With the days lengthening and weather warming, spring is a good time to get outdoors and tackle some larger home projects. Now that the threat of winter storms has passed, you can look for damage and make any needed repairs, as well as prep your home and garden for summer. Follow this basic checklist to get your home in tip top shape for spring.
1. Clean gutters and downspouts.
After the last frost has passed, it’s important to have your gutters and downspouts cleaned and repaired as the weather gets warmer. Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause the wood trim at the eaves to rot, and that can invite all kinds of critters into your attic space. Having the gutters and downspouts cleaned early in the season can also help prevent damage from spring rains. Gutters and downspouts should be clean and running free. If your downspouts are installed properly, water is diverted away from the house so that no water collects around your foundation. The cleaning of gutters and downspouts should be an annual project. It is a project that can be messy if you choose to take it on yourself. Opt to hire this one out and pick up a more enjoyable project to save some cash.
2. Reseal exterior woodwork.
Wood decks, fences, railings, trellises, pergolas and other outdoor structures will last longer and stay in better condition if they’re stained or resealed every year or two. Take this opportunity to make any needed repairs to woodwork as well.
3. Check for signs of termites.
Beginning in March and going through May or June, be on the lookout for these winged insects. Termites tend to swarm in the spring. If there’s a bunch of winged insects flying out of a hole in the woodwork, that’s probably termites. Call a licensed professional pest control company. You’ll save money and trouble in the long run.
4. Inspect roof.
Winter storms can take quite a toll on the roof. When spring arrives, start by making a simple visual inspection of your roof. This basic once over doesn’t require a ladder, and you certainly don’t have to heave yourself onto the rood to get a look. Using binoculars, camera, or smartphone with a telephoto feature should be good enough. Look for missing shingles, metal pipes that are damaged, missing, or anything that simply doesn’t look right. If you notice anything that needs closer inspection or repair, call a roofer.
5. Paint exterior.
If you’re planning to repaint your home’s exterior this year, spring is a good time to set it up. Want to paint but can’t decide on a color? Explore your town and snap pictures of house colors you like, browse photos on the internet, or work with a color consultant to get that perfect hue.
6.Inspect driveways and paths.
Freezing and thawing is rough on concrete, asphalt, and other hardscaping materials. Take a walk around your property to look for damage to walkways, paths and driveways, schedule repairs as need. Asphalt can often be patched, but damaged concrete may need to be replaced entirely.
7. Check sprinkler and irrigation systems.
Checking your sprinklers or irrigation systems in the spring can save water-and save your plants. Here are our tips for checking the watering system:
- Run the system through all the zones manually and walk the property. Make sure none of the heads are broken or damaged.
- Adjust any heads that are spraying the house—especially windows—as this can cause moisture problems.
- Adjust heads that are spraying the street, sidewalk, or porches to avoid wasting water. If you don’t know how to maintain your sprinkler system, call a professional to do it. You’ll save money on your water bill and protect one of our most valuable natural resources.
8. Prevent mosquitoes.
In recent years, we’ve become more aware of the potential danger mosquitoes can pose to our health. The West Nile and Zika viruses are just the latest diseases caused by these winged pests. The best way to prevent mosquitoes around your home is simply by getting rid of any standing water. Walk around your property (and peek at your neighbors), if you see anything or any area water stands, fix it, tip it, get rid of it, or maintain it regularly.
9. Check screen doors and windows.
Screens are designed to let the breeze flow in while keeping bugs out—but they can only do their job if they’re free from holes and tears. Before setting up your screens for the warm months ahead, be sure to carefully check each one and repair any holes or tears, no matter how small. You can find screen repair kits at most hardware and home improvement stores.
10. Schedule air-conditioning service.
Just because it gets cool doesn’t mean you’re A/C Is working efficiently. To get the longest life out of your cooling system and keep it running as efficiently as possible, change the filters at least one each season, and hire a licensed professional to service the equipment before the start of summer.