By Jarrod Heil
Spring Home Maintenance Checklist: Tips for a Successful Season
After the snow melts and cold dissipates, that warm sunshine begins heating up the world around you and allowing you to get started on some spring home maintenance chores.
But where do you even start? It may seem like there are a million and one things on your to-do list, and that’s OK. If your list weren’t packed, we’d be worried.
The key to a successful spring home maintenance checklist is knowing everything you should be looking for and what chores to begin with.
We’ve compiled a checklist full of spring home maintenance tips to make the task at hand a little more bearable.
Outdoor Spring Home Maintenance Tips
Winter weather wreaks more havoc on the exterior of your home than the interior, so it’s important to get started crossing off everything on this spring home maintenance checklist as early and quickly as possible!
1. Clear Roof & Clean Gutters
Winter may have done wonders to your roof and gutters — and we’re not talking about the good wonders. The season’s harsh nature could potentially cause your gutters to crack, fill them up with the last leaves left from fall or damage your shingles, which could lead to a leaky roof in the future.
Either way, you won’t know what shape your roof and gutters are in until you break out the ladder and check it out yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable climbing onto the roof, we recommend saving this task for the professionals.
It’s important to make sure your gutters’ downspouts are properly cleared and facing the right direction. Make sure they’re turned away from your home so the water flows into the yard instead of toward the foundation.
2. Inspect Foundation
Spring brings thawing snow and, many times, torrential rains. Since excess water will likely be in the forecast, it’s important to check the foundation of your home to make sure the cold weather of winter didn’t leave behind any cracks that may allow water into your home’s structure.
Seal all cracks and imperfections with the necessary tools — or call a contractor to do the work if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself. It’s also important to look for spots around the house with unlevel soil that could potentially allow water to pool and push up against your home. If you find any, pack them in with soil or landscape from areas that are away from your home.
3. Reseal Woodwork
Winter often piles snow, sleet, slush and other things onto decks and other wooden structures, which can cause tremendous harm in the overall makeup of wood-crafted structures and finishes.
Take a close look at any wooden decks, wood trim and other wooden structures on the exterior of your home to see if they have been warped, stained or discolored. If they have, it likely means the wood seal has worn off and it’s time to reseal.
If you have a wooden deck and want to know if you need to reseal it, just pour some water onto the deck. If the water beads up, the seal is likely still intact and you may be able to wait a few more months or a year before you need to reseal the deck. If the water doesn’t bead up, you’ll want to reseal your deck this spring.
4. Survey Hardscaped Material
Concrete, asphalt and other hardscaped material don’t take too kindly to winter’s continuous freezing and thawing ways. This fluctuation in weather and temperature can cause concrete to crack and water to seep through.
Walk around the exterior of your home, looking carefully at your driveway and hardscaped materials that make up your landscape and yard. If you notice any cracks, you may be able to patch it quickly to deter further damage.
Concrete materials don’t take kindly to cracks. You may be able to patch concrete (like small cracks in the driveway), but you may have to replace the concrete if the cracks are beyond repair.
5. Look for Termites
March through June are prime season for termites to thrive and begin tearing through the wooden structures in your home.
If there are tiny insects flying out of the exterior structure of your home, they could be termites. Also, if your next-door neighbors suddenly put up a carnival-like tent to get rid of termites, you’ll want to call a licensed pest control professional as soon as possible.
6. Test Irrigation System
Your irrigation has likely been stuck inside the frozen ground for a few months, which can be extremely harsh on these brittle pipes that help give life to your lawn and landscape.
Run the irrigation system to make sure everything is in working order. Check each sprinkler head to make sure they’re coming out of, and going back into, the ground properly. If they’re a little crooked or you find damaged sprinkler heads, replace them as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the system.
Testing the irrigation system extends to checking all the outdoor faucets attached to your home. We really hope you disconnected the hoses from every faucet! If you did (or even if you didn’t), turn on each faucet and connect a working hose to each to make sure they’re working properly.
7. Scan Screens
Chances are good that you have screen doors and windows on your home that are designed to let that fresh spring air inside and freshen the air in your home. Chances are also good that you don’t want any bugs coming through those screens along with the air.
Walk around your home to carefully scan each screen for any holes that shouldn’t be there. If you find holes, don’t worry! Screens can be patched pretty easily with a standard repair kit from the hardware store.
8. Dump Standing Water
A key spring home maintenance tip that many people forget is to dump all standing water from your property. Standing water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which seem to become more and more dangerous each year.
9. Paint Exterior
Take a close look around the exterior of your home to check if the harsh winter weather has chipped or stripped paint from the outside of your home.
Although painting the exterior of your home isn’t necessary every spring, it’s the perfect time to change the color of your home! You may also want to keep an extra bucket or two of paint for the future, in case you need to patch any paint.
Indoor Spring Home Maintenance Tips
Even though the winter weather likely stayed outside of your home all season, cold temperatures can still affect many things inside your home. Cross all these items off your spring home maintenance checklist to make sure your home is in great shape!
1. Check A/C
If you live in a cold-weather climate, you probably haven’t cranked on your air conditioning unit in a few months. You may even be able to get away with opening the windows and not turning it on for a few more weeks. While that’s a great energy-saving technique, you still need to test the A/C to ensure it’s working properly for when you do need it.
Call a qualified HVAC technician to have them come take a look at the A/C and give it a proper tune-up. This will ensure your A/C is good to go when you finally need to turn it on, and it also helps to extend the life of your entire air conditioning unit!
2. Examine Water Heater
Nobody wants a leaky water heater. If improperly working, it could damage the floor it sits on and cause you to make many more costly repairs. If you see any water or signs of rust around the water heater, you’ll want to call a professional to inspect it.
These small leaks and signs of rust could eventually cause sediment buildup and major problems in the future, if not taken care of right away.
3. Explore for Leaks
Basements and attics are usually the main points of entry for leaks. It’s extremely important to inspect each with great caution to make sure winter didn’t leave small holes behind that water can work its way through.
If you smell or feel musty when you enter the attic or basement, those are clear signs that water may be making its way inside. Check the walls, ceiling and other materials for discoloration and any signs of water stains. If you find any, you’ll want to call a professional immediately.
4. Clean Furnace
Chances are great that your furnace and fireplace have seen some serious usage during the last few months. Since spring has sprung, you’re probably not going to be using your furnace system for months.
Spring is the perfect time to clean the filter system, blower and motor of your furnace system. It’s also a great time to call a chimney sweep before the summer sun beats down and makes cleaning a bigger hassle than it already is.
You may not need to conduct all the repairs on this spring home maintenance checklist, but it’s always good to take a look at everything to make sure you have all the bases covered.