It’s spring (I think) and a number of questions have come to me regarding items that I regard as “Spring Cleaning”. This was not a particularly severe winter as winters go, but certain things occur due to the freeze and thaw cycle. Cracks appear in concrete, plaster walls develop mysterious cracks, bricks spall, and foundations crumble. In addition paint, putty and caulk begin to fail. The generic answer is to correct these conditions as soon as possible. None of these things will fix themselves. Doing it right away prevents a small job from becoming a big one. Cracked roof slates, broken shingles, detached or clogged gutters all must be addressed. Many of these issues you can remedy yourself. If you let this stuff go, I can assure you it will wind up being costly. In spite of the employment situation these days, no one works cheap. If they do, chances are you will get exactly what you pay for and maybe less. None of these issues are rocket science. They are part of the dreary side of owning property. Even if you have maintenance staff, remember you still have to tell them what to do. Very few of them will look for stuff to do. If you are a “newbie” at building maintenance and ownership, I would suggest a good book on home repair and Do It Yourself projects. These publications will allow you to determine whether or not you should tackle the job yourself. If you are lucky enough to have a maintenance staff, you will be able to properly instruct them as to how to do the job. Pulling information off the internet is great for specific projects, but having a book to browse through will alert you to things that should be done that you never even thought of.