by Jenni Barnett
on Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 at 9:59am.
Spring’s verdant foliage and fresh, sweet air brings cleansing and refreshing our homes to the forefront of our minds. Often the shift in weather provides just the kind of energy boost we need to get started! Spring isn’t just about cleaning, however; it's also the ideal time of year to give your home a thorough inspection and make sure everything is in good repair.
This home maintenance checklist targets parts of your home that experience the most wear and tear during the winter. Take care of these tasks now so that you can relax all summer long!
1.) Check for gaps in your building’s moisture barrier.
Winter can be extreme, wearing down your home’s moisture defenses. Crawl spaces, windows, attics, and anywhere your home meets the ground outdoors are all prime places for moisture to slowly leach through. Moisture will wreak havoc on your home’s wooden structure, and the mold and mildew that grow in any damp place represent a serious health hazard for you and your family.
By catching any sign of moisture as soon as possible, you dramatically increase your chances of being able to have the moisture breach repaired well before any substantial damage occurs.
2.) Give your roof a careful inspection—or hire an inspector.
Loose tiles, lifted shingles, or exposed nails are all signs that your roof is susceptible to leaks and needs repair. Remember that spring can bring with it as much rainfall as a dreary winter. Rather than waiting for water to make its way into your home, schedule roof repairs as soon as it’s dry enough to do so.
3.) Replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
While these systems should be tested monthly, the batteries in them need only be replaced every six months. Make it a habit to swap out old batteries for new every spring and fall so that you can rest easy all year long.
4.) Power wash your hardscaping.
Whether you prefer to hire a professional or experience the satisfaction of power washing firsthand, removing the dirt, moss, and fungus that makes winter’s damp concrete its home will instantly elevate your home’s appearance. This step isn’t just for looks, though; clean concrete lasts longer, and removing debris will allow you to check your hardscaping for cracks or shifting.
5.) Deep clean your windows.
It’s time to let that sunshine in! Nothing lifts a home both inside and out like freshly-scrubbed windows. If you have a two-story home or have limited mobility, this is likely a job for a professional. If your home is single-story, this should be a simple, if time-consuming, task.
For this job, you’ll need a bucket of a 1:1 mixture of hot water and vinegar, a lint-free soft cloth, and a fresh squeegee.
Gently remove your window screens and use a gentle detergent to clean them thoroughly. Set them upright in the sun to dry completely while you work on the windows.
Dip your lint-free cloth in the cleansing vinegar solution. Gently remove debris and dust; don’t use too much force here, or you risk the hard dirt particles scoring your bright glass. Finish your work by squeegeeing away the vinegar solution to reveal sparkling windows! Replace the screens, then stand back and enjoy the results.
6.) Clear your dryer vent.
Washing thick winter blankets and fleece performance clothing can leave your outdoor dryer vent thick with debris. Such blockages are a severe fire hazard, so head out with a dryer vent brush or robust shop-style vacuum and clear away every trace of lint for a safe summer.
7.) Prepare your backyard for summer cookouts.
Clean and shine your grill, scrub your lawn furniture, and make sure your outside faucets are ready for family water fights! By investing time into getting your outdoor entertainment areas ready for summer now, you’ll be ready to host as soon as the mood strikes.
8.) Service your gardening and power tools.
The burst of growth you’ll see in your yard this spring will need pruning, the lawn will need mowing, and we guarantee at least a few weeds will need whacking! As soon as winter fades, it’s time to bring your gardening and power tools out for service and repair. Clean machines with sharp blades will make every task easier.
9.) Schedule HVAC maintenance.
Perhaps no home system works harder during the winter than your heating and air unit. Before summer brings scorching temperatures, schedule a seasonal HVAC maintenance appointment with your trusted technician.
To keep your HVAC system working optimally, aim to replace the system’s filter at least every three months (more if you have pets or thick carpets).
10.) Special Advice for Wood Burning Homes
If your home still burns wood for heat, this is the time to move firewood far from your home and store it at least two feet from your home, making sure it’s at least 18” from the ground. A woodpile is an enticing home for pests that will multiply, soon making their way into your home’s structure. By moving all firewood away from your home’s walls and elevating it away from the soil, you place it out of reach of both most pests—and your walls.
Parks wishes all of you a beautiful, relaxing spring! If you have worked with a roof repair specialist, HVAC specialist, or pest control specialist here in Middle Tennessee who has provided exceptional service, please feel free to leave their information in the comments.
If you come across a beautifully-maintained home, consider tucking a note into the mailbox requesting their top recommendations. The owners have likely connected with a full team of local specialists who may be adding customers this spring.
Thank you for joining Parks! Contact us today if you are selling or purchasing a home this spring. We can help you get ready well ahead of the summer rush. Remember, the market will be hot again this year, but we’re here to help you breeze past the competition!