Ah…spring has sprung! The days are longer and the temps are warming up. The grass seems greener, the sky seems bluer and there’s a feeling of energy in the air.
If you’re like many people, perhaps you have spring cleaning on your mind. Maybe you want to open those windows and let in the beautiful spring breeze while you scrub your kitchen cabinets or get rid of clutter you’ve accumulated over the winter. In addition to those chores, there are a few other home maintenance tasks you should consider adding to your to-do list.
The following are some annual home maintenance chores that can help you keep your house in good condition. These must-do tasks do more than just improve the aesthetics of your home – they can enhance energy-efficiency, as well as your comfort and safety. They can also save you money. By taking care of these interior and exterior tasks now, you may avoid expensive repairs and replacements in the future.
Here are 10 must-do tasks that do more than just improve the aesthetics of your home – they can enhance energy-efficiency, as well as your comfort and safety.
Exterior home maintenance tasks
Get rid of gutter gunk
Leaves, sticks, dirt and debris can clog up your gutters and downspouts. If water cannot flow freely, it will back up, possibly causing leaks and water damage to the interior and exterior of your home. Excess debris and standing water can also attract insects and rodents.
Gutters should be cleaned at least once a year – more often if you have overhanging trees. To clean your gutters, you’ll need a good extendable ladder. Wear long sleeves and rubber gloves and use a scoop to remove all the gunk. If you do not want to do this task yourself, or cannot do it safely, hire a professional.
Repair and replace screens
In nice weather you’ll want to let in fresh air, not bugs. Examine the window and door screens throughout your home for holes and rips. Patch any that you find. Many hardware stores carry screen repair kits that allow you fix screens yourself fairly easily. Here’s a video that demonstrates how to repair a screen hole.
If there is too much damage, it may be necessary to replace the entire screen. Today’s Home Owner has some tips how to do this yourself. If you have young children or pets, consider using extra strong screens that can better withstand impact.
Inspect deck, porch, stairs, rails and fences
Loose, cracked, rusted and rotted boards and rails can be dangerous. Carefully examine your deck, patios, stairs, fences and railings to ensure that everything is strong, secure and in good condition. Tighten or reaffix anything that is loose or unattached and replace any damaged wood, rails or fasteners.
Clean and seal outdoor structures
Thoroughly clean decks, fences, railings and other outdoor structures using cleaners appropriate for the structure’s material. Wood decks may also require sealer and stain. Regular maintenance can help ensure that your structures will remain in good shape for years to come.
Tidy up your landscape
Warmer weather brings the kids outside to play and the friends over for barbeques. Make sure your yard is in optimal condition for whatever outdoor activities you have planned. Clear your lawn, flowerbeds and borders of debris such as leaves, twigs, weeds and pinecones.
Inspect trees in your yard for dead branches. Better yet, hire a professional arborist who is specially trained to spot signs of pests and damage. An arborist will know how to treat your trees to keep them healthy and strong and can identify trees or branches that may be in danger of dying or falling off.
Also, take a look around your property to make sure that there are no trees or bushes interfering with utility wires. If they are, do not attempt to trim them yourself – this is extremely dangerous. Call your utility company so they can assess the situation and safely rectify any issues.
Interior home maintenance tasks
Inspect your windows and doors
Doors and windows are essential for letting in light, keeping out air and water, securing your home and providing energy-efficiency. They also contribute to the overall aesthetics of your home. Unfortunately, cold weather can wreak havoc on these structures. The spring is an important time to make sure your windows and doors are working properly. The following are a few things you can do this season to maintain your windows and doors:
- Check locks or hardware and replace or fix anything that is broken or worn out
- Check weatherstripping and replace if it is damaged, loose or has gaps
- Oil squeaky hinges
- Clean glass, sliding door tracks and window casings
- Recaulk windows if necessary
Baby your bed
Wash all your bedding and switch out your heavy quilts and blankets for lighter sheets. If you have an older mattress, now is a good time to rotate and flip it. This can help extend the life of your mattress. While the construction of newer mattresses may make the flipping unnecessary, rotating the mattress is still recommended to avoid sags.
Play it safe—check your smoke alarms
Any task that has to do with the safety of you and your family is of paramount importance. One such task is inspecting your smoke detectors. Every floor of your home should have a smoke detector. Test all the alarms to make sure they are working and change the batteries if needed. You should also have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, as well as an easily accessible fire extinguisher. Visit the American Red Cross website for many other fire safety tips.
Every floor of your home should have a smoke detector. Test all the alarms to make sure they are working and change the batteries if needed.
Clean air conditioning filters
On that first sweltering hot day of the season nothing is worse than turning on your air conditioner and discovering it’s not working. Don’t sweat – check your air conditioners and your heat, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems now. Make sure they are working effectively. One of the most essential things you can do is to clean and replace the filters. Dirty or clogged filters will cause your systems to work harder, dramatically reducing energy-efficiency and costing you more money to run.
Look for moisture and mold
Inspect the rooms of your home, especially the basement, for mold and water stains. If you find a water stain, see if you can find the source of it to fix the situation. If you spot mold, you’ll need to remove it as soon as possible. Mold can be dangerous and can lead to many health problems. While you may be able to do some mold cleanup yourself, it may be wise to hire a professional. To learn about the dangers of mold and how to prevent, detect and remove it, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Financial assistance for spring home maintenance and repairs
If you have maintenance tasks or repairs that go beyond your skill level or budget, Omni Financial can help. A military loan can provide the financial assistance you need to hire a professional or purchase materials or equipment. Regular and proper maintenance is essential for avoiding damage, breakdowns and dangerous situations throughout your living environment. Don’t let lack of funds prevent you from keeping your home in optimal condition. Contact Omni today!
The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only. It is not intended for you to use as a substitute for getting professional home maintenance and repair or health advice. You should consult with a home improvement professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs. Omni Financial does not endorse, recommend or imply affiliation with the listed companies or organizations.