UPDATED: AUGUST 17, 2023 | 2 MIN READ
As spring emerges, it’s not just nature that benefits from renewal. Our homes, having braved winter’s challenges, need rejuvenation too. Spring offers the ideal opportunity to assess and refresh our living spaces. Use our Spring Home Maintenance Checklist to guide you through key tasks and ensure your home is ready for the warmer months.
Exterior spring home maintenance checklist
After the wear and tear of winter, certain outdoor components may need attention. Here’s how to ensure the exterior of your home is in tip-top shape.
Begin by visually inspecting the roof for any missing, loose, or damaged shingles. Pay particular attention to the areas around chimneys, vents, and skylights, as these are often susceptible to wear and potential leaks.
Next, look for any signs of roof leaks or water damage. This can manifest as dark spots or trails on the underside of the roof or water stains on your attic ceiling.
It’s also wise to check for mold or mildew growth, especially in shaded areas, as these can harm the roof’s integrity and your home’s indoor air quality.
If you identify any significant damage or need clarification about your roof’s condition, consult a roofing professional. They can provide a thorough inspection, advise on necessary repairs, and offer guidance on maintaining the roof’s longevity.
Properly maintained gutters channel rainwater away, protecting your home’s foundation and exterior – and neglecting them can lead to significant damage. To ensure they function optimally:
- Clear Debris: Regularly remove leaves, twigs, and other obstructions to prevent blockages.
- Check the Flow: Use a garden hose to simulate rainfall, ensuring water moves smoothly through gutters and downspouts.
- Secure Attachments: Verify that gutters are firmly attached, with a slight slope towards downspouts for efficient water flow.
- Downspout Direction: Ensure they guide the water away from your home’s foundation. Add splash blocks or extenders if necessary.
You might need help to complete elaborate foundation inspections. But you should check for any signs of issues that may require foundation repair.
- Visual Inspection: Walk around your home’s exterior to spot any visible cracks or signs of sinking. Even small fissures can hint at larger, hidden issues.
- Moisture Checks: Look for damp spots or water pooling near the base. Ensure soil slopes away from your home to prevent water accumulation.
- Doors and Windows: Difficulty closing or opening doors and windows can sometimes indicate foundation shifting.
- Interior Checks: Inside your home, look for cracks in walls, especially near corners or where walls meet ceilings. Uneven floors can also suggest foundation problems.
Windows and doors
Windows and doors are pivotal in comfort, energy efficiency, and security. A quick check can ensure they’re at their best as spring approaches.
- Examine the Seals: Inspect for gaps or deteriorating seals around windows and doors to prevent drafts and increased energy bills.
- Make Sure They Operate Properly: Ensure all windows and doors open and close without hindrance; stiffness can hint at frame issues or foundational changes.
- Check the Glass: Look for any cracks or signs of seal failure, such as internal condensation.
- Clean Your Windows and Doors: Clearing dust and grime enhances the appearance and ensures smooth functionality.
- Security Review: Ensure locks and latches work properly, updating them if necessary.
- Screen Inspection: Check for tears or holes, ensuring a bug-free, fresh-air experience.
The exterior walls of your home serve as the protective layer against the elements, offering both insulation and aesthetics. The spring is an ideal time to address any concerns that surfaced over the colder months.
- Paint and Siding Inspection: Check for peeling paint, cracks, or loose sidings. These not only diminish your home’s curb appeal but can also expose underlying materials to potential damage.
- Moisture Detection: Look for signs of water damage, especially discoloration or mold growth. Proper wall maintenance prevents water infiltration, which can lead to structural issues.
- Crack Assessment: Minor cracks are often cosmetic, but larger ones might hint at foundational or structural concerns. They should be addressed promptly to avoid complications.
- Cleaning: Consider power washing your exterior walls to remove accumulated dirt, mold, or mildew. A clean surface also makes it easier to detect any areas needing repairs.
- Vents and Outlets: Ensure that any vents, outlets, or other fixtures attached to your exterior walls are securely in place and free from obstructions.
It’s important to keep up with your landscaping so your house and your neighborhood look its best.
- Debris Clearance: Remove fallen branches, leaves, and other winter remnants from your yard, garden beds, and pathways to provide a clean slate for spring growth.
