Sunshine is almost always a welcome site after a long, cold winter. What’s not a welcome site? Those dirty gutters caving under the weight of leaves and the dead flowers in your garden.
Get them looking right again and prepare your home for the warmer months ahead by tackling our Spring Home Maintenance Checklist.
These 12 tips will help you target the areas that need immediate attention fast, and even leave you some spare time to enjoy the sunshine. In 2015, we are also looking at a few additional steps that may help homeowners save money on energy bills or help homeowners avoid big-ticket repairs down the road.
Bill Beazley Homes’ Spring Maintenance Checklist
Inspect the AC:
Over time, sediment and algae may clog the drains of your air conditioner vent, which will cause water to back up and create damage. Call a technician once a year to check the drains.
Change the Thermostat:
A programmable thermostat will set you back $20 to $250; however, this price will more than pay for itself. Energy Star says you can save about $180 annually on cooling and heating bills by changing to a programmable thermostat.
Caulk the Cracks:
Exterior caulking should be reapplied when gaps form around a door or window that are wider than a nickel. Window-glazing putty, which seals glass into the window frame, should be checked as well.
Repair Your Roof:
Keep your roof in tip-top shape. Don’t risk your life to find those damaged or missing shingles. Instead, examine the roof from the ground with binoculars. Cracked, buckled, loose and missing shingles should be replaced by a qualified professional. If damage is severe, consider saving for a replacement roof. The hot summer months will only damage the roof more.
Pressure Wash Your Home:
A pressure washer can be rented for 40-75 dollars per day, which is more than enough time to tackle and remove any accumulated crud from the exterior of your home. Don’t forget to wash the sidewalks, driveway, garage floor, fences, and lawn furniture as well.
Wash the Windows:
Before washing the glass, use a soft brush or vacuum attachment to clean out the grime from the window sills and tracks. Pour a little water into the sill to ensure that weep holes, which drain rainwater to the exterior, haven’t been clogged.
Check Your deck:
Protect your wood by re-sealing it once a year. Also, look out for stress damage and deterioration around the deck. You are looking for wood that is soft and spongy, and doesn’t splinter if you poke it with a screwdriver. These are components that need to be replaced.
Sweep Your Chimney:
Have a certified chimney sweep make sure the chimney caps are in place and the damper is working properly. In summer, you can save energy and reduce unpleasant odors carried by the inflow of air by closing the damper whenever the fireplace is not in use.
Give Your Mower a Check Up:
A lawn mower blade typically needs sharpening once or twice a year, or more often depending on how big your yard is, how frequently you mow and the type of grass you have. In addition you should give your lawn mower a tune-up after every 25 hours of use. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to change the spark plug(s), oil and oil filter.
Inspect Concrete Slabs:
Look for signs of cracks or movement along concrete slabs in the driveway and walkway. All exterior slabs, except pool decks, should drain away from the home’s foundation. Pressure wash the concrete and then fill any cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk.
Look for Low Areas in the Yard:
Low areas should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can not only cause yard flooding, they can attract pesky insects.
Clean and Examine the Gutters:
Improper drainage of the gutters can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Downspouts should drain away from the foundation and should be clear and free of debris.