Spring is the traditional time for cleaning your home from top to bottom. It should also become a habit to conduct a full home maintenance routine.
As South Carolina warms up from the winter months, it’s the perfect time to head outdoors and find out how everything fared.
Here’s our spring maintenance checklist with 16 tips to help you find and repair any damage as well as get your home ready for summer.
1. Winter Damage Inspection
A thorough visual inspection of the outside of your home is an excellent first step in your spring maintenance routine. Start at the top of your home looking for any roof damage, including loose or missing shingles. Next up is damaged siding or trim, gutter and downspout damage, cracks in sidewalks or driveway, and even chimney tilt.
You might be tempted to note minor damage and dismiss doing anything about it until next spring. But that may be a costly error. It’s far better to fix minor problems before they become major headaches.
2. Home Foundation Inspection
Next up is examining your home’s foundation for any cracks, bulges, or gaps between the soil and the foundation walls where water can pool. Winter weather can not only cause cracking but ice buildup can expand any existing cracks. Couple that with wet soil freezing and frost heave, and you could have the start of something big. If anything looks damaged, schedule a free inspection from Mount Valley Foundation Services.
3. Foundation Landscaping
The landscaping immediately around your foundation can cause serious damage if left to itself. Check that shrubs and trees along with any root growth are cut back well away from the foundation. The overall slope of the landscape is also important to prevent the pooling of water while routing it well away from the foundation. This will also help your gutters and downspouts do their jobs as well.
4. Yard Cleanup
A great deal of debris can collect in your yard over the winter. Now’s the time to remove broken tree limbs, leaves, and dead flowers or plants. Mowing and edging for that first time can really spruce up things. Adding new mulch can also make a big difference.
5. Lawn Seeding
Once your yard is cleaned up, you’ll probably find some bare spots. This is the perfect time to seed those spots to allow the new grass to establish itself before summer heat and rainstorms. Make sure you pick the right seed for your lawn, the amount of shade, and match the existing grass.
6. Tree and Shrub Pruning
Trees and shrubs keep growing and can overwhelm the rest of your landscape. Spring is the best time to cut back excess growth along with any dead branches and limbs. Make sure you cut them back from your home to allow airflow and sunshine to help reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth. It’s also a good idea to remove any tree branches that hang over your roof to prevent future windstorm damage from falling limbs.
7. Gutter and Downspout Cleaning
Properly functioning gutters and downspouts are absolutely essential to prevent rainwater from pouring onto your foundation. Spring and fall are good times to clear out the leaves and remove any obstructions in the downspouts. Consider installing gutter guards to prevent leaves from collecting in the gutters.
8. Outdoor Drainage Clearing
Leaves can clog your rainwater drainage system. Make sure you clear storm drains and downspout extensions. Wash out the pipes with a garden hose and get them ready to handle the rain.
9. Irrigation System Testing
It’s not always about removing water. Sometimes you need to water your lawn, trees, and shrubs. Turn on your irrigation system and walk each sprinkler zone to make sure it’s working and identify the pipes and sprinkler heads that need to be repaired. It’s also the right time to make adjustments to sprinkler coverage and waterflow to better manage water application.
10. Outdoor Plumbing Check
Outdoor faucets can freeze and crack during the winter. Spring is the time to test them and repair them if needed. Heat pumps and AC units can also be damaged during the winter as well as pool equipment. They should all be a part of your outdoor inspection. It’s also best to fix the small problems before they become costly major repairs.
11. Screen Door and Window Repair
Bugs are generally a problem in our climate. But they can be a real nuisance if they easily find their way into homes through slight tears or even small holes in the screens. Inspect the screens and replace those that are badly damaged. For small holes you can find repair kits at a hardware store.
12. Pest Damage Review
Look for damage at roof level from birds, squirrels, and flying insects. Bird nests frequently crop up in the spring. At ground level watch for ants, termites, and even burrowing animals. Seal up cracks and holes that you find to prevent entry.
13. Deck and Siding Power Wash
Over the winter, a great deal of dirt, mud, and grime collected on your deck and siding. Use a pressure washer set to the right flow for the particular wood or siding to clean all this off. It will give you a nice, clean start to the summer.
14. Fence and Deck Sealing
After you’ve cleaned the deck and repaired any damage you find, it’s a good time to stain and seal the wood. Do this at least every other year to maintain the wood and protect it from heat, humidity, and rainstorms.
15. HVAC System Service Scheduling
The worst time to need air conditioning repairs is during the hottest day of the year. That’s when the repair service is swamped with work and your family is grumbling about your lack of preparation. Make this a regularly scheduled service in early spring and add a fall scheduled service as well for setting up the furnace for winter.
16. Summer Projects Listing
You’ve probably been cooped up indoors over the winter, if not most of this past year. In that time, you’ve no doubt collected a lot of ideas for home improvement and even adding some new living spaces. That could include a home gym, office, or fan cave.
Collect your improvement list, add in the springtime maintenance items you identified in the checklist above, then prioritize them for scheduling throughout the summer.
If your list of improvements included adding more space, a finished basement could be the answer. But the basement needs to be fully waterproofed before you get started on that type of project.
That’s where the foundation and basement experts at Mount Valley Foundation Services can come into play. We can help with basement or crawl space projects as well as the foundation issues you may have found during your inspection. Contact us for a free inspection and repair estimate.