Spring is here and now that it’s warming up, many of us are starting to prepare or check off things on our spring checklists. If you don’t have a list or aren’t sure what you should even do, don’t worry, we’ve got you! We’d like to offer you some of our best tips on how to care for and protect your home. We’ll take you through areas you’ll want to inspect for wear, areas that may need some cleaning and scrubbing, and also some general upkeep and maintenance tasks. We’ve also included a handy dandy checklist at the bottom of this post to help you along.
If after reading this post you’re feeling overwhelmed, wondering where you’re going to find the time, or simply know already you’re going to need a professional, I have some great news for you! Fixer has been working on a new beta program called “Care & Protect” to help you not only through this season, but all throughout the year with home maintenance tasks. We’re slowly inviting a limited group of people in Chicago, but if you’re interested, you can learn more here. Now, let’s get started!
Do A General Inspection
Winter is tough, not only on you but also on your house. The good news is, it passes, the bad news is, now that it’s Springtime you’re going to need to do a thorough home inspection. Check your roof for signs of wear and tear or shifted shingles. Next, check your siding, door, and window seals for any signs of damage. Once you’ve got that sorted, give any hardscaping a once over, like driveways or walkways. Temperature drops and fluctuations can cause small cracks in concrete. If they’re little enough, they should be an easy fix, but large cracks or damage will need to be repaired by a professional.
Remember, make sure your general inspection is detailed. Damage is easy and inexpensive to repair when it’s minor, but leaving it alone will only cause it to worsen and potentially burn a big hole in your wallet. We recommend keeping a list of all the things you need a professional to repair. Fixer can help you with nearly all small repairs, and even if we can’t, we can help you find someone who can.
Clean Your Gutters
After Winter is over, your gutters and drains are likely to need some desperate attention. They’ve spent the past few months doing their job and draining rain and snowmelt off your roof, but also filling with the leaves and debris that Winter leaves in its path. Use a ladder to clean out debris that you can grab with your hands (make sure to wear gloves) and then use a hose to rinse out any remaining gunk that’s left over.
Forgetting to clean out your drains can cause them to get clogged, which in turn can lead to water not being efficiently directed off your roof and away from your house. Remember, Winter might be over, but Spring also tends to be a very rainy season, so you’ll need fully functioning drains and gutters!
Replace Caulking Around Doors and Windows
Caulking is the best way to keep leaks and drafts out of your house, so if your caulking is looking a little worse for wear, consider getting it touched up at this time of year. Temperatures that are too hot or cold can have a negative effect on caulking, which is why Spring, when temperatures tend to be more moderate, is an ideal time to knock out this task. Just make sure you pick a day where it isn’t supposed to rain, as most types of caulk require a minimum of 24 hours to dry.
Check for Rot
Moisture and pooling water create ideal conditions for rot, which is why the post-winter months are the best time to check your decking, railings, and any other wood features that have been exposed to the elements. Spongy or discolored wood that flakes or falls apart easily, particularly when wet, can create dangerous conditions and is a sign that rot has set in. If you notice wood that’s exhibiting signs of rot, replace the affected area immediately. It’s advisable to hire a professional to take care of this for you.
Reseal Exterior Woodwork
After you’ve inspected to make sure there aren’t any areas that need replacing, think about whether or not your decks, railings, fences, wooden playground sets may need to be power-washed and resealed. Typically, it’s a good idea to plan to do this every year or two to protect these areas from the elements and help them last longer.
Start Prepping Your Garden
For avid gardeners, Spring comes with the excitement of preparing your yard for planting. For those who don’t have a green thumb themselves, now is the time to start searching for a gardener to take care of it for you. If you intend on planting flowers or vegetables in Summer, or even if you just want to get a head start on that beautiful green lawn, now is the time to do so.
Spring is the best time to fertilize a garden, particularly your lawn. Fertilizing early on will give your grass the best chance at maturing beautifully. It’s also the ideal time to start planning the types of plants you’ll want to have in your yard. Some plants and vegetables like to be planted early on in the season, whilst others still can’t stand the occasional colder temperature drops of Spring. Research the types of plants you’re going to want, and when is best to plant them.
As mentioned earlier, if you have more of a brown thumb than a green one, contact a reputable gardener or landscaping company and they’ll be able to tell you what plants will thrive in your yard.
Mow Your Lawn Early And Often
Keeping grass well-maintained and mown early on in the growing season will actually help it grow more luscious. Keeping your lawn cut short in Spring will allow the roots to develop properly, which will lead to a stunning green masterpiece that will be the envy of all your neighbors come Summertime.
Check Screens & Clean Your Windows
Rain, snow, hail, and storms are not friendly towards your windows. Spring is the perfect time for a thorough window cleaning inside and out. If you didn’t clean them in the fall, your window sills will likely need a good scrubbing, since dust and debris tend to collect here after a summer with open windows. If you enjoy this sort of thing, grab a cloth, scrub brush, squeegee, bucket, and ladder, and get to it! If you would rather spend your time on other projects, hire a good window cleaning company to help you out, particularly if you live in a home with a whole lot of windows! Be sure to also check your screens for any holes or tears to ensure you’re only letting in the fresh spring breeze, not the bugs! You can find screen repair kits at most hardware and home improvement stores.
Schedule A/C Service
Just because it gets cool doesn’t mean it’s working efficiently. HVAC systems, like cars, can work even if there are major problems. To get the longest life out of your cooling system and keep it running as efficiently as possible, change the filters at least once each season, and hire a licensed professional to service the equipment before the start of summer.
HVAC is typically one of the most missed problems when it comes to home inspections so if you have never had a professional look at your cooling system, it might be a good time to call. Some HVAC companies even offer a maintenance plan where they will come twice a year to inspect your system, once in the winter for your furnace, and again, in the spring or summer for your A/C.
Get The Grill Going
The arrival of Spring means Summer is just around the corner (yay), and Summer means lots of backyard BBQs. But instead of waiting to clean the grill until the hot weather rolls around and you’ve invited your neighbors over for margaritas, get the dirty work taken care of ahead of time. Besides, your grill is likely to have collected some dust and debris during the winter months, so good maintenance will keep it in top shape and prolong its life. If you don’t have a grill, you should! We recommend springing for professional assembly if you do purchase a grill.
Turn Your Deck Into a Haven
Warm weather is coming, which means more time spent outdoors enjoying it! Spring is the perfect season to spruce up your deck or patio area in preparation for some much-needed moments soaking up the sun. Make sure your deck or patio is clean and in good condition, and break out or uncover the outdoor furniture! You should also consider adding some lighting and flower baskets or greenery to your deck or patio to create the perfect outdoor oasis!
For even more convenience we’ve included a free printable you can download and use to get going on your list. If you’re already ahead of the game cheers to you! Mix up your favorite drink and begin inviting your friends and neighbors for some backyard fun!