A Spring Maintenance Checklist for Your Home
The dark, cold days of winter are now in retreat, the colors and smells of spring are starting to appear all around us. Swifty comes the time when we throw open our doors and windows, bring in the refreshing warm breezes, and feel the constrictions of winter melt away. This is a good time.
It’s time to put away hats and gloves, scarves, and mittens. It’s time for planting flowers and sitting outside as the sun sinks low. Most of all, it’s time to survey your property and find out what the winter months have done to your house, yard, driveway, and hit that “Honey-Do” list.
There’s a lot to be done around the house with the arrival of spring. It can be a bit overwhelming and cause some people to say, “meh, I’ll get to that later” or even, “Maybe next year.”
Don’t get overwhelmed, and definitely don’t put off those tasks that really should be done immediately. To help keep it all in check and ease your troubled mind, we present an excellent springtime checklist. This is a quick list of the things you really need to give attention to around the house and yard as the snows melt and crocuses peep their delicate heads from under the soil.
Follow this checklist and have your home and yard in great shape for the spring and summer months.
Clean gutters and downspouts
Yes, we know this is a bit of an onerous task, but it could lead to some severe problems down the road if you ignore it.
As winter passes and spring arrives, you’ll want to clean your gutters and downspouts and fix any damage that has occurred in the cold months.
Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause wood trim at the eaves to rot. When this happens, your attic becomes an open door for all manner of critters and insects. No one wants to hear, “Don’t go upstairs; it’s full of bees, and a raccoon family is rehearsing a musical up there.”
If your downspouts are clogged or improperly installed, or in poor working conditions, they won’t divert water away from the house’s foundation. This leaves you with puddles that could settle the foundation and ruin landscaping.
Poorly maintained gutters and downspouts can lead to flooding, wood damage, rot, and the Von Trapps of the raccoon world living in your attic.
Reseal all outdoor wood structures
Wood decks, fences, railings, trellises, benches, pagodas, that band-stand your wife hates — all wood structures that have been covered in snow and ice all winter now need some TLC.
All of your outside wood structures will look better and last longer if they’re stained or resealed once a year. Every two years at the very most. This is also the perfect opportunity to check for damage in the winter and make repairs.
How’s the roof?
Checking the roof doesn’t always require you to get out the ladder and climb up to see what’s going on. You can do a daily check of the roof with a pair of binoculars or the telephoto setting on your smartphone.
You’ll want to check for missing shingles, metal pipes that are damaged or missing, basically, anything that makes you think, “Is that supposed to be like that?” When you have that moment, you’ll want to get on that right away.
If it’s a missing shingle or two, that’s probably something you can handle yourself. If there’s more damage or you suspect interior damage, don’t mess around with that; call a professional roofer and get it fixed correctly.
Inspect driveways, walkways, and footpaths
Asphalt and concrete take a beating in the winter months. Freezing and thawing can cause cracks and breakage. Some of the damage may be under the concrete, out of sight so, hop on it, step on it, bounce on it to make sure all is well.
Asphalt can easily be patched; however, concrete may have to be replaced entirely. Don’t put this off; if the areas are already cracking, another winter of freezing and thawing will make a small problem a lot worse. So, do a close inspection and fix any damages soon.
Sprinkler & Irrigation systems
Again, the winter freeze and thaw can wreak havoc on these systems. Checking on them as spring comes in will save you water, money and could save your plants, shrubs, and lawn from overwatering, puddling, or any damage that a malfunction in sprinklers or irrigation may cause. Follow these steps for an excellent working sprinkler system.
- Run the system through all zones manually and walk your property.
- Adjust any heads that may be spraying your house or windows. Watering your house will not make it grow an addition; however, it could cause water and settling damage.
- Adjust heads that are spraying on driveways, walkways, sidewalks, or the porch. Make sure water is going only where it is supposed to go, and you’ll avoid water waste and save money.
- If you’re unsure how to adjust your sprinklers or you have a question about damage that has occurred during the winter, contact a professional. You don’t want to cause more damage.
Check-in on the mosquito population
Mosquitos are annoying, and they can bring outdoor activities to a crashing halt. Beyond just being a social bummer, they are dangerous as well; Mosquitos carry West Nile Fever, the Zika Virus, malaria, and a whole host of other nasties you just don’t want to tangle with.
One of the favorite breeding grounds or chillax spots for these little devils is standing water. Water leftover from rain or melting snow that has grown stagnant is the Ritz Carton for mosquitos. To prevent them from swarming, walk your property and get rid of standing water. Dump it, drain it, sop it up with a sponge. Any standing water is going to be Plato’s Retreat for these winged monsters.
This goes for water that has pooled due to poor sprinkler maintenance. Even your birdbath should be tipped and refreshed as often as possible.
Screen doors and windows
Ol’ Man Winter loves to pick apart screen doors and windows. Screens are great for letting in the cool spring breeze and the season’s smells into the house or screened porch. If they have been damaged, they will let in more than breezes and floral joy; they’ll let in bugs.
Check all your screens, see how they faired during the winter months and then, patch them. Do it now before you forget, and you have mosquitos or other critters to contend with on those lazy summer nights. You can find a screen patching kit in most hardware stores.
Check the Air Conditioning Unit
A lot of air conditioning systems are not taken care of during the winter months. When summer comes around, people think all is well because they’re getting cold air. However, just because the air is cool, it doesn’t mean the unit is functioning efficiently. When spring comes, check filters and replace them if needed. If things look odd, sound weird, or the air just isn’t cool, talk to a pro and have them come and take a look. A poorly functioning a/c unit can cost you a lot of money, and you don’t want that.
So, there you go, a nice, easy checklist to follow for spring. If you’re still unsure what you should be doing to your house and property as spring sets in, talk to an expert like the folks at Revere Homes. They’ve been in the house business for a long time, and they know exactly how to get your home and yard ready for the spring, summer, and beyond.