Contributed by Tim Brugger, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
We’ve put it off about as long as we can. With summer around the corner, procrastinators everywhere have their back against the spring home maintenance wall; time to get our homes ready for some sun.
The beauty of the Top 10 Spring home maintenance tips below is that most require little more than a trip to the local home improvement store; some not even that.
Sorry procrastinators, even one less reason to not get started.
10. Check the gutters
Give the gutters a quick once over, not only for cracks and loose areas, but also for the many loose branches that can clog the drains during the winter months. Making certain these simple but important parts of our homes are functioning properly can save a lot of drainage and potential flooding problems down the road.
9. Inspect the foundation
Winter and spring rains can cause flooding in and around the foundations, washing out protective soil. If need be, fill in any gaps with dirt to protect your home’s foundation from direct exposure to spring and summer rains. As home owners know, cracked foundations can become a maintenance and financial nightmare.
8. Check the shingles
This Top 10 home maintenance tip is especially important for those living in areas of the country that got hit with wicked winter storms. The pounding itself, coupled with the subsequent run-off, can loosen your roof’s shingles exposing the wood underneath. If you’re unwilling, or unable, to fix loose or missing shingles, get one of the local high school kids; they’re fearless anyway.
7. Check concrete driveways for cracks
Concrete feels indestructible, particularly when it’s landed on awkwardly. But make no mistake, exposure to drastic changes in weather as well as the constant rain many areas of the country see in the spring, can cause unsightly and unsafe cracks. These are not only precursors to further problems; they can make getting the paper in the morning akin to a death march. If need be, using concrete filler or silicone to seal and waterproof cracks should remedy the situation nicely.
6. Clean dryer vent
Efficiency not only helps keep utility bills manageable, reason enough to implement spring home maintenance steps, it also extends the life of costly appliances. Taking a few minutes to slide the dryer away from the wall to carefully check and clean the vents is well worth the time invested.
5. Trim shrubs
If your out-of-control azalea bush is touching your home, it’s also likely to bring unwanted insects along with it. Trimming these back will cut off the entry routes for a host of nasty little critters. Excess moisture will also travel along the branches, slowly working at exposed wood causing discoloration at the least, the onset of dry rot at the worst.
4. Pick up branches
Fallen branches and old wood that’s made its way onto the property over the winter is an invitation to termites and other little nasties that have no business taking root near our homes. Removing debris will go along way to limiting the chances of infestation and the associated costs of exterminators later in the summer.
3. Sealed windows and doors
Check the results of nasty winter weather on the caulking or sealing in and around the windows and outside doors of your home. The drastic changes in weather much of the country sees between winter and spring can wreak havoc on caulked or rubber seals. It’s an easy fix, if you take the time to look; and your energy bills will reflect the time invested.
2. A/C inspection
For many, this is the one Top 10 home maintenance tip that may require a bit of an investment, so do some shopping around; at least for those of us not able to complete the job ourselves. When you’ve found a reputable, cost-effective option, you’ll also find it well worth the money. As with Top 10 item #6, an efficient A/C system will save on energy bills and continue to do what it’s supposed to do, keep you pleasantly cool when the temperatures start getting cranked up. This is also a great time to clean out the ducts.
1. Replace furnace filters
There is probably no less expensive or easier step you can take, that has such a positive impact, as simply changing out the filters in your furnace. Not only does this increase efficiency, it will also result in a cleaner environment in the home by keeping ducts free from unwanted dust and lint.