If your family is anything like mine, you’ve been eager to bust outdoors and enjoy the spring air, warm sun, and bursting blooms that welcome us this time of year. It is a refreshing time of year following the cold, monochromatic days of winter!
Springtime also provides an excellent opportunity to explore your property, and clean it up following the harsh elements of winter. Taking a bit of time to keep up with ongoing maintenance could save you from bigger problems later which could lead to costly repairs if left neglected. Not sure where to begin? Here are a few ideas to jumpstart your spring cleaning
- Examine roof shingles and associated flashing/eaves/soffit. Ensure that shingles haven’t blown off or broken after exposure to wind, ice, and snow. Replace caulking around flashing to prevent water seepage under your shingles or into your attic.
- Spring time often means rain. Reinforce eaves troughs that may have become dislodged from winter snow/ice build-up. Check for debris that could be blocking proper flow to be sure that rain water can flow down and away from your home structure.
- Check grading around the perimeter of your home so that water run-off is directed away from the foundation and window wells. Be sure that no water can pool close to your home which could lead to water permeating your foundation or finding a way in through an unsealed window. Soil should slope 6 inches over 10 feet away from your home.
- Add topsoil (and seed) to low spots in your lawn in order to level out the grass, and avoid water from pooling (and insects from breeding!). As the grass regenerates from its dormant phase, pull weeds, add soil and over seed to encourage a healthy lawn where weeds cannot root.
- Remove firewood or other items stored in close proximity to your home. This will prevent critters from moving in and dampness from gathering around your home where moss can grow and insects can multiply.
- Check exterior faucets for damage from ice. Be sure that they are not leaking to avoid a waste in water usage, and a risk of water damage to your home’s interior.
- Service the AC unit. Although it may not be warm enough to kick on the air conditioner, hot summer days will be here in no time and you’ll want to ensure you are ready to cool your home when necessary.
- Check power equipment. Service your lawn mower, trimmer, and any other tools needed to clean up your yard.
- Pick up sticks, rocks, or other items that may interfere with cutting the grass or promoting new growth.
- Trim shrubs or bushes as spring growth begins. Tree branches should be 5-7 feet away from your roof to prevent premature wear or damage, as well as critters from being encouraged to explore or move-in.
- Scrap chipped or peeled wood from windows, shutters, siding, etc. Reseal or paint. Unprotected wood can lead to rot, and adding a layer of protection will not only look great, but will extend its lifetime before replacement is required.
- Inspect deck board and replace any that have rotted or warped. Like wood in other areas, seal or re-stain to protect from spring rain and the summer sun’s heat.
- Turn furnace off once weather remains moderate enough to maintain a reasonable temperature within your home. You may wish to run the fan to keep air moving throughout. The change of seasons is also a great time to replace filters and conduct preventative maintenance.
- Ensure fans are turning counter clockwise to push cool air down and minimize the need to reduce the use of AC unit.
- With the sun shining brighter, take some time to clean windows – interior and exterior – to maximize your natural light and enjoy a clear view!
Protecting your investment means taking care of it and being mindful of its condition and well-being. Whether you intend to stay in your home for the long haul, or have thoughts to sell in the near future, staying on top of your seasonal maintenance will pay off no matter what. You’ll either take advantage of a well-cared for property requiring upgrades less frequently, or you’ll impress a prospective Buyer by your diligence and pride of ownership. It really is a win-win… tasks that will save money, increase enjoyment, and pay dividends over time.