Last Updated on May 18, 2021 by Maggie Sutton
Harsh winters can cause a significant amount of wear and tear to our homes, both outside and inside. As spring approaches, you may think that cleaning is all you need to get ready for spring. However, you may need to address some home maintenance issues this spring as well. Consider inspecting the following parts of your home to ensure that it stays in prime shape year around.
If you’re looking to sell your home this spring, you’ll want to pay extra attention to the items on this list to ensure top dollar for your home. You can also contact Homes for Heroes and our real estate agents can discuss specific areas on your home to focus on for selling. Our nationwide network of real estate affiliates local to your community understands what buyers in your market are looking for when buying a home, and what projects should be completed before selling.
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If you’re fixing your home up to move, find out more information about how Homes for Heroes can save you on your home transactions.
It’s always a good idea to look around the outside of your home, especially after severe weather. Extreme weather like deep freezing, snow, or ice storms can cause damage to the outside of your property. Make sure to check all the following items on your spring home maintenance checklist.
Inspecting your roof doesn’t necessarily mean that you must climb up there with a ladder. With knowledge of the damage you’re looking for and a good pair of binoculars, you can usually see if there’s trouble. One thing to look for is shingles that have shifted. This problem might suggest that a fastener has failed and needs replacing. Look to see if any shingles are missing or cracked. Also, try to see if any nails are popping up. If they are popping up, that could cause the shingles to become loose, which could cause water to leak underneath. If you have a chimney, make sure that all the flashing and shingles are properly placed around it as well.
Of course, if you had any visible signs of leaking inside the house, try to identify the spot(s) from the outside. If you notice any major issues, it’s probably best to contact a roofing specialist. In a lot of areas, roofing companies have inspections specials in the spring for this reason. If you can’t find any deals near you, consider checking out the Homes for Heroes Deals page. There are local and national deals for several of the checklist items in this post.
Gutters and Downspouts
Clean debris and leaves out of gutters and downspouts that are left over from the fall. Ensuring that gutters are cleaned will help with overflow and potentially flooding with any heavy spring rains. Reattach gutters in places that may have come loose from the house, or if you remove them completely so they don’t freeze. If you had any kind of ice build up or heavy snow on your roof and you used an roof rake to remove, make sure that you didn’t damage any of the gutters now that they are clear.
Water stains inside the basement or on your main floor if you have no basement may mean that the gutters or downspouts aren’t adequately taking care of water. This can be mitigated in a few ways. Hopefully, adding a down spout extension will carry the water far enough away from your home, and that can be the end of it. You can buy them for very inexpensive at a home supply store. If you still notice water near the downspout areas, there is a chance that you’ll need to either grade your yard away from your home or install a drainage system. Consult with a landscape architect if you think that may be the case.
Whatever siding you may use for your home, look for spots near gutter downspouts and under eaves that may indicate trouble. Any trouble found can mean professional siding services will be needed.
If you have wood siding, look for areas that are open. Knots that may have popped out and damaged areas can make way for ants and other critters into your home. You may also want to consider sealing or repainting your exterior, as you should every couple of years to keep it in good condition. If possible, you may want to clean your vinyl siding with a good, strong pressure washer to prevent the mold from growing on the side of your house. The same goes for any kind of brick siding you may have.
Windows and Doors
Leakage, whether that’s air or moisture, around windows and doors can cause many problems for your home. You might see a jump in your energy bill, both in the spring trying to cool and in the winter when trying to heat. Make sure that the caulking and weather stripping has stayed together and is tight. If it hasn’t, replace weather stripping, scrape old caulking off and replace with new caulk. These are all fairly simple home maintenance steps you can do in the spring once the weather allows for you to keep windows and doors open. During the winter months, if you noticed condensation between double or triple pane windows, the weather seal is compromised. If the seal is compromised, the window or glass unfortunately needs replacing.
Remember when cleaning your windows never to use an abrasive cleaner or pressure washer. You don’t want to damage the caulking, paint around the trim, or scratch the windows. Use a sponge or rag with a non-harsh detergent to clean window and door screens, then lay them out flat to dry. You should never power wash screens as they can break out of their frame under the pressure.
Check your foundation walls, concrete, floors, and masonry for chips and cracks. As the ground freezes and contracts in the winter, then warms and expands in the spring, houses can often shift slightly. Homes in climates that have weather like this, for example, in the Midwest or in the Northeast, typically are built to withstand some of this give and take. But, if there is a particularly cold winter or a quick thaw in the spring, this can lead to your home moving a lot at once, which causes foundation issues.
