The First-Time Homeowner's Guide to Spring Home Maintenance

Posted by Laine Smith on 2/25/17 10:00 AM

Topics: First Time Home Buyer Home Improvement Homeowner Tips Home Maintenance first time homeowner

The official first day of spring is nearing! Is your home ready? As the days grow longer and the weather becomes milder, it’s essential for homeowners to address any damage caused by the winter elements, as well as get their home ready for a brand new season. If you're a first-time homeowner still learning the basics of home maintenance, here’s a quick list of preventative tasks to complete over the next few weeks.

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Check your gutters. Look for gutters that are loose, leaky or filled with debris. Make sure all downspouts drain away from foundation and are also clear of debris.

Check caulking around windows and doors. Bitter winter cold can cause windows and doors to slightly separate from the frame, causing your “paid air” to escape. Applying external silicone caulking or sealant can remedy separation.

Examine your outside spigots. When you first turn the water on, place your thumb over the opening. If your thumb alone stops the flow of water, there’s a good possibility you have pipe damage.

Give your A/C some TLC. Call your normal HVAC contractor to perform an inspection of your air conditioning unit. You should have your A/C inspected every cooling season. Also, now is a good time to replace your air filters.

Get ready for yard care. Clean, service, fuel and/or charge any of your lawn care equipment. A lawn mower with cleaner and sharper blades creates a better-looking lawn.

Look up. From ground level, do a visual sweep of your roof to see if any shingles were lost or damaged during the winter.

Clean and rotate. If you changed the spin direction of your ceiling fans over the winter, now is a good time to clean them off and change the rotation so cool air is being pushed down.

Replace batteries. Not necessarily a spring home maintenance item, but replacing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every time the season changes is a good habit to get into, even if the batteries aren’t dead.

Clean your siding. Vinyl siding is practically maintenance-free, but to extend its lifespan, you should give it an annual cleaning to prevent mildew stains. You can get the job done with simple household solutions like vinegar and water or utilize a power washer. See the Bob Vila tutorial here.

Do a clean sweep. Grab your rake and get rid of any type of debris or foliage sitting on your lawn. Raking your lawn clear of debris will encourage proper airflow to your grass and help prevent disease, mold and insect infestation.

Prepare to aerate and fertilize. Aerating and fertilizing with a pre-emergent crabgrass control is essential to achieving an envious lawn come spring and summer. Both things need to be done before temperatures reach the 55-60 degree range.

Inspect & clean your deck. Look for warped, loose or splintered boards that may need to be replaced or repaired. Your deck should be cleaned annually to extend its life, so grab the power washer and spray it down. If your deck is wood and appearing faded or worn, spring is a good time to stain and reseal it. Just make sure there isn’t any rain in the immediate forecast, so you give your sealant adequate time to dry.

Screen your screens. You won’t reap any financial benefits of keeping your windows open and leaving your A/C off if you’re having to call an exterminator to take care of critters getting through the holes in your screens. Remove your screens and give them a gentle scrub with soapy water and patch small holes as needed.

Clean your dryer vent. A clogged dryer vent not only produces a fire hazard but causes warm air to blow back into your home.

Patch up your driveway. Your driveway takes a lot of heat…and cold, foot traffic, ice melt, etc. It’s bound to give way over the years. Take an assessment of your driveway and patch up the cracks with a pourable or tubed asphalt product.

Repair cracked or peeling paint. Not only does a proper paint job do wonders for your curb appeal, but it also provides a protective barrier from the elements. Exposed wood is prone to rot, so scrape chipped or peeling paint and perform touch-ups where needed.

Inspect your foundation. Soil shifts, which can cause standing or flowing water to wreak havoc on a home’s foundation – potentially causing insect, mold and/or leaky basement issues. If you notice any warping, cracking or mold, you may need to address the grading slope of your home. The soil around your home should slope away from foundation walls by at least six inches vertically when measuring out 10 feet, according to the DIY Network.

For more home maintenance, home improvement and homeowner tips, follow us on Pinterest! Needing to perform some larger cost renovation or home maintenance projects? Download our free Rehab & Construction Guide for ways to roll the costs of your projects into your home financing.

Download: Rehab & Construction Guide

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