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Maintenance Checklist for Minnesota and North Dakota

It’s time for spring maintenance now that winter is finally receding.

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During our long winters, a doubt creeps in that we may never see spring, let alone summer, ever again. Yet here it is, and along with it, spring cleaning and home maintenance.

Here’s our spring maintenance checklist with 16 tips to help you find and repair any damage incurred over the winter and get your home ready for summer.

1. Checking for Winter Damage

Get outdoors and fully inspect your home and yard. Look for any damage that may have happened over the winter months. Watch for shingles that are loose or missing, siding that’s damaged, gutter and downspout damage, cracks or shifting in the sidewalks or driveway, and chimney tilt.

2. Cleaning Your Yard

Clean up the leaves, fallen tree limbs, dead plants, and general debris. Mowing and edging can really spruce up things. Adding new mulch can also make a difference. But make sure you don’t stack up the mulch around your foundation, as it can cause basement or crawl space moisture problems.

3. Trimming Trees and Shrubs

This is a great time for trimming your trees and shrubs. Be sure to cut back any limbs hanging over your roof that may come down in a storm. Trim back branches on the trees around your home to improve airflow and allow sunlight, reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth.

4. Cleaning Gutters and Downspouts

A very important ritual is to clean out leaves and remove any blockages from your home’s gutters and downspouts twice a year. They must be clear during rainstorms to make sure water doesn’t pool around your foundation, finding cracks, or your basement or crawl space. 

5. Clearing Outdoor Drainage

Examine your buried drains, storm drains, downspout extensions, and other rainwater management systems closely. Clear out any clogs with a plumbing snake, then wash out pipes with a garden hose. It’s critical to get them clear before the rains start.

6. Inspecting Your Home’s Foundation

Snow and ice can create basement or crawl space cracks that let in summer rain. Foundation shifting can also occur over the winter. Look for changes in your basement or crawl space, both inside and out. We can help with a free inspection.

7. Maintaining the Foundation’s Landscaping

Inspect window wells, clearing them of any debris and making sure they’re sealed against rain. Trim shrubs away from the foundation. Watch for mulch that’s stacked up against the wall, moving it back. Look for root growth near the foundation.

8. Inspecting the Outdoor Plumbing

Now is a good time to check outdoor faucets, AC unit or heat pump, pool equipment, and all the rest of the items that have spent the winter outdoors in freezing temperatures. Add any items you find to your repair list.

9. Testing the Irrigation System

Turn on every zone and check every sprinkler head. This will identify anything that’s broken or needs adjustment. This is a good time to make needed adjustments for any coverage problems you experienced last summer.

10. Reseeding Lawn Spots

Check for bare or thin spots on your lawn. Then reseed those with a matching type of grass. Use a lawn seed blanket on slopes to keep the seed in place while it germinates. It’s important to get this done in the spring before summer heat and rain.

11. Repairing Screen Doors and Windows

Make screens part of your spring home inspection looking for tears or holes. Even the smallest holes can let in mosquitoes. Replace screens that are badly damaged. Repair kits are available at hardware stores for small holes.

12. Inspecting for Pest Evidence

Check both high and low for pest evidence. Birds, squirrels, and flying insects including bees and wasps can damage your roof and eaves. Termites, ants, and animals do their damage at ground level. Seal any cracks or holes that you find to prevent their entry. 

13. Power Washing the Deck and Siding

Get the winter grime, mud, and dirt off your deck and siding with a pressure washer. Use the correct pressure setting that matches the type of wood and siding. As just one example, some vinyl siding companies recommend using liquid soap to avoid damage to the finish.

14. Resealing Outdoor Woodwork

This is a great time to stain and reseal any outdoor woodwork. This includes decks, fences, and trellises. Make any needed repairs first and then bring them all back to life with a sealant. 

15. Scheduling HVAC Service

Add a regularly scheduled service in early spring for the air conditioning system and in fall for the heating system. Start regular maintenance to get ahead of the curve. You’ll catch problems early before they reach the catastrophic stage. 

16. Planning Summer Projects

During our long winter, you’ve probably thought about a few improvements to make to your home. This is a good time to write down that full list, add the spring maintenance tasks you’ve identified from the list above, then prioritize them.

If your list of improvements included adding more space, a finished basement could be the answer. But the basement needs to be fully waterproofed before you get started on that type of project. 

We operate out of Fargo, Minneapolis, and Rush City to provide services throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and eastern Montana. We can help with your basement or crawl space project or any foundation issues you may have found in your spring maintenance inspection.

Contact us at Innovative Basement Authority for a free inspection and repair estimate.

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