How To: Get an Old House Ready for Spring

By Scott Sidler April 30, 2018

how to get an old house ready for springSpring is upon us and it’s time to do a little seasonal maintenance for your old house to keep things humming into the summer. I’ve put together this little guide to help you focus on what matters and make the most of your Honey-Do list. This spring checklist can be completed in one Saturday (unless you have a sprawling mansion) so pick a nice weekend and knock this out before summer makes the work unbearably hot.

Every season has a simple list of things you should do around the house to get it ready for the upcoming weather change that inevitably follows. Working through a simple list for each season is a huge help in preventative maintenance. Little seasonal fixes yield big returns in keeping damage at bay. So, let’s dig into your springtime list.

#1 Clean the Gutters

Yes, it’s tons of fun, but cleaning your gutters before the spring rains hit in earnest keeps things flowing and prevents overflows and clogs in the gutters. Clogged gutters are, in my humble opinion, the biggest cause of rot on old houses. Clogged gutters overflow rotting the soffit, fascia, and rafter tails as well as creating splash back, which rots the bottom portions of siding. Keep them clean or suffer the wrath of rot.  While you’re at it, check out my earlier post about My 5 Secrets to Prevent Wood Rot and don’t miss the short video about gutters at the end of this post.

#2 Swap Storms & Screens

If you have storm windows on your house, it’s time to take them down and put up the screens to enjoy the nice spring weather. If you leave your screens up all winter or storms up all summer, they will wear out faster and suffer more damage, so, keep each piece to the season it deserves.

#3 Touch Up the Paint

Once the temps warm up above 50°F consistently, take this time to go around with your exterior paint and do minor paint touch ups where you see any missing spots. You might need to do a little scraping here or there first. Touching up your exterior paint helps keep water at bay and can extend your paint job by up to 6 years in many cases if you’re diligent! That’s a major savings in painting costs and rot repair later.

#4 Tune Up the AC

Before it gets really hot out and the AC companies start charging an arm and a leg for inspections and maintenance, it’s best to get your AC unit tuned up and inspected. Clean off any leaves or debris that have gathered over the winter and have a professional come inspect and perform annual maintenance on it before you’ll be miserable without it should it break. While you’re at it, change the filters inside as well.

That’s it! A simple list that anyone can conquer in a single Saturday. Remember to be safe when you break out that ladder for any high up work. Knock out this list and you can be sure that your old house will be ready for a killer summer!

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1 thought on “How To: Get an Old House Ready for Spring”

  1. Ladder 101:
    – for extension ladders, make sure you have the correct side against the house. The steps should be level to receive your foot.
    – put your toe against the foot of the ladder and reach for a rung with the same side arm. Your hand should naturally grasp a rung. That’s how you know you have the right angle. If not, adjust the latter so it’s at the right angle.
    – step on the bottom rung and bounce a little to make sure the ladder won’t shift as you climb it.
    – keep your center of gravity over the ladder and don’t reach too far. If you have to reach too far, move the ladder instead.
    Stay safe!

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