Blue skies and sunshine have many people heading outdoors to boat, cycle, hike, and enjoy other fair-weather pursuits. But homeowners know they have a long checklist to keep their dwelling and garden in good repair, preventing bigger and more costly problems down the road. But older adults may need some help with spring home maintenance, especially for work that requires climbing on ladders or heavy lifting.
Starting at the top, check roofs for any damaged or missing shingles and for any chimney issues. Fixing any problems early can prevent leaks during heavy summer rains. The attic should also be inspected for any signs of leaks, stains, mold growth, or insulation gaps. If the attic is not easily accessible, an infrared camera scan can help identify any program areas detecting air leaks, insulation defects, and pests.
Gutters should also be cleaned to ensure proper drainage. If family or friends are not available to help with these types of household chores and repairs, and finances are tight, there are programs to help maintain and even modify homes to allow older adults to remain safely at home.
After checking roofs, gutters, and soffits for any winter damage, window and doors should be inspected to make sure screens are in good repair, doors open and close properly and caulk or weatherstripping is in good repair. During the warm months, windows will be opened and closed more often and a good seal is important to keep out pests and moisture.
Trimming trees and shrubs growing close to the house can help keep animal activity away from the dwelling and the garden looking neat and tidy. In-ground sprinkler heads, if used, should be inspected for any leaks or damage, and lawn equipment should be sharpened, lubricated, and refueled. Garden equipment that uses rechargeable batteries should be tested to ensure they are in working order.
Before enjoying leisure time on the patio or deck, the area will likely need a good cleaning with a pressure washer and any damaged wood replaced. If water doesn’t bead on a wooden deck, the surface should be resealed to prevent rot. Pavers should be even to prevent falls; with harsh winters, heaving can occur and bricks may need to be leveled and resanded.
Finally, an inspection of the siding and foundation of a home can stave off costly future problems. Check for any damage, pressure wash siding, and soffits, and clean any garden debris from foundation vents and basement windows. Finally, touch up any areas that require painting – repainting the front door instantly brightens up a front entryway.
If you or a loved one needs assistance finding affordable help with home maintenance to safely age in place, call or email 2-1-1 or visit the 211 website to access help in your community.