“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
Although it’s still cold, Spring is just around the corner. The official start of Spring is March 20th, so it’s time to go through my Spring home maintenance checklist.
Why Homeowners Should Care About Seasonal Maintenance
The number of items that need attention in a home can pile up just like the junk mail in your inbox. That’s why home maintenance should be an ongoing job.
Many homeowners perform repairs on their home as they are needed. If their home is functioning well enough that it doesn’t disrupt their daily routine, no maintenance is done. This is a financially dangerous way to think about home maintenance.
As a Realtor, I have shown homes that look brand new but have underlying issues due to prolonged under-maintenance. This often leads to heavy repair costs and lower property values. If you’re selling your home, you may even find that leak in the roof has turned off a potential buyer completely.
My goal is to use preventative maintenance to avoid financial surprises. Yes, it takes some planning, but anyone that has ever had a surprise expense knows planned expenses are easier to manage.
My Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
As the ice melts and the weather warms, our daily lives become more active. Take advantage of this time, and do your Spring home maintenance.
After a long winter, problems may surface that were not seen during the warmer months. Take time to step outside and inspect your home for possible problems.
- Roofing: Check for shifted, cracked and missing shingles, then repair accordingly. Keep an eye out for shingles pushed up from nails underneath, as they can allow water to get through.
- Foundation: Look for new or worsening cracks. Foundation cracks should be handled by a professional. Simple caulking normally won’t do the job effectively.
- Chimney: Now is a great time to schedule a professional cleaning of the chimney. Also, check all joints and look for loose or missing bricks/stones. While you’re inspecting, keep an eye out for signs of water, such as green growth or a white calcium-like build-up called effloresence. Consider these signs you may need to reseal your chimney.
- Exterior Walls: Check siding for cracks and holes. Fill or caulk them as needed. Holes in the siding often give insects and critters a perfect entrance to your home during the warmer months. Check under the eaves for clear water stains, as this can be a sign of low-flowing or incorrectly installed gutters.
- Windows and Doors: Check for worn weather stripping with cracks or holes and replace as needed. If you notice condensation in windows, this is a clear sign that the seal is weak.
Spring is known as the cleaning season. As part of your home maintenance, add these items to your cleaning list:
- Furniture: Move furniture and other items that sit in the same spot and clean under them. Make sure to get baseboards. Look for any signs of water.
- Kitchen: Scrub cabinets and tile backsplashes to remove oil and dirt build-up. Replace any worn or missing grout. Clean off refrigerator coils so your refrigerator operates at highest efficiency.
- Bathrooms: Clean fans and vents to allow good air circulation. Look and smell for signs of mold or a mildew, as these can be indicators of a water leak. Replace worn grout.
- Basement: If your basement is always humid, you could have a ventilation problem. Check to make sure air is circulating. Invest in a dehumidifier for more severe cases. Check the base of concrete walls, as that is where cracks start. Repair, if necessary. Check your sump pump to make sure it is working. Spray for pests while cleaning. Bugs love the basement and tend to spread from the basement to other places in the home.
- Attic: Look for signs of critters and mold. Mold often looks like gray or black splotches. Double check that attic vents are unblocked and will allow proper ventilation.
- Faucets: Check all faucets and drains. Clear drain obstructions, and make sure you get under the sink to look for signs of leaks. Often leaks can just look like sweaty pipes.
- Laundry Room: Check all water connections for good seals. Make sure tubing is not cracked or leaking. Check your dryer vent and clean out any lint, as this is a fire hazard.
Yes, here comes the Spring yard work. Don’t worry. It will be worth it when friends and family can enjoy your backyard with you.
- Windows and Screens: Clean windows and screens softly, and avoid using the power washer or hose on these items. Make sure you use a mild detergent and allow screens to dry thoroughly. Screens often hold some funky smells.
- Lawn: Remove winter debris like leaves and branches so grass can come back to life.
- Bushes and Trees: Trim back bushes and trees. They are about to grow like crazy.
- Weeds: Although weeds may not be popping up yet, they are there and waiting for that perfect Spring weather. Consider spraying before they do.
- Buildings: Look for cracked or peeling paint and give structures a fresh coat when needed.
- Walkways: Power wash all walking areas. While you’re at it, you might want to spray down the deck and the siding, too.
- Equipment: Take the lawn equipment out of storage and make it easier to access. Remember to make sure the mower is ready.
- Decks: Clean them thoroughly and repair loose boards. Reseal or repaint if the deck shows heavy wear.
- BBQ: Get out the BBQ or grill. Clean it up and make sure it is working and ready for some outdoor fun.
- Air Conditioning Unit: Change filters and perform normal maintenance. Make sure to clear any vegetation from around the outside unit. It is better to check now than when it’s hot outside!
- Water Heater: Drain your water heater to remove sediment. Make sure to inspect hoses and pipes. Here is a quick guide from This Old House.
- Irrigation: Check systems for damage from winter. You should also look for low spots in your yard that need to be raised so water doesn’t pool.
Everything you inspect, clean, maintain and repair early will help keep your property value high and your repair costs low. Have a fantastic Spring, well, as soon as it arrives!
Do you have any tips to add to my Spring home maintenance checklist? Let me know what has worked for you in the comments.