Maintaining your Boulder house in spring is a great way to ensure it stays in good condition and to prevent potential problems from becoming major issues. Here are seven spring house maintenance tips, including important inspections:

1. Gutter and Downspout Cleaning: Remove leaves, twigs, and any other debris that has accumulated in your gutters and downspouts over the winter.  Yelp lists the top ten Boulder Gutter Cleaning Services. This prevents water damage to your siding and foundation. Additionally, the overflow from blocked gutters can cause flooding water to come off the roof anywhere! Check for leaks or misaligned pipes and repair as necessary. This is especially important with a potential rainy season upon us. Remember that Boulderites over 45 do not shovel walks? The same is true, if not more so, for climbing on tall ladders and working on the gutters. At a MINIMUM, have a second person “footing” the ladder. The pros do this, and so should we.

While visually inspecting the gutters and down spots for physical integrity and mounting, also makes notes of the trim around the outside that needs replacing. Recall that there are two types of “fake wood” for trim. One is for outside and the other for inside. You’ll need the list of trim and gutter work needed, regardless of whether or not you are going to do the work yourself or if you are going to get a quotation and have an outside professional do the work.

2. Roof Inspection: Winter can be hard on roofs. Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles and check flashing around chimneys and other roof projections for damage. If your roof is difficult to access or steep, consider hiring a professional to perform the inspection. OR do you have a neighbor with a drone and skills? IMO in my opinion THAT is the way to do the inspections. This also will provide some better views of the gutter system.

3. Exterior Caulking and Seals Check: Inspect caulking around windows, doors, and other openings for damage or deterioration. Re-caulk as needed to maintain insulation and prevent moisture from entering the house. For the “low hanging fruit,” literally, this is not a hard task. You have to select an outdoor calking tube, and if you can find a caulking color close to the window frame color, painting it becomes a tad less pressing.

4. HVAC System Maintenance:  Schedule a professional HVAC (heating and air conditioning service to ensure your air conditioning is ready for the warmer months. Replace the air filter, and clean the vents and ducts to improve efficiency and air quality. Unless you have one of the “trick” one year air filters in the system, consider changing the filter on the first of every month.

5. Foundation Inspection: Walk around the exterior of your home and check for cracks in the foundation. Small cracks may be normal settling, but large cracks could indicate a problem. Also, ensure that the ground slopes away from your foundation to prevent water pooling. Carry a small small notebook to list the additional tasks that you notice as you do the walk-around of your home.

6. Deck and Patio Inspection: Check your deck, patios, or any outdoor structures for loose boards, rot, or rusting fasteners. Clean them thoroughly, and consider re-sealing wood surfaces to protect against moisture and sun damage.

If you have openings under decks, check the chicken wire that keeps skunks, raccoons, rabbits, and others from taking up residence and of maintaining a residence under your porch. LED light banks take almost no power, are blindingly bright, and can help avoid unpleasant surprises under the stairs or under the deck. Walk the outside perimeter of the yard for openings, damage, need for fence surface treatment like sand blasting and spraying. As with ALL of these challenges, proper protective gear such as spray masks, gloves, and more, are essential.

7. Lawn Care and Landscaping: Spring is a good time to aerate your lawn, fertilize, and reseed as necessary. Trim bushes and trees away from your house, chimney and electrical wires to prevent damage and power issues. Also, check your irrigation system for leaks or broken sprinkler heads. Prune dead branches blocking the paths where you walk. Flower beds neglected in the Fall may need leaf raking to permit ground cover and other plants to thrive. While a “regular” leaf rake is a great tool, adding a 4″ wide leaf rake to your gardening tools is a brilliant addition.

In April, daffodils and other bulbs are either open, opening, or threatening to open. Personally I like a pocket camera of any type, phone or otherwise in my pocket or on my belt for fast access. A phone MUST be part of your carry-on items. You might to to call out for a rescue if you get in trouble, or may need to call out for delivery of a pizza.

Performing these inspections and maintenance tasks can help prevent minor issues from turning into expensive repairs, while also preparing your home for the warmer months ahead. The calking and trim repairs lay the groundwork for having the house painted, and is perhaps the most bang for the buck and the most magic per minute in outside home maintenance. Water, especially water which is not stopped by calking, is not your home’s friend. You might be dehydrated, but your outdoor seams are not!

FINALLY: for the most basic of self-protection gear, consider wearing “real” working shoes and not sneakers or sandals. Gloves are essential for myriad purposes. Walmart for example has a rack of glove options ranging from a couple of dollars to $30 or more a pair. For under $15 the options are impressive. Remember to take off your wedding ring and keep it safe. Ear buds are at great risk of vanishing, so another form of “headset” is suggested.

FINAL FINAL! On the off chance that you actually finish the allotted tasks for the day, it is time for a walk around Waneka Lake. The pictured boat house contains peddle paddle boats for boating adventures on the lake. What do ALL of these activities have in common? SUNSCREEN!

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Shared Knowledge Is Power!

  • Senior Counsel Emeritus to the Boulder Law firm Dolan + Zimmerman LLP : (720)-610-0951
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