Once the threat of winter has passed and you have dug out from the season of snow and ice, a simple spring home maintenance checklist of “honey-do” items will get your house ready for the much anticipated warmer weather. Make minor fixes now to avoid big expensive problems down the line by following this simple list of annual maintenance items.
This checklist of exterior spring cleaning items shouldn’t take you more than a single day and is a big time and money saver, if you can complete the list every year before the spring gets into full swing.
1. Touch Up Paint
Your house paint can last a long time with minimal maintenance, but one of the simplest ways to extend that life is by touching up chips or bubbles that have occurred a few times a year. Take a little brush and touch up any missing paint to prevent water from getting trapped behind the paint and causing premature failure and rot.
2. Inspect the Roof
Snow and ice take a toll on your roof no matter what material it is made from. Once the ice has all melted, give your roof a once over to check for items like missing or loose shingles, bent vent pipes or built up debris. It’s not always necessary to break out the ladder and climb up top, but if you’re careful, that always yields better results (just be careful!) Replace any missing shingles, clear off the built up leaves, branches, and other debris and inspect the flashing to make sure you’ll be leak free for those spring rains.
3. Clean the Gutters
Your gutters are inevitably clogged from those fall leaves you forgot to deal with so while you’re on the roof take the time to get them cleaned out and free flowing again. Clogged gutters are a major source of rotten fascia, soffit, and rafters so keeping them clear will avoid those expensive issues later. If you don’t already have some installed, get some leaf guards to keep them cleaner longer. I really like the Flexpoint Leaf Guards since they seem to do the best job of letting water through and keeping leaves out in my opinion.
4. Check Sprinklers and Hoses
Freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw. It takes a toll on plumbing fixtures outdoors, so before the hot summer months, get here and you really need those sprinklers give them a little test to see that you don’t have any broken pipes or misaligned sprinkler heads. I’ve seen a lot of misaligned sprinkler heads that were hit by the snow shovel over the winter spray their water on the house rather than the flowers. Adjust those sprinklers so they are not spraying on any part of the house creating a breeding ground for wood rot.
5. Touch up Exterior Furniture
Are those Adirondack chairs looking a little rough? Probably since varnish only holds up for a year or so outside. Now’s a great time to take those chairs and other outdoor furniture to the garage and get them resealed before the rainy season hits. You’ll want to wait for consistently warmer weather before doing the same to your deck because temps need to be above the mid 50’s even at night before you can apply new stains or sealers outdoors.
6. Windows & Doors
It may not be time to swap out the storm windows for the screens yet, but doing a spring tune up of your windows is always a good idea. Inspect them for any rot or missing glazing putty, replace broken glass or broken ropes as needed. If you need to pull the sash out for a little maintenance in the garage, you still have your storm window up and protection so this is a great time to do some work on your windows. Below is a spring tune up webinar I did for Indow in 2018 to give you some good ideas for quick improvements you can make to your windows in preparation for spring.
7. Service AC Unit
Before the summer is here you can save some money by getting your AC serviced in the off-season of early spring. Prices for service are usually lower and the schedules of local techs are much better. Plus, making sure your AC system is tuned and ready for the hot months now will give you some peace of mind because replacing it in July is way more painful than doing it in the cooler spring months.
Work your way through this simple spring home maintenance checklist one Saturday and you and your house will be ready to enjoy a problem free spring. Good luck and thank goodness spring is here!
Founder & Senior Editor
I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.