Spring is here! But before you can relax and enjoy the warmer weather, there are a few home maintenance items you need to tackle. In many areas of the country, winter can be particularly brutal on your home and property. Now is the time to take care of any issues so that you can have a stress-free summer. Start by looking for any issues winter might have caused or made worse and get those addressed as quickly as possible before you move on to more organizational tasks.
In addition to the needed physical maintenance, cleaning and organizing can be great mood-boosters as well, which is great after a long run of short winter days. Looking for and fixing any issues you find gives you a sense of control over your environment, and inviting the sunlight in by opening the windows is bound to lift your mood and make you feel a bit more optimistic — a nice breath of fresh air after months spent inside due to the cold weather.
Spring cleaning and spring maintenance have become traditions in many parts of the world. There’s something refreshing about opening the windows, sweeping the floors, and really giving the house a once-over to ensure everything is still in order after the winter months. While some areas aren’t completely done with the snow just yet, temperatures are warming up in most areas of the country, and the melt can potentially reveal some new issues as well as the returning grass.
Here’s a rundown of your basic spring home maintenance checklist.
Check for any exterior damage
Giving your external space a careful once-over should be your first step after the spring thaw, especially if you live in an area of the country where winter is particularly harsh on people and structures. Be sure to check for any roof damage as well as checking the house’s siding. If there is damage to the roof that goes unnoticed or ignored, it can not only become a home for raccoons, bats, and other pests over the warmer months but the snow and snow melt next spring can also lead to interior and exterior water damage.
This applies to the garage as well. A garage door should seal well enough to keep out the elements. If yours does not, it has the potential to really cause some major issues down the line if left alone too long. If it’s an emergency, such as the door being off its track or otherwise stuck, then you’ll be better served by searching for a company that does 24 hour garage door repairs in your local area so that you can get someone out to fix it as soon as possible.
Get Your Air Conditioner Tuned Up
Another item on your basic spring home maintenance checklist is easy to overlook but extremely important. You should get your air conditioner tuned up for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is your overall health. An AC filter can only hold so much material before its ability to filter correctly breaks down. This leaves the air that does get through contaminated with debris and allergens, which can really be difficult for those with breathing problems. Having a unit professionally cleaned also reduces the likelihood of the vents becoming clogged and putting additional stress on the unit. This lack of increased stress improves performance and means that the unit is less likely to break down, which saves you the potential replacement cost.
So, what should an air conditioning tune up include? While it’s recommended that you change the filter before the warm weather hits, this is really only one of the things that needs to be done. Others include having a professional:
- Checking the ducts for debris. If debris is left in the ducts, there’s a risk that air can back up into the unit and damage internal parts.
- Check for internal damage. Look carefully for any signs of damage, including chipped or broken parts. If you continue to run a unit which has internal damage, it will eventually fail and have to be replaced.
- Check the coolant level. Not only will the coolant damage anything it leaks on, but without it, the unit will be unable to work.
- Check the seals. Replace any seals that are loose or otherwise not fitting correctly. If the seals are loose, cold air will simply leak into the walls.
- Check the thermostat. Thermostats can be finicky and sometimes register an incorrect temperature. This may not seem like a big deal, but the incorrect registered temperature causes the AC unit to put out an incorrect amount of air.
Look for Signs of Animal Damage
Any basic spring home maintenance checklist needs to include checking your home and property for any damage done by pests or animals over the winter. Spring means more wildlife activity and while some of it can be quite nice, like seeing deer strolling through your backyard, not all of it is so pleasant. Open holes or breaks in the siding can become entryways for small animals, which can lead to some fairly major damage to the structure if ignored. Cover any openings with solid material and check around carefully to make sure nothing is nesting where it shouldn’t be.
Winter weather can also drive smaller animals like squirrels and rats to find shelter in warm spaces — including your home. If you’re concerned at all about there being unwanted guests in your home, look for signs of chewing on building materials, wiring, and exterior vents. Even if you like these sorts of animals, they can cause a lot of damage if they find their way into your basement, attic, or garden shed, so it’s best to call local outdoor pest control services for help.
Clean Your Gutters
Rain gutters are very useful parts of a house’s facade and ignoring them when they’re clogged can leave you with some pretty severe water damage. Your basic spring home maintenace checklist should also inclde cleaning out your gutters. Carefully go up on a ladder that will comfortably reach the roof and remove any leaves and debris with either your hands or a garden trowel. Wash away any remaining gunk with a garden hose, then check the downspouts by running some water down them. Clogs here can be removed with a plumber’s drain snake.
