As winter comes to an end, chances are your home is in need of some post-winter maintenance. In as little as a weekend you can have your home spring-ready, allowing you to focus on enjoying warm weather, outdoor activities and less on household repairs. Routine maintenance every spring can improve the resale value of your home, increase its overall efficiency and reduce costs associated with unexpected repairs.
This warm weather home maintenance checklist will help you keep your indoor and outdoor areas in top shape for the changing of the seasons so that you can make necessary improvements and avoid costly repairs down the road.
Prepare Your Lawn
Just as your house needs prepped for spring, so does your lawn. Start by raking excess leaves, branches and debris that accumulated during winter and fertilize the soil. Trim back shrubs and trees so that they will grow properly and away from the home. You’ll also want to prep the mower by changing the engine oil and sharpening its blade. This will lengthen the life of the mower while improving the appearance of your lawn and your home.
Prevent water damage
Like the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. Unfortunately they can also bring flooding and unwanted water damage to your home. Since your roof is your home's first line of defense against spring rains, start by inspecting it for any signs of wear and tear caused by snow and ice. Loose and missing shingles or warping can make your roof susceptible to leaks, and delaying the repair of a faulty roof will lead to costly repairs to your home's interior.
Similarly, you will also want to check your gutters as spring rain can cause serious damage to your home if it isn’t properly funneled away from the house. Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts, and reattach gutters that have pulled away. Don’t forget to inspect your attic for signs of discoloration. The same goes for your sump pump as too much rain can mean big flooding problems for your basement.
Weatherproof your windows and doors
Warm weather provides the perfect time to wash and clean dirty windows and replace worn out, tattered screens as necessary. Be sure to check the caulking for signs of deterioration and add weather stripping around doors to reduce energy costs.
Take a walk around the outside of your home and inspect all concrete slabs and walkways for signs of damage or movement. Damage to your sidewalk and driveway can become a safety hazard if not repaired right away. You can patch and fill most cracks in concrete yourself using DIY cement-repair products, while deeper cracks require professional mending.
Clean and repair outside surfaces
Exterior siding and other outside surfaces take a beating during cold months. Use a pressure washer to clean siding, decks, driveways, fences and other outside surfaces of the dirt and grime that settled there during winter. Also inspect paint spots for chips, cracks or peeling. If you find areas that need repairing, scrape off the old paint and apply a fresh coat.
Tune up AC unit
Before you put your air conditioner back to work full-time for summer, be sure to service it properly and replace your filters. Filters become clogged with dirt and dust easily, forcing them to work harder, which increases energy costs and can possibly damage your cooling system. It’s also a good idea to have a technician inspect and tune up your AC unit. Keeping the air conditioner properly maintained will not only prolong the life of your system, but also significantly reduce energy costs during the warm months.
Test smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors
This simple task takes only a few minutes and could save your family’s life. It is important to check and replace the batteries in your home’s smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors regularly. Batteries usually will need replaced once a year.