- Tree and Shrub Inspection: Check trees for damaged or weak branches that may pose a risk in stormy weather. Pruning them not only ensures safety but also encourages healthy growth.
- Lawn Care: Fertilize and seed any bare patches in your lawn. Regular mowing, aligned with the grass’s growth spurt, will keep it looking neat and lush.
- Garden Prep: Refresh garden beds with new mulch to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and provide nutrients. Plant seasonal flowers or vegetables for a burst of color and harvest.
- Irrigation System: Examine sprinklers and drip lines for any damages. Ensure they provide even coverage, making adjustments as necessary to prevent water wastage.
- Pest Control: As the weather warms, pests might become more active. Implement natural deterrents or consult with a professional service to protect your landscape.
Reseal exterior woodwork
From decks to furniture to trim, exterior woodwork adds warmth and character to your home. However, as these wooden features brave the elements, they require regular maintenance to retain their beauty and durability. With its mild weather, spring offers the perfect setting for resealing tasks.
- Inspection: Begin by assessing all exterior woodwork for signs of wear, like fading, splintering, or areas where the previous sealant has worn thin.
- Cleaning: Before resealing, you need to clean the surface. Use a suitable wood cleaner or mild detergent solution to remove dirt, mold, or mildew. Consider a power wash on a gentle setting for larger areas, like decks, to avoid wood damage.
- Sanding: For areas where the wood has roughened or the old sealant is peeling, light sanding ensures a smooth surface for the new sealant to adhere to.
- Choosing the Right Sealant: Based on the type and location of your woodwork, opt for a sealant that protects against UV rays, moisture, and pests. Some sealants also offer tinting options that can enhance the wood’s natural color.
- Application: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the sealant. Typically, it’s best to use a brush or roller for an even coat and to allow adequate drying time between coats if multiple applications are needed.
Driveways and pathways
Inspecting, updating, and cleaning driveways and pathways help keep them neat and tidy but ensure no obstructions could lead to a liability issue.
- Crack Inspection: Fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions can lead to cracks or uneven surfaces over time. Regularly inspect driveways and pathways for any signs of wear or damage.
- Repairs: Address minor cracks promptly to prevent them from worsening. Use appropriate patching products or techniques depending on the material of your driveway or pathway (concrete, asphalt, pavers).
- Power Washing: A power wash rejuvenates these surfaces, offering them a clean, fresh appearance. When using a power washer, ensure you operate at a suitable pressure to avoid inadvertently causing damage.
Interior Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
Spring’s arrival doesn’t just signal the need for exterior home care. The interior of your home also benefits from some attention to ensure everything runs smoothly, efficiently, and safely.
Air conditioning maintenance
An efficient and well-maintained AC not only guarantees comfort but can also contribute to significant energy savings.
- Professional Inspection: Even if your AC seems to be working fine, booking a professional service check is a proactive step. Experts can evaluate the system, ensure it operates efficiently, and spot potential issues before they escalate.
- Filter Replacement: Depending on usage, consider changing or cleaning the filters. Clean filters ensure better airflow and improved air quality inside your home.
- Clear Obstructions: Ensure the exterior unit is free from obstructions, such as debris, plants, or other materials.
Maintaining proper ventilation is fundamental to a healthy home environment, reducing humidity, odors, and indoor pollutants.
- Exhaust Fans: Regularly clean and inspect exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas. Over time, they can accumulate dust and debris, hindering their performance.
- Air Out: Especially after a long winter, it’s beneficial to open windows and doors when weather permits. This simple act can refresh your indoor air, reducing potential allergens and pollutants.
Your water heater works tirelessly behind the scenes. Regular maintenance can extend its lifespan and ensure you always have a hot shower waiting.
- Pressure Relief Valve Test: This safety feature prevents excess pressure buildup. Periodically testing it ensures it’s functioning correctly.
- Sediment Flush: Sediment can settle at the bottom of your water heater over time. Flushing it out can improve efficiency and reduce potential damage.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
These small devices play a monumental role in home safety, alerting you to potential dangers. You should change the batteries and test each device at least twice yearly.
- Regular Tests: At least once in spring, test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re operational.
