For many, the coming of spring and summer is the best time of year. The blooming flowers, longer days and warmer weather are all welcomed with open arms.
However, while this break from the cold might make you want to do nothing but sit outside in your shorts, sipping your favorite libation, if you own a home there are some important things you need to do to keep ite in tip-top shape throughout the summer.
Unsure of where to start? Here are some key spring and summer home-maintenance tips.
How to Clean Your Home for Warmer Weather
While you don’t have to do this all at once, here are some things you should put on your cleaning and maintenance list:
Clear Out Your Gutters
Gutters and downspouts are a crucial component of your home. They ensure water runs off your roof easily and doesn’t pool up, which can lead to mold, mildew and structural damage.
But most people don’t know that gutters also protect your foundation. Without them, water would pour straight down to the base of your foundation where it can collect and seep in, degrading it.
To make sure none of this happens, clear out your gutters each spring. Wind and wet weather can cause all sorts of debris to collect in your gutters and prevent proper drainage. If you live in a heavily forested area, you may also want to consider installing a leaf guard. And since spring is typically the rainiest season of the year, you want to make sure everything is in working order.
You can do this yourself by getting up on a ladder, or you can hire a gutter-cleaning service to do it for you.
Do a Roof Inspection
Another important thing to do in the spring is to inspect your roof. Ice, fallen limbs, snow and everything else that winter brings can cause damage to the structure of your roof and lead to leaks, or worse.
For this, you have two choices: do a visual inspection on your own or hire a roofing company to do a full inspection.
Doing an inspection on your own involves simply looking at the roof, either from the ground or on top of the roof. This is fine if you had a relatively mild winter or if you don’t have any reason to suspect more serious damage.
However, if your roof is older, or if something more serious happened over the winter, you may want to call a professional. They will get up on your roof and also look at it from the inside. And since they are professionals, they know more about what to look for and can spot issues you might miss if you do this on your own.
Level the Ground Around Your Home
Winter causes the ground to freeze. Or, depending on where you live, it freezes and unfreezes several times.
Either way, once the spring thaw comes, the ground will often become uneven. Out in your yard, this is more of a nuisance. But if you’re someone who likes to keep a nice lawn, then you might want to consider leveling it off by adding some topsoil to areas that have become uneven.
However, if you notice any uneven areas near the foundation of your home, you really should fix them. If left alone, this uneven ground can cause more water to seep into your basement, which can cause all sorts of other problems. When doing this, be sure to use compacted soil, as this will give you the most even coverage and provide better drainage.
Rake Lawns and Mulch Gardens
A lot of people think maintenance is all about the inside of your home, but the outside needs some love too. If you have a grass lawn, it’s important to go out with a rake and scrape away all the dead grass and debris to make way for new growth.
For those of you with gardens, make sure to clean them out and replace the mulch, as this will help control weed growth.
Doing this in the spring is a lot easier than waiting until later so you don’t have to deal with excessive growth and can get to all corners of your garden and lawn.
Service Your Air-Conditioning
Although you shouldn’t need too much air-conditioning in the spring, you will once spring turns to summer. And once the weather gets hot and everyone needs climate control, all those with issues will call the local HVAC servicer at the same time, delaying when you can get the work done. This could be particularly important if you have sensitive items in your home that have temperature requirements. You will want to avoid having to move them to climate-controlled storage which could result in additional fees.
Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by scheduling any necessary AC servicing in the spring, before you actually need it. Clean out filters and vents, make sure your unit turns on properly and, if necessary, schedule a technician to come out and get everything in working order.
Clean Your Furnace or Boiler
While you’re at it, consider getting your furnace or boiler cleared and serviced as well. You shouldn’t need it again until fall and winter comes back around, but it’s important to make sure everything is working when you do.
Most people completely forget about their heating systems while the weather is warm, only to regret this later on when they can’t get it to work. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by being proactive and servicing your system in the spring.
Care for your Septic System
A home’s external plumbing system is also an item that often goes forgotten until it’s too late and an issue occurs. Once the ground has thawed, Spring is the perfect time to perform a routine check, have maintenance performed or have a new septic system installed.
Septic systems can be costly to repair and replace so it is good practice to make sure they are properly functioning at least once every few years.
Springtime means keeping the windows open and letting in the warm air. But this doesn’t work if mosquitos and other pests are getting into your home. If you take your screens out for the winter, make sure to inspect them before putting them back into your windows. If you leave them in, inspect them for tears and holes so that you can get them repaired or replaced before you really need them.
Shore Up Framing
As you’re checking your screens, take a look at your window frames, too. Harsh winter weather and high winds can cause wood frames to peel back, which will let in moisture and air and can cause all sorts of problems.
If you notice an issue, you can often fix it yourself with some nails and a hammer. But if there is serious damage, you may need to bring in a professional.
Enjoy Your Home This Spring and Summer
Of course, as the weather gets warmer, the last thing you probably want to do is maintenance around your home. But it’s really important you take some time to repair any damages from the winter and get your home ready for spring and summer.
Take a weekend and knock it all out at once, or break it up over the course of a few weeks. Either way, you’ll be happy when it’s done and you’ll be able to enjoy your home throughout the spring and summer worry-free.