A woman washes her windows as part of her yearly spring home maintenance.
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Warm weather is coming

Spring Home Maintenance

Justin Wolf
/
May 14, 2024
keywordSpring Home Maintenance

Spring Home Maintenance

Spring is a great time to check in on all the things homeowners should keep an eye on, both inside and out. The screens on that porch or three-season room come out and are replaced with storm windows, weather stripping or insulation film is applied to interior windows, AC duct vents are sealed, and draft stoppers are secured to doors, among other things. Indeed, when winter’s icy chill starts creeping in through your home’s doors and windows, sealing things up is just the start. There are also some larger to-dos to consider, like insulating exposed pipes and hose spigots to prevent pipe bursts (or turning off the water supply to those pipes altogether), cleaning gutters, inspecting the roof, and replacing the furnace filter. The investment of both time and money will vary, depending on your home’s age and conditions.

But what about de-winterizing your home? The welcome arrival of longer days and spring weather is more than just an opportunity to dry clean winter coats and plant that backyard garden. It is a prompt to work on your home’s “health” as we journey into this new season. Here are some general tips and best practices on how to properly prepare your home for spring. So, grab a flashlight, some pliers, maybe a wrench or two, and get to work! (Note: this article is really intended for homeowners who occupy their homes year-round, as opposed to snowbirds who are likely closing, shuttering, and unplugging everything while their home sits empty for several months).

Start with the Low-Hanging Fruit

The first steps to spring home maintenance should involve all those steps you took several months ago to winterize the home, but in reverse. Remove the draft stoppers, open up the vents, and re-install the screens. Perform other spring-cleaning tasks as well like cleaning and storing any portable humidifiers you had running through the winter months; dusting window sills, shelves, and ceiling fan blades; giving rugs and carpets a deep clean; removing leaves and brush that may have gathered around your outdoor AC unit; and replacing HVAC filters. These steps will help ensure better air quality and thermal comfort.

Next, pay close attention to your plumbing. Even if you did insulate pipes and hose spigots over the winter, or if you have freeze-proof faucets to begin with, unexpected problems can always arise. After turning the water supply back on, if applicable, turn on those faucets and observe the water pressure. If the pressure appears low for more than a second or two, you’ll want to know why. It’s possible there is a crack or leak in the piping or stub-out, which means you will need to inspect the portion of your basement or crawlspace where those pipes live.

Lastly, when it comes to simply eye-balling stuff, make sure everything that needs to remain on for the warmer months is in fact on and working properly. This includes sump pumps, water heater, water softeners, and of course air conditioners. If any of these devices give an indication that they’re not working properly, or seem to be on their last legs, it’s best to tackle those problems – or hire a professional – in the late winter or early spring.

Move on to High(er)-Maintenance Tasks

If you’re creating a checklist of items (and that is highly recommended) a good approach is to start indoors and gradually work your way outside. In that spirit, spring is the time to reset your thermostat, or better yet, replace that old dial unit with a smart thermostat that can be programmed to adjust internal temperatures throughout the day based on occupancy, usage, and sleep schedules.

Indoors

While you’re still inside, take the time to check out your attic. Moisture can accumulate in attic spaces and, often, you won’t realize this until winter changes over to spring. This can cause poor ventilation, failing or insufficient insulation, leaks, or issues in daily household activities like cooking, showering, and running the dryer. So, when you’re up there, inspect with your hands any blown or batt insulation to make sure it’s adequate and dry. Also, pay close attention to the rafters and ceiling area to ensure no daylight is peaking through. If you have ductwork, remember to open ceiling vents and take the time to know whether any moisture has gathered in the ducts, which incidentally is one of the last things you want, especially as you prepare to run the AC.

Outdoors

As you move on to the home’s exterior, one of the first things to work on is your gutters. At ground level, inspect the ends of the downspouts for any blockages, and make sure that any water is being properly directed into a drainpipe or dedicated ground source. Then, hop on that ladder and see what debris has gathered in, around, and on top of your gutters during the winter slog. Even if you have reliable gutter screens, they don’t provide the kind of maintenance and caretaking that your own hands can.

Now onto your roof, to inspect the conditions of shingles, look for any organic buildup of algae or moss, and check to see if the flashing around the chimney is secured and tight. If any issues present themselves, you can plan accordingly for the spring and summer when roofers are in high demand, and doing their best work!

Don’t Forget to Breathe

After performing all of these tasks and committing the sweat equity to keep your house comfortable, healthy, and sustained through the changing seasons, don’t forget there are some basic spring cleaning steps that have more to do with the wellbeing of you than the wellbeing of your home. If you have the space, however small or expansive, to create an outdoor living room, you should take advantage of it. Bring out the patio or lawn furniture, clean and prep the grill, power wash the deck, and hang some café lights. Look for some light landscaping opportunities that you will find therapeutic, whether it's trimming some hedges, planting a small garden, or hanging some bird feeders. Any occasion to get out of the house for a little exercise and fresh air is time well spent.

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