Warmer weather is just around the corner– in fact, by the time you’re reading this, the Portland and Vancouver area may have already had its first 80-degree day of the year! It’s time for homeowners to start planning the home maintenance projects they’ve been putting off during the cold, rainy, and even snowy winter months.
In today’s post, we’ll share our spring and summer exterior home maintenance checklist for Portland and Vancouver area homeowners. There’s no better time than the present to get started! And remember, the work you put into your home is an investment that’ll pay off for years to come.
Let’s get started!
Start With Your Roof
Loose shingles, leaks, moss, mildew, and mold are just a few of the roof problems that can crop up thanks to rough winter weather. Even if you’re not noticing problems inside your home, that doesn’t mean your roof is in great shape! The last thing you want is to let a small roof issue turn into a giant headache down the road.
We recommend a roof inspection from an experienced local roofing contractor such as us. Depending on the age of your roof, a few small repairs might be all that’s needed. But if your roof is older or starting to show serious wear, summer is a great time to complete a full roof installation.
Before you call a professional, however, you can look for a few things:
- Leaves, tree branches, moss or other debris
- Pools of water on your roof
- Gutters that aren’t draining
- Cracked, loose, or missing shingles
Just remember to be safe! Working on your roof is a dangerous business and best left to the pros!
Move On To Your Foundation
Moisture is the enemy of a healthy home foundation. Cracks (especially near where pipes enter your home) are common after a long cold winter when water in the ground freezes and expands. If left unfixed, cracks can let moisture into your home, leading to unhealthy mold and mildew growth.
You can fill small gaps and cracks yourself, but a professional foundation repair might be needed for wider gaps or cracks.
Your exterior windows might need a little TLC, too. Windows that are loose in their frames or drafty can let cool air in your house escape during the summer. If you’re running your air conditioner often, this can lead to a surprisingly big electric bill!
Great windows can also:
- Maximize the amount of sunlight in your home during the winter
- Improve your home’s security
- Increase your property value
As you’re visually inspecting the exterior of your home, be on the lookout for:
- Scratched, Broken or Rattling Glass
- Warped or Cracked Frames
- Drafts and Temperature Changes
- Hard Water Stains or Peeling Paint
These are all warning signs that your windows will need some work!
Repaint Your Home Or Replace Your Home’s Siding
If you’re looking to give your home a makeover (and protect it from the elements), new siding can make a world of difference! We love James Hardie Fiber Cement siding. It’s a great choice for all homes in the Portland and Vancouver area because it’s:
- Incredibly durable and weather-resistant
- Got a great, natural wood-grain look and feel
- Available in a huge variety of colors and finishes
If your home doesn’t need new siding, a fresh coat of paint can add extra protection from the elements too.
Inspect Your Driveway
Most people never inspect their driveways. That’s a big mistake! Moss and mildew can grow on any driveway, leading to dangerous slips and falls. Cleaning your driveway will not only make it safer, but it’ll look so much better!
If you live in the Portland area, visit a local tool library and rent a pressure washer. The job will take just a few hours and is an easy DIY project for a summer afternoon. Just remember to wear eye protection and shoes– not open toed sandals!
You should also look for cracks in the driveway, which might indicate a drainage problem or a tree that’s growing roots near your home.
Revitalize Your Lawn & Landscape
Is your lawn looking more like a mud pit? Too much rain during the winter can leave even the greenest yards looking a little sloppy. Early spring (when there’s still a bit of rain around) is a great time to replant in areas that are looking rough.
You should also take a close look at any big trees that are on your property– especially those that are near your home or property line. Heavy wind, rain, and ice during the winter can weaken and damage trees. Be on the lookout for:
- Trees that are leaning uphill— this means that a tree’s heavy root ball is coming loose and sliding down a slope
- Standing water at the base of a tree
- Dutch elm, leaf blight and other common Portland and Vancouver tree diseases
If you see any of these warning signs, contact a local tree company for an inspection. Your trees may need to be pruned or even removed.
Plant a Garden
Caring for a full lawn can be a real hassle– you’ve got to mow it, water it, and keep it free of pests. If you’re looking for an alternative use for your yard, consider planting a garden. There are TONS of delicious and healthy fruits and veggies that you can grow in your Portland or Vancouver area yard.
Sure, you still have to water, weed, and tend to your garden, but at least you’ll get some great food out of it!
A few of our favorite things to plant during the summer include:
- Kale and lettuce
Visit the Portland Nursery to learn more about how you can start a garden you’ll be proud of!
TIP: If you’re growing tomatoes, green beans, carrots, or cucumbers, learn how to can the extra veggies you grow! You can store them nearly indefinitely and home canning is easier than you might think! Watch the video below and see for yourself:
Ready to Get to Work?
If we’ve inspired you to start tackling a few exterior home maintenance projects this summer, the experienced pros at Cutting Edge Contracting are here to help! We can inspect your roof, help you pick the perfect paint or siding, clean and repair your gutters, and much more!
Contact us online and let us know how we can help you this summer!