For some, the promise of spring means puttering in flower gardens or picnicking on checked tablecloths spread under a shady oak. For many of us, however, spring means home maintenance, remodeling projects, and spring cleaning. Organizing yourself now will help you get through everything quickly so that you really can relax and enjoy the season. Get a head start with this home maintenance checklist.
Inside Home Maintenance Checklist
Inside your home, there are five specific areas you should examine:
- HVAC System. Your HVAC system (heateing, ventilation, and air conditioning) just finished a tough winter workout. Have your professional HVAC contractor send a technician out for a service call that includes cleaning, inspection, and repair. This is to give the furnace or boiler a once-over, but also to prepare your air conditioner for the hot summer.
- Windows and Doors. Door hinges, including cabinet doors in the kitchen, need dry lubricant or a shot of silicone spray to stay squeak-free. Check windows to ensure latches operate smoothly, and windows raise and lower easily. Also check your window treatments as part of your home maintenance checklist. Old, outdated, or soiled drapes, curtains, and blinds can dampen your springtime mood. Cleaning or replacing the window treatments also improves energy efficiency, by stopping summer’s infrared radiation and preventing heat loss in winter.
- Attic. Inspect and maintain your attic while you can tolerate the temperatures, at the end of winter or in early spring. Look for signs of pests, winter damage such as leaks from ice dams, and loose or insufficient insulation.
- Closets. Who can resist checking spring cleaning off the home maintenance checklist when it means thinning out your closets of unwanted, outmoded or ill-fitting clothes? Inventory what you cull item by item and get a receipt when you donate to a reputable charity. Don’t overlook closet floors, since charitable donations can include old guitars, computers, and usable shoes.
- Detectors, Alarms and Thermostats—Your home maintenance checklist should include battery replacement for your smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, and thermostat.
Outside Home Maintenance Checklist
Your home just survived another winter, so its exterior needs tender loving maintenance in these five areas:
- Exterior Painting. This is best done in spring, when daytime temperatures are ideal for exterior oil paints or acrylic latex paints. Examine, clean, prime and repaint your garden sheds, playhouses, pergolas, fences and basement access doors without wilting from summer’s heat.
- Windows and Doors. From the outside, inspect windows and doors to ensure adequate weatherstripping. Torn, worn out, or inflexible weatherstripping should be replaced. This saves money on utility bills and reduces your carbon footprint. Next, examine around the outside trim of windows and doors, to make certain they are adequately caulked to prevent air and water infiltration.
- Roof and Walls. For safety reasons, avoid walking on your roof, but try to examine and re-caulk any piercings in the roof surface, such as vents, chimneys, pipes and satellite cables. On walls, look for and caulk around piercings for plumbing, the dryer vent, furnace vent and electrical lines. This discourages pests and increases energy efficiency.
- Gutters. Clean your gutters, or hire a professional cleaning service. Replace damaged or failing gutter spikes with gutter screws, which hold better. Install gutter guards to keep debris from clogging the gutters during spring showers.
- Foundation and Drainage. Visually inspect and repair your foundation walls, then make certain your yard slopes away from the house for adequate drainage. Rake leaves and lawn litter away from your walls to discourage nests and improve water runoff.