Spring Home Maintenance ChecklistA List of the Tasks You Should Take Care of This Spring
Spring is (finally) upon us once again. If you’re like us, you’ve spent much of the winter huddled under a blanket watching Netflix. But with the weather getting nicer outside it’s time to start thinking about spring maintenance items that you’ve neglected since last fall. Below is a partial list of the areas around your house that you should inspect, replace, or fix.
Inside Your Home
Ceiling Fan Maintenance
As it starts to get warmer you’ll be thinking about keeping cool. A ceiling fan is a great, low-cost way to do that. But only if it’s spinning in the right direction. You may not know this, but most ceiling fans have a switch on the housing that allows for the fan to spin in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. Ideally, your fan should spin in a counter-clockwise fashion during the summer months. This creates a downdraft bringing cooler air downward toward you. If your ceiling fan is too high to reach, your fan remote may have a setting in order to control the direction.
Bathroom and Kitchen Tile Grout Maintenance
Chances are you haven’t noticed the change, but if you look closely you’ll probably see that your grout lines have become dirty and dull. Spring is an excellent time to bring these back to their former radiance. Begin the process by cleaning the grout using a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda. If that doesn’t completely clean them, add a little bleach to the mix. To apply the mixture, a toothbrush works great. Once you’ve cleaned the grout, use a commercial grout sealer to seal the grout lines.
Organize the Garage
While this one might be a larger undertaking, spring is still a good time to tackle this project. Our garage seems to be a repository for things we want to donate. Now would be a good time to take those to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army. Otherwise, go through the stuff in the garage and determine what is still usable and functioning. Categorize and label items: Sort through the items and categorize them by their purpose. Install pegboards: Pegboards are a great way to keep your tools organized and easily accessible. Create a designated space for recycling and trash: Make sure you have a designated space for recycling and trash within your garage. Also sweep the floor and look for ways to further organize items such as adding hanging storage racks or shelves. Read our article 7 Great Garage Storage Ideas for inspiration.
Test Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It’s crucial to test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors regularly to ensure they are functioning properly and can alert you in case of a fire or gas leak. Smoke detectors should be tested monthly by pressing the test button on the device. If the alarm sound is weak or non-existent, replace the batteries or the entire unit if needed. Carbon monoxide detectors should also be tested monthly, especially during the heating season when they are in use more frequently. If the alarm sounds, evacuate the home immediately and call for help. Replace any detector that is over 5-7 years old, as sensors degrade over time, and the device may no longer be reliable. Testing these devices regularly can save lives and prevent injury or property damage.
Exterior Home Maintenance
Clean the Gutters
At the risk of a premature end to your reading of this article, we think cleaning the gutters should be at the top of your outdoor maintenance list. In a lot of states, there is still plenty more rain to come. This means you’ll want fully functioning gutters and downspouts. Our recommendation is to put on a pair of gloves, carry a bucket and a scoop up the ladder and remove the buildup of leaves and crud. While you’re doing that check for asphalt granules which could be a sign of a degrading roof. Now, take a walk around your house and look at all the downspouts. Do they drain away from the foundation? If not, consider adding extensions.
As long as you’re up o the ladder you might as well inspect the condition of your roof. Look for missing, damaged or curled shingles. If you do find some issues, unless you have a fairly flat roof, we suggest calling a professional to make the repairs. They’ll also be able to do some further inspections of your vent stack collars, flashing, and skylights while they’re up there.
Check the Paint Job
Spring is also a good time to inspect the exterior paint job of your home. Walk around the house paying particular attention to the window sills, door frames, corners and other exposed areas. If you find peeling paint you’ll want to scrape these down and repaint those areas. Make sure the area is dry before painting. In regard to the aforementioned window sills, door frames, and corners—take a screwdriver and softly probe these areas to doublecheck for structural integrity. If you hit a soft spot that means water has gotten into the wood and it has started to rot. Time to replace any bad areas.
Shrub and Tree Trimming
In many parts of the country plants continue to grow all-year-round, regardless of the inclement weather. Shrubs and trees that were a reasonable size last fall may have grown enough to come into contact with your home, which can damage the siding. Cut these back so that they’re at least 3-5 feet from the house.
Other Miscellaneous Items
Diagnose the Drive – whether you have a blacktopped or concrete driveway you’ll want to look for signs of cracking. If you find any, first clean the surface then fill cracks with black top filler. If it’s concrete, use concrete caulking or concrete sealer.
Ascertain the AC – Consider having a heating/cooling company come out to inspect and clean your air conditioning unit. Doing this on an annual basis will extend the life of your air conditioner.
Fix the Foundation Vents – Well, not necessarily, but we had to keep up the alliteration theme we had going. Instead, examine those vents and check the screens for any holes. Rodents can get through the smallest of holes and set up shop in your crawl space, which is not pleasant.
There are at least a hundred other things you could do this spring to spruce up your home, but you’ve probably long since stopped reading this list anyway. If not, we hope this has given you the impetus to do some of these small tasks to maintain the value of your home.
About the Author: Derek Hines
Digital Marketing Specialist
Derek is originally from the great state of Wisconsin (go Badgers), but is slowly becoming a Pacific Northwesterner. As part of the Digital Marketing team, he writes extensively on storage, moving and life for West Coast Self-Storage, based in Everett, Washington.