Regular home maintenance can increase the value of your home, help you avoid unexpected damages, and improve your home’s comfort. But it’s not always easy to know what you should be doing and when. This spring maintenance checklist takes away any mystery by breaking down what yard work and exterior maintenance you should be doing this season.
Keep in mind that spring is an important time for home maintenance. You want to check your property for any weather damage that occurred during the cold weather, and you want to prepare your home to withstand the rainy season.
Follow the 12 tips on this spring maintenance checklist to keep your home safe, dry, and looking great.
1. Check for Winter Damage to Your Structure
Start your outdoor maintenance by checking your property for any damage that may have occurred during the cold months. Do a visual inspection of the roof, chimney, siding, sidewalks, and driveway. Look for any loose shingles, damage, or issues that may have occurred.
Catching any problems early can help you to avoid additional issues. For example, if your roof is starting to fail, repairing it quickly can help you avoid a flood of water coming into your attic during a rainstorm.
2. Examine Your Foundation for Cracks and Bulges
Your home’s foundation is one of the most important parts of your home. Even though your foundation can be out of sight, it shouldn’t be out of mind.
Each spring, do a visual inspection along the bottom of your home, looking for issues like stair-step cracks, broken concrete, or bulging foundation walls. This can help you find any problems that occurred during the winter when wet soil froze, and frost heave exerted upward pressure on your house. If anything looks out of place, schedule a free inspection from your local Groundworks foundation repair experts.
3. Clean Up Yard Debris
Outdoor spring cleaning is also a chance to freshen up your yard. Rake fallen leaves, cut back dead foliage, pick up fallen tree branches, and remove debris from flower beds. If you have ornamental grasses, remove the dead leaves in the early spring to give them room to sprout new growth.
4. Prune Trees and Shrubs
For many trees and shrubs, spring is the best time for pruning. A healthy trim can help keep plants at a manageable size, improve flowering or fruiting, and help prevent plants from damaging your home. Keep branches away from the house to avoid attracting pests, improve airflow, and prevent mildew on your siding.
Avoid pruning spring-flowering plants too early. Plants like lilacs or forsythias will start blooming in the next few months, and you’ll get the best display if you prune after they flower.
5. Clean Gutters
Well-functioning gutters and downspouts are important for keeping water away from your home’s foundation. Gutters are typically cleaned at least twice a year, and the biggest cleanup is usually in the spring.
Clean out any winter debris before spring rainstorms to help you avoid the basement flooding that can happen when gutters overflow. Some homeowners may also want to consider installing gutter guards to reduce the gutter maintenance and improve the effectiveness of your drainage system.
6. Check Outdoor Plumbing and Pipes
Perform a visual inspection of your home’s outdoor plumbing and mechanical systems. Check your outdoor faucets to make sure there are no cracks or ice damage. Inspect the pipes that connect your home to an outside heat pump, compressor, AC unit, or generator. Make sure there are no signs of corrosion, leaks, or damage.
7. Flush Any Outdoor Drainage Systems
Drainage is essential for protecting your home from flooding, and spring is an important time of year to make sure these systems are working properly.
Raked leaves can sometimes clog outdoor drainage. After cleaning out any debris, use a pressure washer to remove grime buildup. Also, check the storm drains on your street to help your neighborhood avoid any backups. Just look at how quickly an outdoor drain can disperse a flood when it’s working properly.
8. Reseed Bare Spots on the Lawn
Reseed any bare spots in the spring to get a lush green lawn through the summer. This will give the new growth enough time to become established before the summer heat. When choosing grass seed, pick the right variety for your region, and follow the lawn care directions to get the best results.
9. Inspect for Pests
Closely check the perimeter of your home looking for evidence of pests. Burrowing pests may disrupt the soil right next to the home, but pests may also access your home via the foundation sill at the base of your siding. Address any issues quickly, and look closely for evidence of termites, which can be especially damaging to homes.
Also, look along the roofline for signs of any wasp nests from the previous seasons or potential entryways for other terrifying pests like bats, birds, or squirrels.
10. Improve the Landscape Along the Foundation Perimeter
The landscaping immediately next to your foundation can either improve the long-term soundness of your home or cause issues like rot, water damage, or pests.
Start by clearing debris from around the foundation including from any window wells leading to the basement. Check the grading of the area around your home to make sure that water is flowing away from the foundation. You also want to avoid having soil or mulch right up against the foundation because it can hold moisture and attract termites.
Consult a foundation repair expert if you think you may have a problem. You may need to repair the grading, install a drainage system, or add a perimeter of gravel around the house.
11. Power Wash Siding and Decks
Pressure wash your siding and decks to clean off any mildew or grime. Before you begin, check with the materials recommendations for each surface to help you choose the right settings and process. For example, pine decks need a lower pressure setting at 500 psi, and some vinyl siding manufacturers recommend using a liquid soap that will clean without damaging the finish.
12. Plan Ahead for Summer Projects
Are there any big yard maintenance projects you want to tackle this year? Spring is a good time to plan out any goals such as updating drainage, installing walkways, installing garden beds, or painting.
This year, there is a home repair surge as 36 percent of homeowners are planning to fix up their homes. Many homeowners are adding functional spaces to their homes with a new home office, home gym, or man cave.
Homeowners are also investing in home repairs that have meaningful long-term value. For example, installing a sump pump and waterproofing can be a way to proactively protect your home from flooding while also giving you peace of mind.
The experts at Groundworks can help you complete the home repairs that will protect your home and secure your investment. Sign up for a free inspection from your local Groundworks basement waterproofing and foundation repair experts.