When stodgy, old Man Winter finally exits, it’s time for spring cleaning and home maintenance. Open up the windows, blow out the cobwebs, and get things ready for summer. Effective spring home maintenance keeps your abode healthy and habitable. Fresh coats of paint, roof repairs, and tree prunings protect against wet rot and damage. And if you did a bang-up job preparing your home for cold weather, then spring will be a breeze. To save you time and money, follow these four do-it-yourself home maintenance tips.
- Ensure Proper Airflow to Your Cooling Systems
Good airflow through your HVAC system or window units is the key to efficient cooling and longer life spans for your equipment. You’ll want to perform routine maintenance on your air conditioner every year. To ensure good airflow, for instance, start by checking your AC unit’s air filter. Replace any dirty or damaged filters with properly sized new ones. And add a filter replacement schedule to your calendar. Then check your ductwork for detached fittings and missing insulation. Open your registers and vacuum away any dust and debris.
Next, go outside and clean your AC condenser unit. For safety, first turn off the unit by flipping the breaker at the control panel. Sweep away any leaves, sticks, and trash that’s accumulated over the winter. Trim back tall grass, shrubs, or tree limbs. Next, use the sprayer on your water hose to blow out debris from the metal fins around your condenser or window unit. Only use a garden water hose, never hand wash the fins. They are delicate and easily damaged.
- Rent a Pressure Washer
Pressure washers are the spring cleaner’s dirty little secret. That’s because you accomplish so many tasks with one simple piece of equipment. Rent one of these water blasters from a local hardware store and wash away winter grime from your home’s siding and windows. Giving your home a good scrubbing helps you expose any peeling paint, missing window caulking, and gaps in your brick mortar. So, don’t be surprised if a pressure washer adds to your to-do list. Then blast away the leaves from your gutters, scrub your garage floors, and clean your vinyl siding. Here are a few other items you can clean with a pressure washer:
- Lawn mowers
- Walkways and patios
When using commercial power washers, be safe. Their spray can damage delicate materials and strip paint and stain from surfaces. First, check to see what surfaces are safe for pressure washing before you start. Then, test a small area to avoid damaging your property.
- Bug-Proof Your Home
Spring brings unwanted pests like mosquitoes, flies, and cockroaches which thrive in the wet weather. Protect your home against these pests with a few preventative measures. First, stop up cracks and holes around doors and windows with exterior grade caulking (weather stripping also helps on your energy bill!). Next, repair or replace any damaged window/door screens. Pro tip: If a screen hole is small, use clear nail polish to cover it. Here are a few other ways to keep bugs and pests at bay this spring:
- Move winter firewood away from the home to ward off termites
- Stop mosquitoes: eliminate standing water areas (e.g., buckets, bird baths)
- Check your roof and eaves for holes where birds and squirrels can enter
- Use expandable foam to fill holes around pipes entering your home
- Trim back hedges, flowers, and shrubs that are touching your home’s exterior
- Befriend natural predators: Cats and bats are effective pest control
- Perform a Plumbing Checkup
Identify small drips and leaks before summer months when water demand spikes. Inspect outside spigots for drips and leaks caused by winter freezes. Test your sprinkler system, too. Yard areas where the grass is green and lush may indicate a leak in your water or sewer system. To check for hidden leaks, first, turn off all sources of water in your home. Then read your water meter. Wait 30 mins and then re-check the reading. If the smallest increment in your meter changes, then some amount of water passed through your system.
Include interior plumbing for your checkup too. Test your toilets, washing machine hoses, and water heater for leaks. If you have extremely hard water, you’ll want to flush your hot water tank too. Mineral buildup can shorten the lifespan of your heater.
Spring maintenance does more for you than safeguard your home and property. It also gets you some face time with Mother Nature. After months of cabin fever, planting gardens and cleaning gutters is a welcome activity. So, choose activities like these four that get you out and about around your property. It’s good for your health and will make you appreciate what you have.
Bio: Morgen Henderson enjoys writing and covers various topics, ranging from travel to home improvement to finance—and everything in between. In her free time, she loves to travel, bake, and explore the outdoors. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @mo_hendi.
Photos by Vladislav Nikonov on Unsplash & Imani on Unsplash
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