Spring home maintenance checklist
With the brighter weather upon us, it is time to finally get to do some home maintenance. There are no winter storms to worry about anymore, and you can start looking to do some repairs around your home. It is also an excellent time to “cash in” on that best rated home warranty program. But if this is your first time performing routine maintenance, you might want to create a spring home maintenance checklist.
We’ve talked to home maintenance experts and have compiled a nifty checklist for you to use. Of course, we will be explaining every item on the checklist in greater detail, for your convenience. Without further ado, we present to you the:
Spring home maintenance checklist
- Clean downspouts and gutters
- Reseal any exterior woodwork that needs it
- Paint the exterior
- Inspect your driveway
- Check for any signs of termites
- Check the roof
- Verify that your sprinklers/irrigation systems are working
- Protect your home against mosquitoes
- Service your air conditioning system
- Check your windows and screen doors for any damage
Obviously, this list does not include everything that you might need to do around the home. If you have any special equipment, for example, you will want to include its maintenance in the checklist. Every home is unique, after all, and there is no checklist that anyone can make that can include every single task for every single home. What we can do, however, is include the tasks that most, if not all, homes will want to focus on. Let’s explore these tasks in a bit more detail.
Cleaning the gutters and downspouts
You may want to start your efforts by cleaning and repairing your gutters and downspouts. If left clogged, they can cause the eaves to rot, wood trim, and can also invite some critters inside your attic space. By cleaning the gutters and downspouts early in the spring season, you will also minimize (or prevent altogether) the damage that comes with spring rains. You want to ensure that your gutters and downspouts are running free, are clean, and that the water is properly diverted from the house.
The foundation of your home is what is most important, after all, and by having clean and well-maintained gutters and downspouts, you will ensure that its integrity remains intact. Most experts recommend starting with this task. The main reason is that if you leave it for later, you might not get to it.
Sealing the exterior woodwork
Next up, you will want to ensure that your wood decks, trellises, pergolas, and any other outdoor structures last a bit longer. And that means that you will need to reseal them as necessary. You might also want to inspect the overall structure of the woodwork and make repairs as necessary.
If your exterior has suffered damage due to thunderstorms or any other natural hazard, your home warranty should cover most of the repairs. If not, you may have a bit more work ahead of you, as you will need to do the repairs and resealing on your own. In either case, if you are not proficient with this type of work, it is always advisable to at least consult a professional. Of course, having the professionals do the job is always preferable, if your budget can allow for it.
Painting the exterior
The spring makes for the best time to paint your exterior. If you can’t decide on the color you like, you might want to walk around the neighborhood and see if you like any of the colors. You can also extend your search to the internet, as that might provide you with even more ideas. Just make sure that you have enough painting supplies on hand, as you never want to stop the work mid-way.
The main issue with painting woodwork is that you don’t really “have” to do it. It is a vital part of maintaining your home, however. After all, consider that the paint is likely going to be the first thing you see when approaching the house. Choose colors that set you in a good mood and you might find that your quality of life has improved dramatically. Yes, colors have that kind of power.
Inspecting the driveway
The freeze, and the resulting thaw, can wreak havoc on concrete, asphalt, or most other materials that are used for hardscaping. That is why it is essential to take a walk around the property, inspecting your driveway for any damage to it, as well as any damage to walkways and paths. If your hardscaping is mostly asphalt, you can easily patch it on your own, with minimal cost. But if your driveway consists of concrete, the damage might need to be repaired by a professional.
Again, these sorts of repairs are exactly why home warranties are there for. If your warranty is still running, you can expect it to cover most of the repairs. At other times, your homeowner’s insurance might cover some of the damages. Before you pay for any repairs out of your own pocket, see if your homeowner’s insurance or home warranty plan can pay for them.
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Checking for termites
A responsible homeowner needs to be checking for termites come March, all the way through May and June. These insects swarm in the spring and can cause serious damage to your property. If you see any holes in the woodwork, and there is a bunch of winged insects flying out of it, it is time to consult professional pest control. While the cost of eradicating termites might seem steep, it is nothing compared to what it might cost you if you leave the infestation unchecked. And that is discounting all the hassle and trouble that comes with termites.
