Spring has arrived once again and with it a list of home maintenance tasks that you can do to make sure your house is in top condition for the summer. It’s great to get these chores out of the way before it gets too hot!
Roof: Don’t wait for a big rainstorm to find out that your roof was damaged during the winter. Watch out for cracked, loose, or buckled shingles and protruding nails that need to be replaced. Also make sure that the flashing around vents, skylights, and chimneys is still sealed. While you’re up there, check the condition of the chimney and make sure that the gutters are clear.
Walls: Take a stroll around your house to check the exterior walls for problems such as water stains, cracks, or bulges. Especially focus under eaves and near gutters. If you have wood siding, look for damaged areas and openings that could indicate the presence of termites. Also look down at the foundation to make sure there aren’t any cracks.
Windows: Check the caulking and weather stripping around all of your windows. If there are any leaks, water and warm air can get into the house. If you have double- or triple-glazed windows, make sure there’s no condensation that indicates a compromised seal. Take this time to clean your windows as well. Use a window cleaner and a squeegee or soft cloth. If your screens are dirty, remove them, clean with a mild detergent, and lay them out to dry on a flat surface like the driveway before putting them back.
Yard: During the winter your soil can settle and create dipped areas. Use compacted soil to fill in such sunken areas around the yard and near the foundation. This will help keep water from pooling, which causes damage to structures and becomes a breeding ground for insects. Remove any leaves, branches, and other debris that you missed in the fall. Also make sure you move any firewood away from the house to discourage pests. It should be stored 18 inches off the ground and at least 2 feet from any structures.
Concrete: Check for cracks in the concrete of any walkways, patios, and driveways. Exterior slabs should drain away from the house’s foundation, so make sure they haven’t shifted during the winter. Power-wash the concrete, then fill in the cracks with caulk and seal it with concrete sealer to lengthen its lifespan.
Equipment and Furniture: Take a look at your gas- and battery-powered equipment, tools, and patio furniture to make sure that it’s all in working order for the warmer months. Clean everything, sharpen blades, and check gas and oil levels. Don’t forget to check your outdoor grill to make sure that its gas lines and burner jets are in working condition. Spray enamel can help prevent rust on metal furniture and other equipment.
Air Conditioning: Before it gets too hot, you definitely need to make sure that your air conditioner is working. Change the filter and vacuum any dust that might have settled on the unit to ensure that it works as efficiently as possible. Also examine all of the connections, hoses, and drainage to make sure everything is functioning properly.
Attic: Keep an eye out for residue indicating the presence of insects or other critters, and look for gray or black mold splotches. Also look out for cracks or other kinds of damage that you might not see from the outside.
Basement: Like the attic, you need to check your basement for signs of moisture and critters. If it’s too humid, you might have poor ventilation and need to invest in a dehumidifier. If water is penetrating the foundation, cracks will start to form at the bottom of the walls, and if you see any tunneling in the wood, you need to call for pest control immediately.
Plumbing: Check for leaks in your pipes and faucets both inside and outside. Make sure the connections are secure under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. Also check around the dishwasher, washing machine, and hot water heater for corrosion or leaks.
Spring is such a great time for both cleaning and maintenance. This list should help keep you from running into avoidable problems later in the year and make sure your equipment and amenities run smoothly and efficiently throughout the summer. With a little luck, you’ll get some beautiful weather to make the outdoor chores more enjoyable!