Updated: Apr 30, 2020
It’s time for spring cleaning! Now is the perfect time to freshen up your home and get some of those once a year home maintenance tasks out of the way! Not sure where to start? Check out our list of spring home maintenance projects and tips that are easy, and you can do yourself. Not only will your home feel new again, but it also will save you from major repair bills in the future.
Spring Home Maintenance Projects and Tips
CHANGE OUT AIR FILTERS
Experts indicate that you should clean your air filter anywhere between 30 days and 6 months, depending on the type of filter you have. If you have pets, live in a bigger city with more air pollution, or someone living in the home has asthma and/or allergies, you should change them out more often. Your filter’s efficiency will decrease the longer you wait and allow dust and dirt to build up. A few signs that your air filter needs to be changed include the filter being visibly dirty, the heating/cooling system running more frequently and working harder than normal, reduced airflow, or you notice a burning smell near your HVAC unit. Having a clean filter allows you and the people living in your home to avoid breathing dust and allergens as well as help to keep your energy bills low.
CHECK OUTSIDE FAUCETS
While it may not get below freezing too often here in Austin, it is still important to check your outside faucets for damage. This also means you’ll want to connect the hose to your outdoor faucet if you disconnected it during the winter. Often, you can indicate damage by low pressure, but sometimes damage can result in a slow leak, which means it may not be noticeable right away. You can check for leaks by inspecting interior walls as well as leaks along the wall beneath the hose bib. Another way to check for leaks is by turning the water on and placing your finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of the water, there is probably a pipe inside your home that is damaged.
CLEAN OUT THE GUTTERS
Check for loose, leaky, and clogged gutters that may have gotten damaged over the winter. All of these things can cause gutters to loosen or break away from your home or even lead to water damage inside. Not only will this cause damage to your ceilings and walls, but it can also create mold inside your home. You’ll want to prevent this from happening before it’s too late, especially with spring showers coming! Most debris consists of small leaves and sticks, so it can be easily scooped out or removed with a handheld leaf blower. Check for proper drainage after you have done this by running a hose on the roof. Specialists recommend you do this multiple times a year.
DRAIN THE WATER HEATER
Extend the life of your water heater by draining the tank to remove any sediment such as sand, gravel, dirt, and mineral deposits that have built up inside. This buildup can potentially reduce the efficiency and capacity of your water heater. Experts recommend doing this either once a year or once every few years, depending on the water in your area. By draining out your water heater, you will prolong its life and reduce your electric bill. Check out these steps to drain your water heater yourself!
FIX THE SEALS AROUND THE WINDOWS AND DOORS
Colder weather can cause the seals around your windows and doors to crack and loosen, allowing air, water, and possibly bugs to come inside. An easy way to check this is to do a visual inspection on both the inside and outside to see if there are any gaps between the window or door frame and your home’s siding. During the day, seeing light around the door or window frame also indicates air leaks. These leaks can be fixed and sealed by caulking or weatherstripping them. Checking the seals around the windows and doors at least once a year will help reduce your energy bill in the warmer months, keep cold air in, and make sure water and bugs stay out of your home!
INSPECT THE ROOF
A roof inspection is a home maintenance task that is often overlooked by most; however, one of the most common causes of water damage in a home comes from a leaky roof. Inspecting your roof doesn’t mean you have to climb up on a ladder and walk on top of it. You can do this from the inside of your home, outside on the ground. Early signs of a roof leak include water leaking in your attic if you have one, dark areas on the ceilings, peeling paint on the underside of roof overhangs, and damp spots along the fireplace. You can inspect your roof on the outside by looking for signs of aging, warping, cracking, sagging, and loose or buckled shingle or tiles. Areas with moss, algae, and piles of leaves can also cause costly damage. For roofs too high to inspect from the ground, hire a licensed roofer to avoid risking any injuries. It is encouraged to inspect your roof twice a year and after any severe storm.