While you’re at it, you may want to consider pest-proofing your home. There are fewer insects in the winter and you might not even think about them. But as soon as spring arrives, you may find them crawling all around the property.
Inspecting the roof
No spring home maintenance checklist can forget to include checking the roof for repairs. Winter storms, in particular, can compromise the roof’s integrity. You will want to start by performing a simple visual inspection. This does not even require a ladder, and you don’t need to actually climb onto the roof. Just find a vantage point and use your phone to take some pictures. Or you may opt to utilize binoculars or a camera instead.
What you need to look for are if there are any shingles missing, whether any of the metal pipes are damaged, or for any sign that something is not “right”. You should not attempt any repairs on your own unless you have previous experience. Any work on the roof is inherently dangerous, and best left to professionals.
Verifying that the sprinkler system is functional
It is also very important that you re-check your sprinkler system or an irrigation system that you might have. This can save you a lot of money in water, as well as save your plants from the summer heat. What you will want to do is run the system manually, verifying that all zones are covered. Walk around the property, identifying any potential issues. Most commonly, you will need to repair a damaged or broken head, and adjust any heads that were dislodged from the weather.
If your sprinkler system is spraying the house, this can lead to numerous moisture problems and can create more damage. To avoid wasting water, you should also adjust any heads that are spraying the sidewalk, porches, or even the street.
Maintaining the sprinkler system is not as straightforward as it may sound, and you may need to consult a professional. The cost of these repairs, however, is lessened by the fact that you will be wasting far less water, resulting in a lower water bill. Oh, and you will also protect one of the world’s most valuable natural resources by doing so.
Protecting your home from mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are more than simply annoying. In recent years, we’ve all become more aware of how dangerous these insects can be to our health. Zika virus and the West Nile virus are the latest calamities that mosquitoes potentially bring with them.
To prevent having so many mosquitoes around your home, you will want to remove any standing water about your property. Take a peek at your neighbor’s property as well, and inform them of the dangers that standing water poses. If you see an area of standing water, you will want to either fix it, get rid of it, or ensure that it is regularly maintained.
You may also want to repair any mosquito nets you have around your home or install additional ones if necessary. While this may reduce the visibility somewhat, not needing to deal with any mosquitoes inside your home is more than worth it.
Servicing the air conditioning system
The air conditioning system needs regular maintenance. That is why it is extremely important to include it in your spring home maintenance checklist. Even if your system keeps the home cool, that does not mean it is working in optimal conditions. If you want to prolong the lifespan of your cooling system, as well as have it run as efficiently as possible, you will need to change the filters at least once each season, spring included.
To ensure that your air conditioning system is working at optimal capacity, you will want to contact and hire a licensed professional. Check what the brand of your air conditioning machine is and contact the corresponding specialist.
Checking the windows and screen doors for damages
The last thing on our spring home maintenance checklist is to check if your windows and screens have any holes in them. You want to let the breeze flow in and keep bugs out and that is impossible if there are holes and tears present. Before setting any screens, you need to carefully check them for any damage. Make sure that all of the screens are repaired, even the ones with minimal damage on them. Luckily, this is something that you can do on your own, with the help of screen repair kits. Most hardware and home improvement stores will have them, and they are not all that expensive.
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Should you do most of the things on your spring home maintenance checklist on your own?
As you can see, most of the tasks on our spring home maintenance checklist involve a professional. But this is not to say that you can’t learn how to complete them on your own. When you don’t have the knowledge and experience, hiring a professional is usually the best thing to do. But what you can also do is watch how these professionals work, and what they use to repair your property. Feel free to ask them questions throughout the process, they will be happy to oblige.
The fact of the matter is that you can learn to do every task on your own. But you also need to consider the time it would take you to complete the work. If you can earn more in the time you will spend on those repairs, it might be more cost-effective to hire a professional to do them for you. But if you have the time and the inclination, no one is going to do better work than you, provided you have the necessary knowledge and experience. Professionals will do good work, yes, but it is not their home. Doing repairs and maintenance is their job, after all. On the other hand, you are completely invested in your own home.
A spring home maintenance checklist is just one of the things you might want to know about when it comes to home improvement. If you would like to know more about home improvement and home warranties, all you need to do is explore the Consumer Opinion Guide. You will be able to find the top contractors, top products, as well as more useful guides to having a better home.