Sometimes, you may not see anything wrong at the floor level. But, there could be cracks in your ceiling where it meets the top of the wall. This is also an indicator of a foundation shift. Experts suggest that if you can fit a nickel between a crack, call a professional foundation expert immediately. If the crack is smaller, you should still have a professional take a look, but it may not be as urgent.
Deck and Porch
Be sure to check your patios, porches, and decks, including your railings and stairs for deterioration and lose parts such as pieces of wood and nails sticking up. Your outdoor wood furnishings should be treated once every four to six years depending on the amount of exposure they receive from the rain, snow, and sun. Hammer down any loose nails, replace pieces of wood if needed, and stain your wood every four to six years to keep the weather from getting the best of your porch, deck, or patio.
If you have a crawl space under your deck, make sure there are no holes rabbits, raccoons, or opossums can get in. They can create nests, have babies, and possibly even get into your home all under the protection of your deck and it’s surroundings. If you have a fence around your yard, you should check for holes there as well. You want to make sure kids and pets can’t get out and critters can’t crawl in.
Spring home maintenance is a great time to clean items that rarely get cleaned throughout the rest of the year. After spending all winter cooped up inside, you’d be surprised how much dust, dirt, and clutter can accumulate!
Dust and vacuum things like stair railings, window casings, ceiling fans, baseboards, heating registers and vents, and tops of cabinets. Wash or dry-clean draperies and use a damp cloth to clean blinds. Vacuum furniture and mattresses. You may consider renting a carpet cleaner if you don’t own one for a deeper clean on your carpets. If you notice grease buildup in your kitchen, you can wash cabinets with water and a degreaser product or Dawn dish soap. You can use the same combination in the bathroom where mold and mildew might have accumulated. When cleaning tile, keep an eye out for missing or worn grout which can worsen water damage if not fixed.
Don’t forget to clean your appliances as well. Smells from your washing machine, dishwasher, and garbage disposal can be cleaned up with products specifically designed for those appliances. These products are easy to use, just pop them in the appliance and turn on the clean cycle. Vacuum out your dryer’s lint trap to eliminate that as a fire hazard. You can also remove all your vent covers and use the vacuum hose attachment to clean part of your ducts. Also, take everything out of your fridge and freezer and wipe down with a food-safe cleaner. You can throw out the expired condiments while you’re at it too.
Another item for your spring home maintenance checklist is to check for clogged drains, leaking faucets, and damp pipes. Check under the sinks to be sure that connections on your hoses and pipes are properly sealed. Make sure there’s no wetness around your dishwasher, as this could indicate a problem. Check your washing machine hoses for dampness, bulges, or cracks. If you find that your drains are clogged, you may want to get in touch with a plumber to help. Home supply stores also rent tools like drain snakes if you’re up for tackling the clog on your own!
As springtime approaches, you’ll want to make sure that your air conditioner is in good working order. You’ll want to make sure the drain pans in your utility area are draining freely. Check the hoses for any leaks and change the filter. Vacuum any dust that has built up on the connectors and the unit. Also make sure to clean any debris off on the unit outside so that it can properly intake air.
Attics and Basements
Look for any critters or insects that could have invaded your home. Tell tale signs of rodents are matted nests made out of things like insulation, small pieces of clothing or cloth, and even garbage. You’ll probably see some feces as well. Spiders can be easy to spot because of their webs, but keep an eye out for ants near food and bees or wasps in areas that are often undisturbed. The smallest crack or hole in your home can lead to a labyrinth of shelter for insects and bugs. Try to prevent these pests from getting into your home by keeping food securely put away, fixing any holes or cracks, and laying out traps or poisons. Just make sure to keep these out of reach for children and pets.
Remember to check for mold as well. Basements and attics are prone to dampness and are often not heated or cooled the same way as the rest of the house. These factors can cause mold to start growing. Mold usually looks like green or black blotches that appear similar to stains. Mold is bad for your health, and can spread rapidly from a small area to an entire room or house. If the mold is black, it is very dangerous for your health. We suggest calling the experts when dealing with black mold. If the mold is green, a mixture of vinegar and water is a natural remedy you can use to clean the mold. If the mold is stubborn, there are several drug store products that can tackle a mold problem.
Enjoy Your Spring
Once you’ve checked all these items on your spring home maintenance checklist, it’s time to sit back and enjoy your home. Or, if you’re cleaning to sell, it’s time to contact Homes for Heroes and get your home selling journey on it’s way with one of our real estate professionals. Find out more information and talk to a local real estate agent in your neighborhood today.