Tips from Toby: Time for your spring house checkup

Look there really is grass underneath that snow and the green has finally emerged. But there are other problems that have emerged too. Time to do our spring house check-up!

Between last year's drought and this seasons heavy snowfall there are some minor and even major concerns that we need to get out and check for any damage before they become big problems.

Our gutters have taken a beating, especially the downspouts. Last year's drought actually pulled a lot of downspout drain pipes away from the house and this can cause flooding issues. Check to make sure everything is hooked up and draining properly. Also make sure that any of these diverters are places so they drain the water away from the house.

Utility companies have been on high alert the past year from soil movement causing problems for gas and electric meters. Take a good look and make sure everything appears to be hooked up correctly and if you spot any potential problems call the utility company immediately. Gas meters and pipes have actually been pulled loose from the house in some cases.

Also take a look at your outside condenser unit or heat pump. The concrete pads that they sit on have moved around a bunch... and this can cause them to have issues with Freon pipes pulling loose. You might have to call you heating and cooling company to check for level when you do your service tune-up this spring.

Our concrete does not like these heavy temperature extremes and the freeze; thaw cycle can cause some pretty serious cracks. Now is the time to get a jump on any cracks and try to repair the issues rather than get stuck spending nearly 10 grand to replace your driveway or walkways.

Finally... do a walk around your foundation and make sure there are no big gaps that have formed from soil pulling away from the house. If there are issues, don't just throw topsoil at the problem. You need to use what's called brown soil, or heavier clay soils and make sure you grade away from the home to divert water away from the foundation.

Don't forget with all our problems out there, there are a lot of shady companies. Make sure you do your homework and hire a licensed professional. We'll see you next week!

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