Spring Maintenance


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What tasks should be on my spring to-do list?

When old man winter finally leaves and gives way to the coming of spring, you should turn your attention to some important home maintenance tasks.

Yes ... "spring cleaning" chores are on the list. But, there's plenty more to do as you repair your home from the ravages of winter.
Exterior, Basement, & Foundation
(Click arrows for maintenance details)
Check siding for evidence of decay, splitting, cracking, or insect damage

Why

Regular maintenance keeps your siding looking new and lasting longer against the elements and unwanted pests. Whether it's vinyl, wood, or metal siding, all three types need to be maintained differently.

When

Spring

Related Advice

What sort of siding options do I have?

How do I maintain my home siding?

Related Video


Watch this video to learn what to consider when replacing your siding.

Who Can Help

Find a siding specialist who can help with any needed repairs.

What it Costs

How much does it cost to install home siding?

How much does it cost to repair dry rot?
Caulk the gaps around doors and windows

Why

Helps you save on heating and air conditioning bills as well as prevents moisture and insects from entering your home. Like preventing tooth decay, catching decaying wood early can avoid expensive repairs.

How

Check places like the corners of the trim around doors and windows, the bottom of the trim on doors where it meets the threshold, and the edges of siding where it meets corner boards of the house. If any of these joints are open, caulk them up with caulk rated for exterior use and follow the temperature instructions on the tube.

Related Advice

How can replacing windows help me save on utility bills?

What basics should I consider when choosing windows?

Related Video


Watch this video to learn about available window styles and materials.

Who Can Help

Call a window professional if you notice drafty air or uninvited pests making their way inside.

Carpenters can help if you need to replace rotten wood.

What It Costs

How much does it cost to repair dry rot?

When

Spring, Fall

Clean gutters and downspouts

Why

Prevents damage to your home's interior if flooding occurs through the foundation and walls. Clogged gutters cause water to sit, possibly allowing the water to seep in near your roof.

When

Spring, Summer

Who Can Help

Call a gutter professional to handle all of your gutter and downspout needs.

Related Video


Watch this video to learn what to consider when choosing and installing gutter guards.

Related Advice

Should I clean my gutters myself?

What kind of gutters should I have?

How do I hire a quality handyman?

What it Costs

How much does it cost to clean gutters?
Check the roof for needed repairs

Why

A leaky or damaged roof can cause major problems to the inside of your home, resulting in expensive repair costs. You'll want to inspect both the inside and outside of your home to discover possible warning signs of roof damage.

Related Advice

How do I hire the right roofer?

When is it time to replace my roof?

What sort of roofing options do I have?

How do I inspect my roof for leaks?

Who Can Help

Find a top-rated roofing contractor who can identify any type of roof problem.



When

Spring
Inspect the basement for moisture and rotten wood

Why

Wet basements and rotted wood often mean that there is a leaky pipe in the walls, a downspout that isn't draining away from the house, or possibly moisture coming in through a cracked concrete foundation.

Related Advice

How do I safely and effectively remove mold?

Who Can Help

Contact a water and fire damage professional who can inspect the potential damage and advise if mold is in the walls.

When

Spring

Call a chimney sweep

Why

You notice a sour smell around your chimney or see significant creosote buildup.

When

Spring

Related Advice

What should I consider when choosing a contractor?

Who Can Help

Though you can inspect the cap and masonry of your own chimney if you're brave enough to get on top of your roof, we advise you to contact a professional chimney sweep.
Pressure wash your home

Why

Removes harmful mold and mildew as well as gets rid of dirt that makes your home look older. Brightens sidewalks and driveways to complement the rest of the landscaping.

Related Advice

How do I hire a quality handyman?

Is this a do-it-yourself project or not?

Who Can Help

Locate one of the many pressure-washing professionals in your area.

When

Spring

Check for cracks in the masonry

Why

See if you have any cracks in the structural or veneer masonry -- for example, faux stone on the front of your home.

Related Advice

How do I find a quality mason?

What jobs call for a mason?

