8 things to do to get your home ready for spring
It might seem hard to believe this year, but winter IS going to end. Soon, the bitter cold we suffered through will be a faint memory. The piles of snow we spent months weaving around in driveways and parking lots have slowly become muddy piles of slush.
Soon, you’ll walk outside and the air will be warm. You’ll toss your gloves in the back of the closet and start planning flowerbeds, tomato gardens or outside cocktail parties.
Somewhere in between, however, is the perfect time to ready your house for the coming season with some springtime maintenance. It’s not an exciting prospect, but if you do some basic house upkeep this spring, you’ll find your home is in great shape for your summer and fall activities.
Here are the top eight things to do in the spring.
1) Clean the gutters. After the last frost is the perfect time to clean the autumn and winter muck out of your gutters. Call somebody or get up on the ladder yourself – make sure you’re wearing gloves and pull out whatever is clogging up your gutters, especially near downspouts. Clogged and overflowing gutters can cause the wood trim and eaves to rot, which invites a host of other problems. In addition, if the spring rains can’t make it to your downspouts and away from your foundation, you might eventually find it inside your basement.
2) Check out your roof. While you’re up there cleaning the gutters, give your roof a look too. (Don’t try to climb up there – your own eyes or binoculars are good enough.) Check for missing shingles, pipes that looks damaged or anything that doesn’t look quite right. Now’s your chance to get a roofer, before the busy summer season hits, if you have issues that need to be addressed.
3) Wash exterior windows. There are products on the market that attach to your garden hose that make this easy, if that makes it more likely you’ll do it. You can also hire a service to do this.
4) Check your screens. Before the really beautiful weather gets here, make sure your screens are in good shape. You don’t want to let in bugs when you’re letting in warm summer breezes. If you find anything amiss, screen repair kits are available at most hardware and home improvement stores.
5) Schedule an air conditioning service. Hire a professional to give your AC a once-over so it’s in good working order when you really need it.
6) Reseal exterior wood (if necessary). Take a good look at your wooden deck, fence railing, trellises and anything else you’ve got. These things are likely to last longer if they’re resealed every year or two.
7) Clean out the dryer vent. A clogged dryer vent is a fire hazard and it’s an easy chore to overlook. To clean it, disconnect the vent from the back of the dryer and use a dryer vent brush to remove the lint. Outside, if possible, remove the dryer vent cover and use the brush in there, too.
8) Test your smoke alarms. Every six months (when we set our clocks ahead in the spring and back in the fall) replace the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors. Don’t wait for the batteries to die! We started Daylight Savings Time on Sunday, so this is exactly the right time to change those batteries.
There may be other springtime chores that are a higher priority at your house. Do them in whatever order works for you, but don’t neglect your house this spring.