There's more to spring cleaning than getting rid of the dust and cobwebs. Think of it as a time to give your home a facelift. With so many things that need tending, don't try to tackle all those home maintenance tasks in one day. It’s a lot easier if you prioritize with a checklist. Here are six ideas to get you started.
1. Air Cooling
This chore actually falls under home maintenance tasks. Those hot, humid days will be here before you know it, and the last thing you want is the air conditioner to be on the fritz. And good luck getting an HVAC repair person in the middle of the summer!
● Clean or replace filters.
● Inspect oil motors, clean condenser coils.
● Check the electrical components and control knobs.
Refrigerant levels are very important. If they’re too low, the compressor can burn out, causing a costly repair. When it comes to heating and air conditioning, hiring a professional is your best bet.
2. Roof, Gutters, and Downspouts
Roof inspections are best left to professionals. But if you’re the adventurous type, climb onto the roof to see if any shingles are loose or missing. Check out the chimney for missing mortar, loose rubber or flashing. Winter takes its toll on rooftops; snow and heavy rains produce a lot of weight and water. Flush out the gutters from leaves, twigs, and other types of gunk.
It's the perfect time to add a coat of paint to the gutters — after you remove any rust and debris.
3. Fawn Over the Lawn
Getting ready for the growing season starts with lawn mower maintenance. Before you care for the lawn by over-seeding and fertilizing, make sure your mower’s ready. Sharpen the blades and clean or replace the spark plugs. Loose or dirty plugs make it difficult for the mower’s starter to ignite, and dull blades won’t cut well. You can sharpen the blades yourself, but it may be faster to take the mower to a hardware store for a quick tune-up.
4. Flowerbeds and Gardens
The life of spring begins with colorful flowers, sharp greenery, and the promise of tasty fruits and vegetables. Rake flower beds and gardens to remove dead foliage, stems, grasses, debris, and fallen branches. If it’s not too muddy, you can use a tiller, but otherwise, rakes and hoes are the way to go for prepping the beds. Hit the garden store for new flowers, shrubs, and trees. Break out the hanging baskets, lawn ornaments, bird feeders, and anything else you have to brighten up your landscape.
This is also the time to spruce up your landscape lighting. Rope lighting will highlight your flower beds. Solar light sticks will add a measure of safety and ambiance to your front and back yards.
5. Paint, Seal, Stain
With cool temperatures, spring is a good time for simple maintenance to your house’s exterior. Scrape off chipped and peeling paint for a new coat. Seal permeable wood to keep it from rotting. Fences, decks, shutters, windows, and doors can use a new coat of paint or stain every now and then. A well-maintained property gives your home curb appeal.
With all the stuff you have to do outside, it’s easy to overlook a spring makeover for the interior of the house. Buy some new and colorful items to add to your everyday décor. Indoor plants, lighting, seat covers, and tablerunners are easy and inexpensive ways to brighten up the house for spring and summer.
Houses take time and money to maintain. It’s part of the package. But making lists and budgets help you to keep the home improvement projects flowing all year long. And there’s no shame in knowing when to say, “ah, forget this” and hiring a professional.
Zoe Papadakis is a retired financial adviser and an avid do-it-yourselfer. She enjoys doing yard work, building furniture and remodeling projects around her house. She recently built a new gazebo for the backyard.