Now that the winter is over, it is time to give your home a check-up to get it ready for warmer weather. This entails tackling spring maintenance both indoors and outdoors as the weather warms up.
Many areas of your residence require your attention in the springtime, and it can be pretty challenging to stay on top of all of them. That is where a thorough spring maintenance checklist can come in handy.
Home Exterior Maintenance Checklist
From snow, ice, condensation, frost and chill, winter weather takes a toll on the exterior parts of your home the most. An important aspect of spring maintenance includes a meticulous inspection of your home’s exterior for winter-related damage. Areas to check include:
The roof is your home’s primary line of defense against winter elements like snow and rain. To make sure it is in tip-top shape before hotter months blaze through, you should complete the following steps:
- Clean dirt and grime from soffits, the exposed siding underneath the overhangs.
- Remove soffit vents to clear out debris using a leaf blower or a broom handle.
- Check for curling, broken or missing shingles.
- Check for peeling around the seal at the base of the chimney.
- Check for loose or misaligned chimney bricks.
- If you have a flat roof, check for puddles of water on the surface.
- If you have a metal roof, check for any sign of corrosion.
If possible, avoid climbing the roof when performing the inspection. Instead, check it from the ground using a pair of binoculars. Keep in mind that most roof repairs require specialized tools and equipment, so you should contact an experienced professional roofer to do those tasks safely.
2. Gutters and Downspouts
The next step is to inspect your gutters and clear them of dead leaves, twigs, branches, nests, droppings and other debris to ensure effective runoff year-round. If your gutters and downspouts are firmly attached and water is draining away from the foundation of your home without a hitch, then your gutters are in excellent shape. If water is leaking through, there may be cracks and holes in the gutters that need to be patched up.
If your home still has sectional gutters, it is time to make the switch to seamless gutters. These gutters substantially reduce the chances of leakages and debris buildup, therefore eliminating the need for frequent upkeep.
3. Siding and Foundation
Clean the siding with a manufacturer-approved cleaning solution or a homemade mixture of dish soap and water. Apply the solution on areas with dirt or grime, use a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth, then rinse it off with a spray hose. Check for signs of damage, such as peeling paint, dents or splits, and schedule professional repairs as needed. Do not forget to check the foundation for cracks and have any damage repaired by a specialist. Consider touching up the exterior paint to tidy up your home’s appearance.
4. Windows and Doors
As the spring and summer months settle in, you will likely open your windows and doors more often. To keep unwanted elements out of your home, make sure to apply new caulk to any cracks and gaps around the units. Then, lubricate the hinges and tracks of your windows and doors to ensure smooth operation all the time. Get rid of storm windows and swap them out for screens to block insects and airborne debris.
5. Patio or Deck
Chances are the surface of your deck or patio has accumulated grime during the winter season and is in some need of deep cleaning. You should also inspect your outdoor living spaces and look for signs of loose nails and splits in the wood panels.
Use this simple step-by-step guide when cleaning your deck or patio:
- Wash down the surface using a garden house.
- Spray it with a cleaning solution and then wait for it to dry.
- Scrub it with a broom and spray it with the garden house once more.
- Let the wood dry for a few days before staining or sealing it.
Home Interior Maintenance Checklist
While the exterior parts of your home bear the brunt of the cold weather, your interior likely also needs some TLC. Areas you need to pay attention to include:
For your central heating and air conditioning, call an HVAC company to perform a biannual tune-up and servicing. A technician should check the ductwork for signs of leaks and damage and service the furnace and air conditioner compressor. Exhaust vents in the bathrooms should be cleaned as well to prevent moisture buildup that can cause mold and mildew to form. If you have steam heat, have a professional drain the boiler to eliminate any accumulation of sediment.
Give your pipes and other plumbing fixtures a once-over to make sure there are no leaks. Don’t forget to check the area under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Then, check the faucets for dripping and the flapper in the toilet tank to see if it has worn out. Also, take a look at your ceilings for dark-colored stains, which are a telltale sign of a leak in the wall. Make sure your sump pump is draining properly as well. You do not want to wait for the next rainstorm to discover your pump’s motor is faulty. If you’re unsure of how to repair any of the issues you find, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber for help.
Even if you rarely light the fireplace, the chimney still benefits from a regular checkup. Since the chimney is responsible for directing heat, smoke and other dangerous gasses away from the stove or furnace and out of your home, having a chimney sweep clean your chimney helps keep the air inside fresh and breathable. It is recommended to have your chimney inspected at least once a year and cleaned periodically depending on how often it is used.
4. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
According to the National Fire Protection Association, about two-thirds of deaths from house fires between 2007 and 2011 were in homes without functioning smoke detectors. This is why it is incredibly important to check up on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change their batteries once a year. You may want to consider installing smart detectors that send out voice alerts rather than solely alarms.
5. Other Appliances
The final item in the spring maintenance checklist is to inspect all of your essential household appliances to ensure they are in good working order. Some specific items to tick off the list include:
- Confirming the temperature settings on the refrigerator and freezer are accurate
- Cleaning the condenser coils on the back of the refrigerator
- Looking for cracks in the washing machine that may need repairing
- Removing any lint buildup from the dryer vent
- Cleaning the dishwasher trap and filter
- Making sure there are no clogs in the garbage disposal