What are some masonry terms I should know?

Who Can Help

Call a masonry expert who can advise what steps to take if you find cracks in your masonry.

When

Spring

Lubricate all of your keyholes

Why

You don't want to break off your key in a keyhole that's been left untreated for too long.

When

Spring

Related Advice

How do I hire a quality handyman?

Is this a do-it-yourself project or not?

Who Can Help

You can try graphite powder or WD-40 on your own. However, if you still have issues with your keyholes, contact a locksmith for more assistance.

Check all window and door screens

Why

These barriers help keep out pests and whatever else the wind wants to blow into your home. If you have holes bigger than a quarter, you'll want to consider replacing the screen.

Related Advice

What projects could a handyman help me with?



Who Can Help

Call one of the many window and/or door professionals who can advise you what screens to replace.

When

Spring

Check your foundation, walls, and concrete floors

Why

If your home has symptoms of foundation problems like cracks in walls, sticking and swinging doors, or uneven floors, it may need foundation repair.

Related Advice

What are the signs that my home's foundation could have problems?

What should I consider when choosing a contractor?

Who Can Help

Contact an experienced contractor to get an accurate analysis of your home and design a foundation repair solution.

When

Spring

Remove and store storm windows and doors

Why

Storm windows and doors help keep in heated air during harsh winter conditions. Once spring comes around, it's time to put the storm windows and doors away.

Related Advice

How do I choose a window & door contractor?



Who Can Help

Though you probably could do the job yourself with a stepladder and a partner, call a window professional if you find the job is too hard to complete.

When

Spring

Check your driveway for cracks

Why

You want to avoid unsightly cracks in the driveway that take away from the exterior of your home. Also, some cracks are so severe that they could be considered safety hazards.

Related Advice

How do I find a quality mason?

What should I consider when choosing a contractor?

Who Can Help

Find a concrete professional who specializes in driveway repairs so you'll know the severity of the job at hand.

When

Spring

Interior & Appliance
(Click arrows for maintenance details)
Service the Heating and A/C system

Why

After the harsh winter cold where you probably kept the heat going more than usual, you'll want to get the entire system checked to make sure everything is in working order. Also, if you want to consider having your air ducts inspected for any mold or dust deposits, now is a good time to do this.

When

Spring

Related Advice

How do I find a good HVAC pro?

What services should an HVAC contractor perform?

What HVAC maintenance should I do myself?

How does my HVAC system work?

Related Video


Watch this video to learn the cost of an HVAC tune-up.

Who Can Help

The company that services your heating and cooling system will be an excellent source of advice. Or, contact other heating and cooling professionals to schedule an inspection.

Consider buying a programmable thermostat

Why

Helps you save energy and money without sacrificing comfort during various intervals of the day or night.

Related Advice

What improvements will help me save on my electric bill?



Who Can Help

Call a certified electrician to handle the installation for you.

When

Spring

Clean your carpets and upholstery

Why

Helps the overall appearance and makes it last longer. Also, keep in mind that clean carpets promote better health for the entire household.

Related Advice

How does professional carpet cleaning work?

How do I care for my carpet between cleanings?



Who Can Help

Call a professional carpet cleaner who can improve the appearance of your carpets and upholstery.

When

Spring

Test your attic or roof fans

Why

To make sure that power is getting to the thermostat and that the fan is functioning properly.

Related Advice

What are common tasks an electrician can help me with?



Who Can Help

You may need to hire a qualified electrician to make sure the power is getting to the fan motor as well as addressing any other issues.

When

Spring

Replace filters in the heating and A/C system

Why

Though you should be checking your filters once a month, a good rule of thumb is to get in the habit of checking them at the beginning of each cooling and heating season (spring and fall). Dirty filters slow air down, making the system work harder to heat or cool your home.

Related Advice

How do I find a good HVAC pro?

What services should an HVAC contractor perform?

How does my HVAC system work?

Who Can Help

Replacing filters are extremely easy and fairly inexpensive. However, call your local professionals who specialize in servicing your heating and A/C system if you'd like to leave this task up to them.

