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Ask the Remodeler: Steps you should take to get ready for spring

From window wells to sump pumps, there are things to check before the temperatures rise and the rain falls.

Make sure your gutters are clear and directing water away from your home.Adobe Stock/indyedge - stock.adobe.com

Even though it has been a mild winter (except for the recent nor’easter), there are a handful of things that you can do to make sure your home is ready for the transition to warmer weather.

✔ Check your sump pump and hoses to be ready for when the water table rises with the spring melt. Be sure the pump and float inside are operating properly. Just as important, make sure the exterior discharge lines are not clogged or blocked.

✔ Check your gutters and downspouts, making sure those are also running free and clear. A lot of debris gets knocked into them over the winter. Be sure that the leader pipes are pulling water away from the foundation, and that nothing is going to pool against the house.


✔ Check the wells around your basement windows. These can fill with debris and not drain properly, allowing water to seep inside the house. These wells should have a bed of stone at the bottom that is at least 4 to 6 inches below the window.

✔ Check your walkways, patios, and driveway. Winter brings frost heaves, which push up pavers and stones and can cause trip hazards. Driveways often need patching due to plowing and frost heaves.

✔ A visual inspection of the roof and chimney can spot damage that may have occurred over the winter. Please call a qualified roofing company if you spot damage or your roof warrants a closer look.

✔ Window and door screens can also take a beating in the winter months. You can often fix small tears with a screen patch. If the damage is significant, you can drop off the entire assembly at your local hardware store and ask them to replace the screen.

✔ See whether your hose spigots survived the winter and were not damaged during a cold snap. (They should be shut off and drained in the fall to avoid freeze-ups.)


✔ Call your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning company to set up a service call on your AC equipment. You definitely do not want to wait for the first heat wave to find out that you have equipment issues.

Mark Philben is the project development manager at Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge. Send your questions to homerepair@globe.com. Questions are subject to editing. Subscribe to the Globe’s free real estate newsletter — our weekly digest on buying, selling, and design — at Boston.com/address-newsletter. Follow us on Twitter @globehomes.

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