By Jason Bekebrede
President, HBA of Greater Springfield
For home owners, warmer weather means it’s time to get organized and tackle your spring home maintenance jobs early so you – and your home – can enjoy the change of seasons with minimal stress.
It can be daunting to take on a long list of chores and repairs, but remember that putting in a little effort now will save you time and money in the long run. Following this list will help you get started.
Windows: Make sure all your windows are securely in place and operating properly. If you like having your windows open in the spring, install screens in your windows and storm doors. First make sure the screens are clean by gently washing them with soapy water.
Next, clean the window tracks and take a close look at all of the weatherstripping. You don’t want any cracks or tears letting hot air in or cool air out during the hotter months. Nothing can ruin summer fun like an unexpectedly high energy bill.
Interior: Get a professional to clean and inspect your air conditioning system. If it has a filter, make sure it’s been replaced within the last three months to keep everything working efficiently.
With warmer weather comes every home owner’s nightmare: pests. Seal any cracks along baseboards, behind sinks, and around pipes and windows. Mend holes in windows and screens to keep pests outside your home where they belong.
Termites are one of the most harmful household pests. Check for sagging floors and ceilings and note any dry, brown tunnels in the ground near your home’s foundation. Finding signs of termites early on can save you a ton of money in the future.
Exterior: First, take a walk around the entire perimeter of your home and check the condition of glazing compound, caulk, and exterior paint. Replace or touch up wherever need.
You’ll also want to give some time and attention to your landscaping earlier rather than later. Seed and feed the lawn, plant annuals, and cut back any perennials that need pre-growth pruning.
Check your roof for any signs of winter damage, whether from heavy snowfall or fallen debris. While you’re up there, go ahead and clean out your gutters, even if you already did it in the fall. Winter storms can cause a surprising amount of debris to build up, and you don’t want clogged gutters during the early spring rainfall.
Let’s Talk Safety: It can be easy to get carried away with spring home maintenance, but safety should always be your top priority.
Ladders: Ladders can be extremely dangerous if not used properly. Accidents most often occur if ladders are improperly placed or secured, or if you’re using the wrong size ladder for the job at hand. Follow these tips to stay safe:
- Read all warning labels and follow directions closely.
- Only use ladders on a stable, level surface.
- Keep your body centered on the ladder. Never lean over either side rail.
- Never stand on the top two rungs.
- Only use a step ladder when fully opened and in locked position. Never use a ladder when closed or partially open and leaning against a structure.
- Don’t work within 10 feet of overhead power lines. They can pose a serious electrical hazard.
Yard Tools: Doing yard work can mean you’re working with some serious pieces of machinery. If you’re determined to do it all yourself, make sure to wear appropriate eye, body, and hearing protection for the entire project. Never remove any guards or safety devices. And remember to always service your lawnmowers yearly.
Looking for some help with your home maintenance tasks? Log on to HBAHomePros.com for a list of professionals who can help you tackle your to-do list.