LANDSCAPE THE YARD
Now that the weather is warmer, enjoy the outdoors in your yard. Landscaping and gardening are often found therapeutic and a good way to workout. It will also increase your curb appeal and brighten the outside of your home. When landscaping your yard, trim all overgrown bushes and tree limbs that are overgrown and rake away any leaves and debris covering your grass. Don’t forget to add some beautiful, bright colors and plant some of these spring flowers such as daffodils, tulips, or azaleas.
LOOK FOR DAMAGE ON WINDOW AND DOOR SCREENS
Window and door screens can get damaged over time, so you will want to check for holes, especially because the last thing you want is bugs crawling through into your house! Depending on how big the hole is, you can simply patch it using these steps instead of replacing the entire screen. Wind can cause damage to screens and frames, so make sure they are securely fastened as well while you are examining them. Even if there is no damage, cleaning your screens will remove the dirt and grime, allowing better airflow, and substantially lengthening the lifespan.
Spring and summertime call for countless pests waiting to come inside your home. The best way to avoid this is by preventing it from happening in the first place and spray repellent. It is also important to take other preventative measures such as repairing torn window screens, sealing any open food, and inspecting for any gaps in the windows and doors. If you’re trying to decide on the best solution to prevent pests from entering or already have an existing problem, get started with these tips and solutions.
PREPARE LAWN EQUIPMENT FOR SPRING AND SUMMER
Your lawn equipment has probably been in storage or your garage for the past few months collecting dust. Before you start landscaping your yard, make sure your equipment such as your lawnmower and hedge trimmers are ready to use by changing the engine oil and sharpening the cutting blades. This will not only improve the lifespan of your equipment but improve the overall look of your yard too!
REPLACE BATTERIES IN THE SMOKE DETECTORS
You don’t want to wait until you hear that annoying beeping sound in the middle of the night to change out the batteries in your smoke detector. Or even worse, waiting until it’s too late. Fire safety experts recommend you replace the batteries in your smoke alarm twice a year. A general rule of thumb is to replace the batteries whenever you change your clock for daylight savings time in the spring and fall. Replacing your smoke alarm batteries is easy and doesn’t take long! All you have to do is remove the cover or body by either twisting it, popping it with your fingers or opening it with a screwdriver, depending on the model. Then, you replace the old battery with the new one and close it back up. Be sure to try it out with the test button and wait for it to beep to make sure the batteries work, and you replaced it correctly.
TEST SPRINKLER AND IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
Testing your sprinkler and irrigation systems can help save you water and increase the lifespan of your plants. You will want to run the system and look for any heads that might be broken or damaged, exposed lines, as well as heads that might be spraying out into the street or onto your house.
TOUCH UP PAINT
If you are looking for a way to freshen up your home or increase its value, doing a simple task such as touching up the paint, can help brighten it up, making these areas look new again! Even if you choose to paint a room an entirely new color is an easy, inexpensive, and low-stakes solution to update your home compared to an entire bathroom or kitchen remodel. Be sure to touch up the outside too as hot summers and heavy storms can wear down exterior paint. Not only will this fix past damages, but it will also help protect from future ones that might occur and prevent exposed wood from rotting.
VACUUM AND DUST BEHIND LARGE PIECES OF FURNITURE AND APPLIANCES
When was the last time you moved the dresser in your room or cleaned behind the refrigerator? Chances are there are dirt and dust buildup behind there. Pull these larger items aside, including couches, tv stands, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers, and vacuum and dust around that area. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a few dog toys that got stuck under there or your lipstick you’ve been searching for!
WASH OUTSIDE SURFACES SUCH AS DECKS, DRIVEWAYS, AND FENCES
Taking some time to pressure wash outside surfaces such as your deck, driveway, and fence will help remove dirt and debris, making it look brand new! While you are doing this, be sure to check for damages such as cracks, warped or splintered boards, and lose/missing nails. If the finish on your wood deck is faded or worn, this would be a good time to stain and reseal it.