Winter’s chill is finally evolving into warm spring breezes, and that should be your cue to start checking off some of those spring home maintenance tasks from your to-do list. Here’s what to do so your house is fully prepared for the changing of the seasons.
Decks and Fences
In order for you to fully enjoy your deck this spring and summer, you should make sure it’s clean, sealed, and stained, especially if it endured a brutal fall and winter. Sweep leaves off and remove them from the spaces between boards since they probably accumulated there over the colder months. Sand any splintered areas, and hammer down any loose boards or nails. Dirt and mildew stains most likely have taken over as a result of snow or moisture that got trapped beneath fallen leaves, and you can get rid of most of them by power washing the surface. Next, you’ll want to apply a stain or sealer to protect the wood from spring and summer rains. While you’re outside, take a look at your fence and see if there are any gaps that need to be filled or if the boards themselves need to be waterproofed and stained as well.
Now that the weather has warmed up, it’s time to address one of the major projects on your annual spring checklist: removing any leaves, sticks and other piled-up debris that’s clogging your gutters. It’s no one’s favorite task, but when gunk accumulates in your gutters, it prevents water from properly draining away from your house and basement. To clear them, you’ll need a ladder, gloves and a trash bin. While you’re up there, replace any broken or cracked gutters and give your roof a quick glance to make sure your shingles are intact. Although roof work isn’t a DIY job and is better left to the pros, it’s beneficial for homeowners to keep an eye on any trouble spots, especially after the fall and winter, which likely battered your roof with snow, ice and piles of leaves. If you see any concerning areas, contact your homeowners association or a pro immediately to avoid any major costly repairs down the road.
If you used your fireplace a lot over the winter — or even just a few times — get it inspected and cleaned. According to the DIY Network, “When hiring a chimney sweep, look for a certified sweep, one who has taken a test on the standards and codes and knows how chimneys are suppose[d] to be built.” This will give you peace of mind because you’ll know it’s safe whenever you’re ready to use it again — perhaps even in the summertime to roast marshmallows.
If you haven’t been keeping up with your air filters in your furnace, now is the time to start paying attention, since you probably used your furnace quite a bit over the last few months. You should replace the filter in your heating system at least once a month to prevent dust and hair from clogging up the air ducts and filters throughout your home, so if you didn’t keep up with this maintenance over the fall and winter, consider getting a professional tune-up. Debris will lower the efficiency of warm air spreading around and increase the chances of a house fire, and you want to make sure you’re ready to go as soon as the temperature starts to chill again.
Caulking and weatherstripping are some of the easiest and most affordable ways to prevent air from leaking out of your home and keep your energy bills low when you’re running your air conditioner. When purchasing materials, make sure you get a color to match your exterior. Not surprisingly, the cost of these supplies and materials can quickly add up, so look for savings from retailers like Lowe’s to help you bring these projects in under budget.
Now that the weather has warmed up, soak up every minute that you can. By taking a little time to make sure your home is spring- and summer-ready, you’ll enjoy the seasons worry-free.
Bret Engle | DiyGuys.net