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Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Experts suggest a yearly spring maintenance check-up.

Home improvement experts suggest that the owners of this Reston, Va., home add caulking around windows and doors as part of a yearly spring check up.

Home improvement experts suggest that the owners of this Reston, Va., home add caulking around windows and doors as part of a yearly spring check up. Photo courtesy of Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.

With warmer weather just around the corner, it’s time to focus on your home.

"Routine home maintenance ensures a healthy home and avoids costly repairs down the road," said Tom Dodd, a consultant at fred, a home repair division of Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. "Small issues now can become huge headaches later if left untreated." To avoid this, experts recommend that homeowners give their homes a yearly spring maintenance check-up.

"Some items you can check on your own," said Dan Halpern, another fred consultant. "Others require an expert to do a complete review."

Have your air conditioning system serviced. "Remember that dirty filters make your air conditioner work harder, increasing energy costs and possibly damaging your equipment," said Dodd. "Check the filters monthly and replace as needed, or at least every three months."

Install a programmable thermostat. "According to Energy Star, a programmable thermostat … will quickly pay for itself in savings on heating and cooling bills," said Dodd.

Add caulking around windows and doors. "If the gap around a door or window is wider than a nickel, caulk should be reapplied," said Halpern. "Check window-glazing putty, too, which seals glass into the window frame. Also consider adding weather stripping around doors, making sure that you can’t see any daylight from inside your home."

Dodd said, "Perform a visual inspection of your roof from the ground. Repairs can be as small as a few shingles to a more extensive damaged area. This is a great place to call in an expert if you think repairs may be needed. It’s also a good time to check and repair breaks in the flashing seals around vent stacks and chimneys."

Look for loose or leaky gutters. "Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris," said Halpern.

Experts also say that spring is the time to put away firewood. It should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground and at least two feet from the home.

Inspect outside hose faucets for freeze damage. "Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening," said Dodd. "If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you're at it, check the garden hose for dry rot."