Good drainage is the soul of a happy house. To keep your hacienda smiling check to make sure the soil slopes away from foundation walls at least six vertical inches over 10 feet. That will move rain far enough away to prevent problems.
A house with a crawl space has vents along the foundation walls. The vents provide air circulation that helps dissipate excess moisture and prevent mold growth. The vents have screens that keep critters from taking up residence under your residence. The screens usually are recessed and become catch-all for leaves and debris.
Spring is a great time to clean out foundation vents and check screens for damage. Clean the vents by hand or a shop vacuum. Repair any damaged screens knowing that a rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, and mice can get inside a hole barely bigger than the diameter of a pencil!
It’s time to trim branches of shrubs and trees away from your house. Get an early start before leaves grow and while you can see individual limbs. Keep branches 5 to 7 feet away from your house so they can’t conduct moisture onto your roofing and siding. You’ll also help discourage squirrels and raccoons from exploring ways to nest in your attic.
Do an inspection from a securely set ladder or use some binoculars. You’re looking for curled and missing shingles, rusted and pitted flashing, and cracked caulk around pipe collars, skylights and other roof penetrations.
If your roof is relatively flat and you’re confident about working on a roof, do the repairs yourself. Steep roofs require safety equipment, such as a harness. If you’re unsure, opt for safety first and call in a pro.
Got gunk in the downspout? Ream it out with a garden hose. Take off any nozzle and have a helper turn on the water when you’re ready. Shove the hose into the downspout to power out of gooseneck bends. Make sure your downspouts channel water at least five feet from foundation walls.
With these home tasks off your list, you will be ready to enjoy your home this Spring!