Ask the expert: what home maintenance projects to tackle this spring

This story appeared in the February/March issue of PRC’s Preservation in Print magazine. Interested in getting more preservation stories like this delivered to your door? Become a member of the PRC for a subscription!


Ask the Expert

In this Preservation in Print feature, we invite readers to send us your home-repair questions, and we’ll track down experts to answer them.



At this time of year, what maintenance projects should I do now to keep my house in good shape?

— Anonymous



THE EXPERT: Michelle Shoriak
PRC’s Director of Conservation & Education and Revival Grants Program Manager

Michelle’s Answer: We all know we need to prepare our homes before hurricanes — and stay tuned for more information on that in the coming months — but home maintenance isn’t just for storm season. As we leave the colder months behind, here are a few tasks to add to your spring-cleaning list:

1. Check your attic for water or rodent intrusion: This is a great time to make sure there aren’t any sneaky leaks in your roof, especially in the eaves and around chimneys.

2. Check your roof from the exterior: Are you missing any shingles? Do you see any damaged flashing around your chimneys? If your roof is hard to view from the ground, several local companies now offer drone camera footage for roofs. Prices vary, so make sure to get multiple estimates.

3. Check and clean your gutters: We will say this again during hurricane season, but keeping your gutters clean is such an important task, it’s worth stressing it repeatedly. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are properly fastened, don’t have any holes or kinks and are clean of debris. You also want your downspouts to be pushing the water away from your foundation. Clogged gutters can lead to myriad problems, including mold, mildew and structural damage if the water isn’t being diverted properly. If you can do just one spring maintenance task, prioritize this one.

4. Open your windows: If you have operable windows, get them open. It’s great to air out your house in the spring, but it’s also important to make sure your windows are in working order. Check your windowsills for sitting water and look for any hidden leaks or rotten wood. Check around the panes of glass for loose or missing glazing putty that needs to be replaced.

5. Keep an eye out for rotten wood: Check your siding, shutters, windows, trim and even under your gutters for rotten or soft wood and make a plan to replace any damage you find. The spring is a great time to paint, so repair your rotten wood and then apply a fresh coat of primer and paint.

6. Check for other areas that need paint: Most paint requires a certain temperature (typically between 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit). As the weather becomes consistently warm but before it heats up too much, it’s a good time to do any painting maintenance you’ve put off over the winter. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

Looking for someone to do the work? Reach out to the PRC for a copy of our Resource List for tips on hiring home improvement help. Before hiring anyone to work on your home, be sure to check the contractor’s or tradesperson’s references, licenses and insurance certificate

Interested in doing some of the work yourself? Keep an eye on for our upcoming Maintain Right home maintenance classes.