage from leaking roofs, severely cracked driveways and worn out decks that are frankly too scary to stand on.
Surprisingly, some of these properties are not foreclosures or distressed sales. Some sellers just don’t want to make repairs prior to selling for a homebuyer’s benefit. But since they deferred all the maintenance for several years, they are faced with having to make thousands of dollars in repairs in order to sell for top dollar. Not making the repairs means being priced to compete directly with distressed properties selling at thousands less. Neither choice is appealing to a home seller.
With hindsight being 20/20, many of these property wish they could turn back time and keep the home in better condition all along and enjoy the benefits of a well maintained home. There is less sticker-shock if you assess your property on an annual basis and make necessary repairs as required rather than all at one time just prior to selling.
Here are 6 spring maintenance tips that will not only beautify your home, but also aid in retaining your home’s value for years to come:
Roof—Walk around the exterior of your home with binoculars if necessary and check for any missing shingles that may have been blown off during a winter storm. If any shingles are missing or you see other concerns such as curling or broken corners, bring in a contractor to assess the situation. Make repairs promptly to avoid water damage to the interior of your home.
Siding—Power wash debris buildup from vinyl or aluminum siding. Buildup can stain siding overtime. Be thoughtful of where you place your sprinklers and BBQ grill. Iron rich water can cause staining and a hot grill near vinyl siding will cause it to melt.
Deck—Check for any settling or worn boards on your deck. Pay special attention to any steps as damage often occurs in the corners where wet debris can collect and rot the wood. If the supports of your deck appear to be pulling away from the home or if the boards are weather-worn, have it reviewed by a professional before that first summer barbeque.
Paint & Stain—Did the harsh winter sleet, snow and ice cause the paint or stain on your siding, trim or deck to start to peel? Make repairs promptly to minimize damage to wood below.
Gutters—Gutters filled with leaves? Take the time to clean out to prevent water backups. Keeping water away from the foundation is the best way to keep water out of your basement. If your gutters are clogged, they cannot do the job and the rains will pour right over the clogged-gutter’s edge near the walls of your home. Consider adding screens or guards to prevent leave buildup in the future.
Driveway—This past year’s brutal winter with its deep was especially tough on roads throughout the metro. Your asphalt driveway might have taken a beating too. Cracks and holes need to be filled or they will get worse. It is recommended that blacktop driveways also be seal-coated every 2 years and possibly more often if located in an open area with long term sun exposure.
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