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Roof maintenance


It doesn’t take a blizzard to knock roof shingles loose. It’s an easy DIY repair, as long as you’re not afraid of height. Dark spots on the walls or ceiling may indicate a leak that’ll need immediate attention. Or, it could indicate damage from an ice dam over the winter months, a build-up of ice at the edge of the roof which kept melting snow from draining properly. The water build-up may leak inside your house and damage insulation, wall interiors and more. If you have a chimney or skylight, check carefully around the edges for signs of damage or leaks. And make sure the fascia isn’t damaged or showing signs of rotting. You’ll probably need some tools up there, so make sure you have a good, reliable hammer and plenty of roofing nails.

Gutter maintenance


It’s fun to get back outside and move around the outside of your home, though not many people look forward to cleaning out the gutters. It’s a dirty, tedious job but it’s extremely important: Backed-up gutters can damage your roof and cause leaks that damage your home’s interior. Be aware that if your yard has a lot of trees, you may need to clean the gutters on a regular basis, since leaves, sticks, small branches, bark, pine needles and other debris can build up very quickly, especially during the spring, which is often a time of intense rain and high winds. If you have an issue with ladders or suffer from vertigo, consider pricing out some of the gutter-cleaning services in your area. 



Siding


If your house has siding, don’t assume it survived the winter unscathed. Give it a close examination for cracks, gaps, peeling, or a build-up of dirt or mold, which can make your house look rundown and poorly cared for. Apply some caulking if you find any gaps and consider repainting if there’s evidence of cracks or peeling. Vinyl siding normally stands up well to wear and tear, but a falling branch or a poorly aimed football can produce a large crack that’ll require the piece to be replaced. The good news is that you can replace siding quickly and easily with an ordinary zip tool (costs about $5).



Freshen the deck


If you have a wood deck, it takes a beating during the winter. Give it a good power-washing and look for any chipped wood or weakened boards that need to be repaired or replaced. Don’t forget to give it a new coat of stain, which will help protect the wood from damage by the sun, wind and rain.



Landscape lighting


As you start landscaping your yard, consider installing some lighting to highlight all those beautiful bushes and trees and to make your yard a safe place after dark. A backyard that’s pitch dark is a dangerous place for grilling or for kids to chase fireflies in. Installing landscape lighting not only beautifies your yard, it also helps increase the safety and security for your family. Floodlights can be installed on the exterior of your home or garage to illuminate dark places in your yard, deck, patio or driveway. In addition, the installation of step lights can prevent accidents from happening when guests walk up and down stairs outside your home.

Don’t put off the DIY jobs that have been piling up over the winter. Now that the snow’s been cleared away and melted, you can get out the tools and get to work on the roof, gutters and in the yard. Just remember to use good judgment and always practice good safety habits if you plan on doing a lot of work on a ladder.