Get your home ready for the warmer months with these tasks and tips for indoor and outdoor spaces. Do it all yourself, or hire a pro to help check things off your spring maintenance to-do list.
Check Railings, Fences, and Walkway
Winter weather can be hard on driveways, railings, and fences. Check for loose railings around the house, but particularly those at stairs, which might have provided a bit more support than usual during slippery winter weather. Pay special attention to railings secured in concrete, which can crack and expand in freezing conditions. Similarly, evaluate driveways and sidewalks for any cracks and unevenness that could be tripping hazards. Also, look over fences to see if any repairs are necessary from things like snowblower impacts or a long season of wind blowing on old materials.
Adding weather stripping, repainting, and fixing cracked glass will all help make sure your windows look good and protect your home from the summer heat. If you’re ready for an overhaul, spring is a good time to invest in new energy-efficient windows. Indoors, try switching out window treatments for something that provides more energy savings to the home, like honeycomb shades (cellular shades) that block solar heating but still allow for natural light.
Clear the Roof and Gutters
“Inspect the roof for any piles of leaves or debris that may build up on the roof,” say Rooster and Travis, the team behind ATL Handyman. “Leaves tend to hold moisture, which is bad for your roof; simply blowing them away with a leaf blower can save you money on leaks and repairs.” While you’re up there, check the gutters: look for blockages, disconnected sections, holes, or other damage that might deter their effectiveness during heavy rain.
Update Exterior Lighting
Days might be getting longer, but outdoor lighting is more important than ever as you start taking activities outside. Check existing outdoor light fixtures around the house and yard (don’t forget the garage) and replace any burned-out bulbs or solar lights that no longer hold a charge. Make sure motion-sensing lights are functioning, too. Consider adding lights to pathways and drop-offs, like front steps or landscape perimeters, for maximum safety when it’s dark. You can also enhance curb appeal by updating existing fixtures with a new style.
Refresh Exterior Paint and Stain
Whether touching up your deck or giving the whole house a new look, spring is a great time for painting and staining projects. “The weather is usually warming up, but not yet reaching those hot summer temps, giving homeowners optimal conditions to complete a paint or stain project outside,” says Erin Bovenzi, associate brand manager for Valspar. “Another advantage to painting in the spring is that trees and shrubbery are just starting to bloom, which lessens the possibilities of landscaping and foliage being in the way of our exterior projects.” Bovenzi also notes that spring is when more homeowners start putting their houses on the market again, and a good-looking exterior can help increase the value of the home.
Service the Air Conditioner
Air conditioners work hard in the summer–and so do AC technicians. Koenig recommends beating the busy time by having your air conditioner serviced early, rather than later when service rates are higher and wait times are longer. A full AC tune-up includes cleaning condenser coils, checking coolant, replacing air filters and faulty parts, and more. For window AC units, this how-to guide will help you do a good DIY seasonal cleaning.
Fix Damaged Screens
Screens on windows and doors keep bugs and debris outside, so that you can open your home to fresh air. But they easily fall victim to pet claws, weakening due to tension over time, and even some hungry insects. Get ready for that first warm spring day by looking over your screens and making repairs or replacements as needed. Spring is also a great time to enhance outdoor entertaining by installing porch screens.
A thorough power washing will have the exterior of your home renewed for the season. It’s a fast way to get rid of salt and grime that builds up over the winter months. Many surfaces, including driveways, concrete pavers, decks, and siding, can be power-washed. Use this guide to get an idea of what you shouldn’t power-wash around your home.
Tackle Outdoor Landscaping
Caring for your yard and garden is definitely a year-round activity, but there’s some particular finesse to reviving landscaping after cold, wet months. Between pruning, planting, and fertilizing, there are a number of tasks to ready the yard. This spring gardening checklist is organized from early- to late- spring, so you won’t miss a beat. While you’re outside, be sure to remove debris around the AC unit so it can run most effectively and efficiently.
Address the Mailbox
A common springtime complaint is that street-adjacent mailboxes get pretty beat up (or entirely knocked down) during snow collection and removal. Landscaping around the area might be damaged as well. Once the snow piles are gone, check to make sure your mailbox is upright, sturdy, and the door can open and close easily. Does it need a new coat of paint? New bigger, brighter house numbers? Is it visible from the road for visitors and/or emergency personnel to find your home?
Kristina McGuirk, Better Homes & Gardens