Now is the perfect time to schedule handyman service.
Story by Tracy Dickinson
Featured in Spring 2023
Spring has arrived in Iowa at last. As always, the disappearance of snow and ice heralds other arrivals as well. Along with the hints of new life such as crocuses, robins, and baby bunnies, there are always unwelcome traces of the past winter.
No matter how well prepared you are, the extremes we experience in Iowa weather leave their mark on homes. While you’re welcoming the warmth of spring, take some time to assess any winter damage and schedule your handyman service now.
Open the windows
Even if you normally don’t throw the windows open wide in the spring or especially if you don’t typically open your windows at all, that’s a great place to start your annual spring assessment.
According to Devan Kaufman, KC Handyman owner, “This is important with any window, but it’s especially true if you don’t open your windows often. If the finish isn’t in good shape, water and weather could be rotting out the frame or the window sash. If you don’t open your windows much, you won’t notice problems until there’s serious damage, so it is a good idea to open all windows and inspect the seals between the frame and the sash and the finish on all wood windows.”
He recommends doing the same thing with exterior doors, checking for intact seals and caulk around the frame, evaluating paint and finish condition, and making sure each unit closes properly.
“If you do find signs of a bad seal or decayed finish anywhere,” says Kaufman, “ a little maintenance can greatly extend the life of doors and windows.”
Take a walk
While you’re outside, Kaufman says there are key areas on the exterior to assess as well.
“I always advise homeowners to take a walk around their property in the spring. Just taking a good look at the home, especially areas typically affected by snow and ice, will give you an idea of any places that might need attention.”
One obvious area to examine is gutters and downspouts, Kaufman says, since they can easily be damaged by heavy snow and ice. “You want to look for clogged gutters or downspouts or areas where they might have become disconnected. Flashing can also come loose. If ice works its way under the flashing or the shingles, you can have water damage that isn’t visible until it’s caused problems inside.”
A handyman can identify any of those warning signs. He can replace sections of gutter, flashing, or downspout before minor issues become serious.
In addition to gutter systems, Kaufman suggests looking at the paint and siding during your walk around the exterior. “You want to pay special attention to any place siding meets a horizontal surface, like the roofline or the ground or a deck. Those are spots where water or snow can settle and deterioration can start.”
Again, catching the damage early typically means a simpler solution. “If it’s just paint beginning to crack or chip, a touch-up may be all you need. But if you allow paint to continue peeling, that exposed wood or siding will allow moisture to cause bigger problems,” says Kaufman.
In addition to the exterior of the home, you’ll want to inspect other outdoor spaces.
“Windows and doors should be evaluated a couple of times a year,” Kaufman advises. “And do the same thing with your deck, patio, and outdoor living spaces.”
Just as with windows and siding, the deck finish can be touched up when it begins to wear. “It’s a lot easier to touch up than to have to completely refinish a deck, so checking the finish at least annually can save you time and money,” Kaufman says.
He also recommends looking for indications of settling in patios or paving stones.
“Settling is always normal, but if it’s left uncorrected, water can erode the soil underneath and get worse. We can pull up just the affected areas and level as needed to prevent the erosion from spreading.”
Kaufman says KC Handyman can provide homeowners with a “to do” list if they’re not comfortable making that assessment themselves. “We can certainly do a walk around with the homeowner or for them and give them an idea of what needs to be done. And we have a team of professionals who can handle just about any project that might be on that list.”
KC Handyman breaks projects into three categories—maintenance, repair, and minor updates. No matter what a homeowner needs, Kaufman says KC Handyman has the skills necessary, from minor maintenance to major repairs.
“Some homeowners may be confident in their DIY skills, but it can be worth hiring a professional for the convenience and quality guarantee,” he says. “With my background, I know I can do those projects. But it will take me twice as long to gather my tools, get set up, and get started by myself. My crew can be there and done in that time.”
Besides, once spring finally arrives, there are probably more pleasant ways to enjoy the outdoors. •
- Devan Kaufman KC Handyman