- Battery Replacement: Even if they seem fine, consider replacing batteries. It’s a small investment for peace of mind, knowing that your detectors will function when it matters most.
Spring cleaning and organization
Tackling overlooked spaces and bringing order to our belongings elevates our living environment and offers a sense of mental clarity and accomplishment.
Attics and basements
Both attics and basements are valuable spaces within a home but can easily become neglected or used for indiscriminate storage.
- Pest and Damage Inspection: Before diving into organization, inspect these areas for signs of pests, like droppings or gnawed materials. Also, look for any water stains or mold, indicators of potential leaks, or moisture problems.
- Declutter and Organize: Items often accumulate in basements and attics because they’re out-of-sight areas. Sort through belongings, determining what’s essential and what can be discarded or donated. Once pared down, consider shelving or storage bins to keep things orderly and accessible.
Closets and storage areas
Everyday storage spaces can quickly become overwhelmed with many items we no longer need or use.
- Seasonal Rotation: As spring rolls in, it’s time to store winter clothing and accessories away. Conversely, bring out your spring and summer items, ensuring they’re clean and ready to wear.
- Donations and Discarding: Use this opportunity to assess your belongings. Anything unworn in the past year or items that no longer fit or suit your style can be donated to charity. This not only frees up space but also benefits those in need.
Spring is a great time to tackle deep cleaning tasks that often get overlooked throughout the winter.
- Carpets and Rugs: Floor coverings become reservoirs for dust, allergens, and dirt. A thorough deep cleaning, whether done professionally or with a rented machine, can revitalize the appearance of your carpets and rugs, enhance indoor air quality, and extend their lifespan.
- Ceiling Fans and Light Fixtures: These overhead fixtures are magnets for dust and cobwebs. Using an extendable duster or a damp cloth, clean each blade and fixture, ensuring a brighter shine and more efficient operation of fans.
- Clean the walls and baseboards: When was the last time you wiped down the walls and cleaned the baseboards? Add it to your spring home maintenance checklist if it’s been a while.
Safety-related spring home maintenance
Inspecting and reviewing your home’s safety equipment is important to ensure it’s working properly.
Check safety equipment
Household safety equipment serves as the first line of defense against unexpected emergencies.
- Fire Extinguishers: These invaluable tools can prevent a small fire from becoming disastrous. Regularly check the pressure gauge to ensure they’re in the operational zone. Also, familiarize all household members with their locations and proper usage.
- Emergency Kits: Natural disasters or power outages can strike without warning. Store emergency kits in easily accessible locations. Periodically review and update the contents, ensuring items like bottled water, batteries, and first aid supplies are fresh and fully stocked.
Inspect outdoor lighting
Well-lit exteriors deter potential intruders and prevent tripping hazards. So take the time to make sure all the outdoor pathways, stairs, and entrances are adequately lit. Also, replace any burned-out bulbs and consider adding additional fixtures or solar lights to dimly lit areas.
While you’re inspecting your exterior lighting, take some time to make sure any outdoor cameras or other safety features are working well too.
Check outdoor railings and steps
Stairs, whether leading to your front door or your backyard deck, require regular inspection to ensure safety.
- Railings: Over time, railings can become loose or wobbly. Test each one by applying pressure, ensuring they’re firmly anchored and capable of supporting someone who might rely on them for balance.
- Steps: Examine each step for signs of wear, cracking, or instability. Address any issues promptly to make sure each step provides a safe and stable surface.
What home maintenance should I do in the spring?
Spring is a great time to tackle any outdoor tasks you’ve put off through the winter months. You should also complete home safety inspections, prep your yard and the outside of your home for the summer months, and purge and organize the inside of your home.
How much should you save each year for maintenance on your home?
It’s a good idea to save between 1% and 4% of your house’s value for annual home maintenance. For example, if your home is valued at $200,000, you would want to save between $2,000 and $8,000 for annual home maintenance.
How do you spring-clean a whole house?
Spring home maintenance should be all about deep cleaning, purging, and organization. Tackle your home room-by-room and clean it from top to bottom. Also, go through all your closets and any other storage areas to purge unwanted belongings and organize everything.
Review and update your home insurance
It’s a good idea to review your home insurance policy annually. So if it’s been a while, add the task to your spring home maintenance checklist.
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