When

Spring, Fall

Drain and perform maintenance on your hot water heater

Why

It prolongs the life of the hot water heater if you remove minerals left behind in the tank. Clogged drain valves slow down the efficiency of the hot water heater, costing you more money in the long run.

Related Advice

How do I hire the right plumber?

How does a typical home plumbing system work?



Who Can Help

Not everyone is comfortable with draining hot water in this manner due to the possibility of getting scalded and burned. Consult with a professional plumber who can advise you on the best method to drain your hot water heater.

When

Spring

Backyard & Landscape
(Click arrows for maintenance details)
Reseal your deck if needed

Why

Throw a bucket of water on your decking to see if you need to reseal. If the water beads up, then your sealant is still working. If the water is absorbed by the decking, then it's time to get some sealant. Not resealing and/or staining your deck every year causes discoloration, dirtiness, roughness, and the likelihood of splintering.

When

Spring

Related Advice

How do I find a good deck pro?

What it Costs

How much should I expect to pay to stain a deck?

Who Can Help

Find a local deck professional that can clean and reseal your deck for several hundred dollars, or buy the materials you need at your local home center.

Have your lawnmower serviced before you use it

Why

Your lawnmower has been out of commission (or hibernation, if you will) for several months. You'll need to make sure the oil is changed, the blade is sharpened, the spark plug is firing, and the fuel and air filters are clean when the grass starts to green.

Related Advice

How do I maintain my lawn tools?

Who Can Help

If you don't want to fool with the hassle of tuning up your mower, contact local lawn service professionals who can get your mower ready for the grass-cutting season.

When

Spring

Check your irrigation system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly-working sprinkler heads

Why

Did you accidentally mow over a sprinkler head last year and you're just now realizing that it's not working properly? Bad valves and broken irrigation pipes can spell major damage and higher water bills if you're not careful.

Related Advice

Do you need a lawn analysis?

How do I hire the right lawn care company?



Who Can Help

Hire a qualified sprinkler repair person to assess the various problems you may be encountering and give you an estimate on what it'll cost to fix them.

When

Spring

Apply a pre-emergent to your lawn if you worry about weeds

Why

Weeds can quickly overtake your lawn if you don't take action at the right time. In the same manner that you'd put crabgrass pre-emergent down in the winter time to stop the growth at the beginning of the spring, try to get a feel as to when weeds begin to sprout in your climate area. Count backward three weeks from that time period and plan to apply a pre-emergent for weeds then.

Related Advice

How do I hire the right lawn care company?



Who Can Help

If you've missed the time frame for applying a pre-emergent, contact your local lawn professionals to help you eliminate unsightly weeds.

When

Spring

Cut back vegetation and overgrown bushes

Why

Overgrown bushes and vegetation don't just create eyesores for you and your neighbors. By not trimming them back, you're actually harming the plant/shrub's growth. Also, keep in mind that high bushes can often be great hiding places for thieves looking to get into your house.

Related Advice

What can a tree service do for me?

How do I hire the right lawn care company?

Who Can Help

Contact your local landscaping professionals if you don't have the tools to trim back overgrown bushes and vegetation yourself.

When

Spring

Check and service your swimming pool

Why

Since your pool was shut down for the winter, you'll need to verify that the filtration system and other parts are in working order before you jump in for the first cannonball of the swim season.

Related Advice

How should I care for my pool?

Should I hire a pool maintenance pro or do it myself?

How do I hire a quality pool contractor?

Who Can Help

Call one of the local pool service professionals who will know just how to get your pool up and running again.

When

Spring

Need a summer lawn care plan? Contact a pro

Why

Though the spring is when the grass starts to grow, you'll need a plan to prepare for the hot summer months when lawns are stressed and weeds can potentially take over.

Related Advice

Do you need a lawn analysis?

How do I hire the right lawn care company?

Who Can Help

Find a qualified lawn professional that can get you on a program that will ensure the life of your lawn.

When

Spring

 

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