While cleaning is important, it’s also important that you address anything that needs fixing, such as sagging or broken gutters. If gutters are broken, it can lead to water pooling in places it’s not supposed to and potentially causing water damage in the basement or in the walls. Promptly addressing any issues avoids this and ensures that your gutters are ready for anything by the time the weather turns rainy again.
Check Window and Door Screens
The warmer weather means that many people will spend a considerable amount of time with their windows and doors open to let in the fresh air and get a breeze going to help cool the house down. Unfortunately, the warmer weather also means more insect activity. It’s important to include checking the screens in your windows and doors on your basic spring home maintenance check list. You can prevent bugs from becoming unwanted guests in your home by carefully making sure that all the screens in the house are intact. Screen repair is often fairly simple and only really needs to be done on rips, tears, or holes larger than a quarter.
If the damage is too bad, it may be best to simply replace the screens. Regardless, this is also a great time to ensure that window and door screens are fitted correctly, change out any hardware, and lubricate the door hinges. Like with spring cleaning, it’s often better to tackle everything you can in a specific area before moving on to another one.
Check Your Driveway for Damage
Winter can be hard on roadways and driveways of all types. So be sure to keep assessing your driveway for damage on your basic spring home maintenace checklist. The snow and extreme cold in some areas of the country can leave asphalt and concrete full of potholes, cracks, and dips. It’s best to address any issues as soon as you see them, before the rain throughout the rest of the year makes things that much worse. While certain small repairs can be done by homeowners with no problem, it’s generally best to contact an asphalt paving company to fix any major issues you’ve found with your driveway.
If you have a gravel driveway instead, be on the lookout for ruts and dips that can damage a car’s shocks or cause you to turn your ankle. While gravel is durable and cheaper than a poured driveway, it does require regular maintenance too to ensure that there’s no major gravel loss or issues that would constitute a safety hazard.
Freshen Up Indoors
Your basic spring home maintenance checklist shouldn’t just focus on the exterior of your home and property. Spring-cleaning has become a yearly ritual for many people. If you’re looking to freshen things up indoors, but can’t spring for a full-on remodel, there are a few things you can do to make your home feel like new again. The first is to move the furniture. There are usually several different ways to lay out a space, and sometimes we become stuck with a layout simply because we’ve had it a long time and forget that the furniture isn’t nailed down. Experiment with a few different layouts and see which one you like the best.
If you’re looking to change things up with a new paint color but don’t want to or otherwise can’t commit to doing the work yourself, there are many options for local interior painting services that can get the job done for you. Or you can always go the DIY route, buy yourself some painting equipment and take a chance on that bright pumpkin color you’ve always liked.
Another way to make the indoors feel fresher is to have the rugs professionally cleaned. Doing so removes years of ground in dirt, and even a large portion of any staining that’s occurred. Rug cleaning is included with some house cleaning services, but it’s also often offered as a stand-alone service, which is perfect if you prefer to do the rest of the cleaning yourself.
Organizing and decluttering is another task that should be on your basic spring home maintenance checklist. Spring is a good time of year to start cleaning out closets and garages. Carefully go through your wardrobe for items you don’t wear, or things that don’t fit anymore, and put them in a donation pile you can add to as you go. For the garage, organize your cleaning by things that are getting thrown away, things that are being donated, and things that are being kept. For everything you’re keeping, invest in some good sturdy storage solutions such as clear plastic tubs and shelving. Having everything organized and put away will greatly reduce the stress of having to find something you know is in the garage… somewhere.
Freshening up the inside of your home for spring can also help you shake off some of the winter blues that may still be hanging on. Once your screens are repaired, throw open the windows and let the fresh air and sunshine in to lift your spirits. It’s amazing how much of a mood booster something so simple can be.
And there you have it! A basic spring home maintenance checklist you can refer to whenever you need. Spring cleaning and general spring maintenance are a great way to not only make sure your house is safe and comfortable, but renew the feeling of the home as well. This is also something you can do as a family if you’d prefer. Getting your kids involved in the yearly ritual of looking for damage after the winter months and refreshing the home for spring can be a wonderful way to help them learn about responsibility as well as teaching them good basic life skills like proper cleaning techniques.
So get out there and start tackling these items, so you can enjoy your stress-free summer!