As spring approaches for Chicagoland’s condominium, townhome, and single-family homeowners, there are several maintenance items to attend to. Winter gives us several areas we must inspect for weather-related damage. But also, spring time is an important time to do some annual maintenance.

Thanks to ice and snow

The winter elements are hard on anything exposed. Between the snow, ice, wind and cold, lots of repairs are made in the winter that need to be readdressed in the spring.

  1. Winter may be the time older roofs begin to leak, thanks to freezing temperatures and ice. If you had a leak repaired in the winter, it is quite possible you’ll soon see leaks in other areas of the roof. Examine the roof for missing or damaged shingles, or have it inspected by a roofer. It may be time to replace the roof.
  2. Similarly, large quantities of heavy snow left on the roof can damage the framing that supports the roof. Again, look for missing or damaged shingles.
  3. Clogged gutters cause ice dams. If you identified and repaired an ice dam over the winter, you must now make sure you identify the cause and prevent future ones. It is also possible you had an ice dam over the winter, and didn’t realize until now. When the ice dam melts, it can cause water damage, mold growth, and rot. Address it, and re-check gutters for blockages, nests, etc.
  4. If you have any snow-laden branches during the winter, now is the time to re-assess the tree health and see if you need to further trim. Evaluate for damaged limbs that could fall onto your home during a storm.

Spring maintenance checklist

There’s a reason that “spring cleaning” has been a theme across many cultures for hundreds of years. Spiritually, it is a time of renewal and rebirth. Practically, especially in Chicagoland, it has been months since you were able to easily do many maintenance tasks. We’ve compiled a list of the top spring maintenance priorities in our communities.

  1. Change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  2. Clean dryer vents, especially if you use dryer sheets. (Also see other concerns associated with dryer sheets.)
  3. Do an exterior home inspection. Look for animal hideouts, paint peeling, or anything looking as it shouldn’t be.
  4. Radon is a concern in Chicago and the suburbs. Conduct a radon test.
  5. Get an HVAC checkup.
  6. Do an indoor and outdoor safety inspection, particularly if you have elderly or children.
  7. Check your lawn sprinkler system.
  8. Examine deck and fence if they need re-sealed. Outdoor wood protected from water can last decades, but will deteriorate quickly if neglected. Splash water on a few areas of your wood. If the water doesn’t bubble up, it needs re-sealed.

We recommend you make a spring maintenance checklist specific to your home and needs, and check it every year at this time. Happy spring!


Image by Katy Warner under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license