It's time to open those windows and let fresh air into your home, plant flowers in the yard to step up your curb appeal, and spruce up the house for prime selling season. Whenit comes to spring cleaning, dont neglect some of the bigger home maintenance tasks. Saveyourself time by tackling these jobs annually. Last thing on your to-do list? Reward yourself with a refreshing seasonal cocktail or icy glass of lemonade when youre done. . .
INSPECT THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR HOME
Winter storms can take quite a toll on a roof. Checkyourroof for damage and look for missing shingles, metal pipes that are damaged or missing, oranything that simply doesnt look right. Take a walk around your property and scan all exteriorconcrete slabsfor cracks or signs of movement.Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete. Be sure to inspect the house itself for paint chips and holes. Finally, have yourchimney flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
CLEAN OUT YOUR GUTTERS
Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space (hello, Spring showers!). Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear ofdebris from the previous season.
PREPARE WINDOW AND DOOR SCREENS
Screens are designed to let the breeze flow in and keep the bugs out, but they can only do their job if theyre free from holes and tears. Clean the grime off glass inside and out for a lighter, brighter home indoors and increased curb appeal outdoors.
DO A SAFETY CHECK
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (refer to yourmanuals for instructions) and ensurethat your fire extinguisher is in working order. You should do thismonthly, but if you arent, now isthe perfect time.
GET YOUR GARDEN READY
Get your backyard in prime BBQ party shape by pulling out weeds, adding compost, cleaning the deck, taking stock of all your garden tools, cleaning the grill and rinsing any outdoor furniture. Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushes from structures, andapply a thick layer of mulch wherever you can. Mulch is much more effective at keeping weeds at bay if it's in place before weeds beginsprouting.
CHECK THE ATTIC AND BASEMENT
Mold and pests are two common concerns, so be on the lookout for any signs of damage. For mold, check for visible growth (usually black or green spots) or use the sniff testmold has a damp and musty smell. And youll know if you have a pest problem if theres any physical damage to walls or furnishings, but also look out for droppings. Call in the experts if you suspect a problem.
Nows the time to make sure your air conditioner is in good condition (not when its the first day of summer and a sweltering 90 degrees). Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system.Filters should be changed on a regular basis.
CHECK FOR AIR LEAKS AND SEAL WINDOWS
Now that youve checked your AC, make sure all that cool air stays inside (and the hot summer air stays out) by eliminatingdrafts. Usethe tools of the trade, like caulk and spray foam, to help seal up stationary materials and fixtures.Of course, you can also hire a professional to helpidentify air leaks by performing ahome energy audit.One important thing to note: Air sealing may inadvertently cause a different problem, trapping indoor pollutants like radon or carbon monoxide and creating an unsafe situation inside your home. Consider bringing in a professional to test for radon.
Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you're at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.
GIVE YOUR CARPETS A FACELIFT
Even if you have zero qualms asking guests to remove their shoes before stepping foot into your home, your carpets deserve some love after a winter of tracking inmud and snow.