A Spring Maintenance Checklist for Homeowners
The arrival of spring evokes new beginnings and renewal — the weather is warmer, the days are longer, and the flora and fauna come to life. Now that temperatures are rising, it is also the perfect time for you do a little spring cleaning – check-in on your home and take care of any routine seasonal maintenance needs. Take the time to review this handy Modernize spring home maintenance checklist to ensure that everything is in working order this spring.
You have been cranking the heat for months, and now it’s time to switch over to air conditioning. Just like with your heater, things can happen while the AC sits unused for a long period of time.
Change out the filter and consider having a professional come by to service it, especially if you are having any trouble with the AC unit. Don’t wait for an air conditioning emergency – the sweltering heat of the summer will arrive before you know it, so ensure your air conditioning is working!
Spring is a great time to make sure all your appliances are in good working order. In the laundry room, check that your washing machine water hoses are not cracked. Clean out the lint trap and vent for lint build up in the dryer — this can cause a fire! Since warmer weather is coming, it is also a good time to practice energy-efficiency habits with your laundry appliances to keep energy bills down throughout the hotter months.
Check all of the safety features in your home. This includes changing out the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and ensuring the needle on your fire extinguisher is in the “green” zone. If you have home security devices, review their settings — during this time of year, you may find that you want to crack open a window to let in some fresh air!
Attics and Basements
Head to the top and bottom of your home to look for signs of moisture, mold, or unwanted critters. These are all drawn by dark, damp places such as the attic or basement, so make sure you are getting enough ventilation. Also look for cracks in the foundation and walls, which can be caused by too much moisture.
Exterior Wood and Siding
Winter can do some damage to your wooden decks, patios, railing, and steps. Check that there is no rot or damage, preventing injury to your family. Sometimes, your wood just needs a little touch up paint or stain, too, to regain its shine.
Check on your siding, as well, as many types of siding can become faded or stained over time. Spring may be a great time to clean and refresh your home’s siding.
Springtime is peak termite season. You will want to keep your eyes peeled for these pesky critters. There are a number of types of termites, but they can all cause tremendous damage to your home if left to their own devices. If you notice a large group of winged bugs flying out of a hole in your home, call the exterminator for their expertise and guidance.
Roof and Gutters
- Gutters: Make sure that your gutters are cleaned out to allow rainfall to flow unobstructed. Check for cracks caused by freezing temperatures, and that they are sending water away from your home walls and landscaping.
- Roofs: Take a quick look to ensure you are not missing any shingles and that nothing is broken. Even if you live in a region with warmer temperatures, it is always good to check on your roof and gutters every spring.
If your home has a chimney, inspect the brick or stones for any cracks, missing pieces, or if you notice plants growing out of them. You definitely want to be on the lookout for white residue on your chimney, or efflorescence. This means there is excess water in the chimney that is not being removed properly and can damage your chimney; efflorescence can also be green, yellow or brown. This can be tended to by a chimney professional.
Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to spring is evaluating your home’s outdoor areas and landscaping. Trim back branches or bushes that have become unwieldy, purchase your favorite flowers for the flower beds, throw fertilizer on the lawn, and get your home looking beautiful again.
With spring comes healthy, green grass! If you keep your lawn looking fresh with a sprinkler system, now is a good time to check that they are working efficiently. Make sure they are spraying in the right direction, that windows and the walls of your home are not in the way, and that no sprinkler heads are broken or cracked. It is best to time your sprinklers to go off early or later in the day when it is cooler — in the midday heat, the water will evaporate and you will not see your desired results.
Before you fire up your propane grill for the first barbecue of the season, make sure that the burner jets, gas hoses, and connections are all secure and not clogged up. Also check that your propane is in good shape (and that you have enough for said barbecue!). If you are more of a charcoal griller, clean out the grill of ash and grease residue.
Your outdoor furniture has been waiting for spring to arrive to finally be used again! Wipe down your plastic furniture of any grime that has built up over the cold months. For metal furniture, make sure there is no rust that could impact the integrity of the table or chair.