9 Home Maintenance Projects Every Homeowner Should Do This Spring
Spring is the best time of year to clean up after winter and prepare your home for summer
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As a homeowner, it might seem like you always have a project in the works-- whether it’s repairing a gutter, fixing a patio crack, or even trimming a tree. It may also seem that the work on your house is never done. But what if you could save yourself some time-- and keep your home in the best shape that you can? Experts suggest there is no better way to do this than with periodic maintenance on your home throughout the year. It is essential to keeping up your house-- both outside and in.
Spring is a great time to tackle those projects that might not seem like an issue now-- but if left untreated-- can turn into a large problem very quickly. We’ve put together a list of the top 9 projects every homeowner should tackle this spring. Keep in mind there are many others you might want to look into-- depending on your situation.
1. Clean and repair gutters
Gutters are often a large problem for homeowners-- but they don’t have to be! As the main tool that runs water away from your house, it is extremely important that they are maintained and kept clean. It’s a good idea to clean out your gutters twice a year-- but if that’s not possible-- definitely make every effort to do so each spring
By keeping your gutters clear of debris, you allow the flow of rainwater to go away from your house-- and most importantly-- your foundation. Get a sturdy ladder and a helper to hold it while you go through and clean up the leaves, mud, and other items that accumulate during the winter.
2. Inspect your roof
Another often overlooked spring maintenance item that should be on every homeowner’s list is regular roof inspection. This does not necessarily mean you need to hire a professional to come out and examine your roof. You can do this yourself with a pair of binoculars and a ladder. Keep an eye out for any shingles or slates that seem to be out of place-- or damaged in any other way.
If you have a lot of trees around your home, look for build up of leaves or pine needles as well. If you do notice something that isn’t right, it’s best to call in a professional to take a closer examination and to fix the problem.
3. Trim any overgrowth
If your house is surrounded by trees, make sure to do a yearly inspection of their health. If there appears to be any trees that are sick or damaged, you might want to call in the services of a professional arborist. If not, check to see if there are any branches that appear too close to your roof. Spring is the perfect time to trim branches-- since they are still mostly bare from the winter.
By keeping branches away from your house, you are preventing excess moisture from forming on your roof or siding. This is also a great way to keep squirrels and other pests from finding a way into your house.
4. Check on drainage
No homeowner wants water in their basement-- this promotes bacteria and mold to thrive unchecked. It is a good idea to check on any drainage system you have in place around your house. If you had an especially snowy-- or rainy-- winter, you definitely want to make it a point to do this in the spring. If you did notice water leaking in over the course of the winter-- perhaps you need to beef up your drainage system.
Every house is different and is surrounded by a variety of different landscapes-- so it makes sense that what works for one house might not necessarily work for another. You might have to keep experimenting with different drainage solutions until you find one that works for your situation.
5. Monitor the outside of your house
It is important to know the condition of the outside walls of your house. Whether you have vinyl, wood, or fiber cement siding-- you should be aware of its how it is holding up after winter. Make sure to inspect for damaged areas-- especially near gutters and under eaves. This is also a good time to inspect the condition of your downspouts-- make sure that they are functioning properly and that they are removing water away from your house.
Depending what type of siding you have, it is a good idea to keep clean and well maintained. For vinyl, use a hose or power wash away dirt, grime, and other stains that may have accumulated during the course of the year. Wood will need to be refinished every couple of years, and fiber cement should be cleared of debris as well.
6. Window maintenance
It’s a good idea to get into the routine of cleaning and repairing windows each spring. When the weather is set to change, it’s important to note their condition and if any repairs are required. Check the caulking and weather stripping and make sure they are all still in good condition. You wouldn’t want to be letting the hot summer air in while you’re trying to keep your home cool.
Also be sure to wipe down the inside and outside of the window panes and clean with window cleaner. If your screens were in place all winter, be sure to remove those as well and clean with soap and water. If you notice any paint chipping, scrape and repaint as needed.
7. Check your pipes and plumbing
Spring is the perfect time to check out all your pipes and plumbing apparatuses after a cold winter. Make it a point to check all your faucets for leaks or other cracks. Also, be sure to check under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to ensure that all the pipes are fitted correctly and you do not observe any drips.
Don’t forget the toilets either! Make a thorough inspection around the base of the toilet and look for any cracks or signs of leakage. If caught early on, this can prevent some very expensive repairs.
Often overlooked by homeowners during the spring is a water heater inspection. Make sure your heater is set no higher than 120 degrees-- which will save you money on your energy bill-- and that the area around it is clean and free of debris.
8. Air conditioner
Just like every homeowner should regularly inspect their furnace each fall-- it’s a great idea to also check your A/C unit in the spring. It’s a good idea to change the filter and inspect the hose connections as well as the drain pans. If there is any dust or other debris that has accumulated, make sure to suck that out with a shop vacuum.
Don’t forget to take a look at the outside unit as well. Ensure the fan is clear of debris and that the pipes are all functioning properly. This is a project that can be done on your own-- but if you would rather have a pro do it-- a routine service appointment shouldn’t be more than $150-200.
9. Decks and patios
Spring is a great time to do an inspection of the condition of your deck or patio. If the wood on your deck is looking a little worn-- this is the best time to clean, stain, and reseal it. Make sure to look for any loose floorboards or hand rails and screw those back in as needed. It is important that you keep up with the cleaning and staining of your deck-- moisture accumulation can damage the wood quickly.
If you have a patio, make sure to inspect the area for any cracks or other foundational problems. Give the area a good sweep-- and if any algae has accumulated-- be sure to scrub it out or remove it with a power washer.
Make it a point to keep of list of “spring cleaning” projects you want to do each spring. This is a great way to keep track of what you have-- or haven’t-- inspected over the course of the year. What projects do you do each spring? Let us know in the comments!