For homeowners, regular home maintenance is a must. If you don’t keep up with the maintenance of your home, you could find yourself with an overgrown yard, increased energy bills, unattractive peeling paint, and various other expensive repairs that could have been easily prevented. As simple and important as home upkeep is, it’s often forgotten. No longer! Here is a detailed spring home maintenance checklist of 15 ways to maintain the longevity of your home this spring.
1. Check and Repair or Replace Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is often associated with keeping the cold out in winter, but it is useful for all types of weather. By applying this specialized material around door and window frames and ensuring that they are fully sealed, you can easily reduce your energy consumption. In the spring, it helps to keep the cool air inside and prevents warm air from coming in. Weather stripping before using the air conditioner will keep energy bills low, as the AC doesn’t have to work as hard.
2. Tune Up Your Air Conditioner
Air conditioners can be convenient for hot summer days, but it needs maintenance. The National Center for Healthy Housing says it is smart to replace air conditioner filters during spring to optimize the efficiency of the HVAC unit. Other ways to keep your AC functioning at a high level are cleaning the unit, adjusting and checking the belt tension, and replacing worn out or cracked belts when required. It’s a good idea to request professional assistance from a qualified HVAC contractor for this.
3. Replace Damaged or Torn Window Screens
Replacing window screens is important for those without air conditioners or for those who like to keep their windows open throughout spring and summer. Keeping the window screens in perfect condition not only increases the amount of fresh air but also prevents harmful and annoying insects, including flies and mosquitoes, from entering the house through broken windows. Wind and winter storms can easily damage installed window screens, so checking the extent of damage and replacing screens when needed is a good idea.
4. Clean and Test Ceiling Fans
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests that an efficient ceiling fan can lower your energy bill. This is because it allows the thermostat to be raised a significant amount – 4 degrees Fahrenheit or more – while maintaining the desirable comfort levels. Keeping ceiling fans clean is important for maintaining the ideal breeze levels.
5. Inspect Your Roof Shingles
As confident as you may be, you should hire an expert or qualified professional for roof work. Working on the roof can be a risky venture, especially without proper training and equipment. It’s important to check the shingles for clawing or curling. Curling shingles are usually susceptible to water leaks and should be replaced.
6. Clean Downspouts and Gutters
April showers mean a lot of rain and a lot of rain means your gutters and downspouts need to be clear. Cleaning out leaves or any other debris that may have accumulated during the winter is important to keep your gutters functioning properly. Tightening gutter straps is another good practice, as is adding essential accessories like screens to the gutters. Again, unless you are skilled at gutter-maintenance, leave this to the professionals.
7. Replace Rotten Trim and/or Siding
Check your house’s siding and trim for damage and contact a professional if you notice something is broken. Trim and siding may be fragile and can be damaged by icy or windy conditions. You can also clean the sidings with a pressure washer to prevent the growth of mold and/or moss.
8. Spruce Up Your Landscape
You should actively cut and trim plants and bushes in your yard. Leaves and limbs, if left untamed, can easily cut into your home’s paint, and repainting is expensive. Taking a little time to maintain your paint and keep plants from touching your house can save a lot of money over time. Make it a point to always use clean cutters and landscaping trimmers to prevent the spread of harmful plant diseases.
9. Check Your Sprinkler System
Check regularly for exposed lines, leaky valves, and malfunctioning sprinkler heads. Keep an eye on areas where grass is dry or water collects in puddles, then run the sprinkler systems in those areas to diagnose problems.
10. Maintain Your Pool
After winter, pool maintenance is a very important. Before the summer heat sets in, you need to clean, remove, and store the swimming pool cover.
11. Donate / Recycle
A great way to welcome spring is to lighten your load! Check around the house for anything extra you don’t need: clothes, electronics, utensils, shoes, and other housewares. Donate them to charity or hold a garage sale, anything to declutter your home. Also be on the lookout for items that can be easily recycled. By clearing out unneeded items, your house will seem larger and lighter.
12. Inspect and Clean Foundation Vents
If your house has a crawl space, it likely has vents along the walls of the foundation. These vents are important in circulating air, which helps prevent mold growth and get rid of excess moisture. Inside the vents are screens that help keep out animals. These screens also attract twigs, leaves, and other assorted debris. Cleaning out the foundation vents increases circulation and gives you an opportunity to check to see if the screens need replacing.
13. Check Your Water heater
Although the average lifespan of a water heater is estimated to be between 8 to 12 years, all heaters older than 5 years should be checked regularly for any rusting or leakage at the base. Water heaters that are either rusty or leaking should be repaired or replaced.
14. Prepare Your Soil
Spring means lots of rain, which plants love. Make sure your garden is prepped for all the showers spring will bring! You should rake up leftover winter debris and leaf beds, as well as use a hoe to churn up the soil. Also make sure to mix in compost to give your soil a nutritional boost. Always follow seed package instructions carefully when planting new seeds in your yard – especially here in Central Oregon!
15. General Cleaning
General cleaning is vague and wide-reaching, and should be done last. The goal is to minimize clutter and get rid of any mess that has been lurking around since winter. This can be done by polishing wood furniture, wiping windows, organizing the entertainment center, taming untidy toiletries, and dusting light fixtures. Enlist your family members to get this done quickly and efficiently, or if it is really a big mess, hire outside help.