Top 3 Home Improvements To Get You Ready For Summer

Top 3 Home Improvements To Get You Ready For Summer

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Spring is the best time for you to look over your home.
Homeowners all over are getting ready to clean, organize, and keep up with outdoor maintenance because spring is officially here. Now is the perfect time to inspect your home because the harsh winter could be wreaking havoc on it. With warmer weather around the corner, here are the top three home improvements experts say you can do to get your home ready for summer.
1. Remove broken tree limbs and shrubs.
Cutting limbs that may have been damaged during winter and that might fall on a roof or allow squirrels to enter a house is smart, and it can be a cost savings later on. Walk around your yard and see if you can spot any broken branches and limbs as bad snaps can cause permanent damage to trees. If you spot a break, call a tree company to make a clean, proper cut so that the plant can continue growing into spring. Prune dead branches and trim back overgrown shrubs and plantings. It’s usually okay to do this as soon as the snow melts unless your plant or shrub blooms in the spring. Check with a professional first if you are unsure. Spring is the key time to add mulch. Spread mulch or bark around trees and shrubs early. Mulch helps plants thrive by holding back weeds, retaining moisture so soil doesn’t dry out, and adding a tidy look. Use bark, shredded fir, leaves, straw, or grass clippings. You’ll have to wait a bit to do flower gardens, but get the big stuff done and out of the way.
2. Caulk/Replace your windows.
With the outside of a home exposed to more wear and tear from winter, it’s good to examine caulking around windows, as well as open windows and look at weather stripping. When windows have been installed for 20 or 30 years, the rubber inside the track can start to fail and a little gap can develop. All the air-conditioned air from inside your home can escape and bugs can get in. It’s important for you to check windows for broken seals. You can tell if a window has good insulation by simply placing their hand on the inside pane, which should feel room temperature. Windows should also be checked for ice or condensation. Sixty percent of heat loss is due to windows and doors. Check your window screens for any holes or tears that need to be repaired. If a window needs to be replaced, it’s important to look at the quality, manufacturer’s warranty and if it is energy star rated to help cut down on heating costs. Today’s energy efficient triple-pane windows are the way to go. Triple-pane windows help keep the temperature in your home consistent year round and help protect your furniture, carpet, and window treatments from the sun’s fading rays. There’s a chemical inside the glass that filters out the UV rays and blocks heat so these windows keep your house cooler which helps keep utility costs down. They also reduce outside noise. This is not an inexpensive fix, but if your budget allows it, it can really make a positive impact in several ways.
3. Repair/Replace your roof and gutters.
For safety concerns, National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends hiring a professional to check your roof for discolored/missing shingles, warping, and peeling that can hinder energy costs. Most roof problems start with gutters. If the gutters were not cleaned or have no kind of gutter guards, the water will freeze and push up under the roof. You want to get the moisture out from underneath the shingle because that can cause rot. The shingles could be compromised, which then have to be resealed. Go outside and look at your gutters. Are any hanging from the home? A functioning gutter is critical when snow melts and spring rains start to move in, as a broken or clogged gutter can cause a leaky roof. As the snow and ice begin to melt, the heavier accumulation can slide down the roof stopping at the gutters. The sheer weight might tear the gutters away from the fascia, leaving the gutters dangling from the roof. Check your gutters and make sure they are properly secured to the home. If a gutter appears to not be properly attached, your best bet is to call in a professional, and sooner rather than later because you’re going to be a whole lot better off. Also check the joints and corners that may be leaking. The seals inside the gutters will not last forever and they will need to be maintained.

The NRCA states it’s important to clean gutters, since debris may have accumulated in them over the winter, and they need to be clear for summer rain storms. Inspect your downspouts and gutters before the spring rains start to be sure they’re clear of leaves, tree limbs, and other debris that might have collected there since late fall. Clogging usually occurs at the elbow in a drainage system, where the downspout connects to the gutter. Extend downspout drains away from the foundation for at least 6 feet and always to an area on the property where the water will run away from the foundation. Subsequent melting or rains can bypass the gutters leaving a drip line in the soils below or, in some cases, actually eroding the soils away from the foundation. With the soils eroded, runoff water can enter the foundation causing all kinds of problems now or in the future. Flooded basements are due to that. If a gutter is not working properly, excess water can get near your foundation and cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages structurally. That’s why experts say you should clean out gutters or get someone to do it for you. Luckily gutter cleaning and downspout repair is fairly low-cost.

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