Spring is about to do it’s thing! Finally! A break in the cold, rainy, dreary winter we have had! And Spring is a perfect time to do some cleaning both inside and outside your home. Everyone focuses on the inside aspect of Spring cleaning and leaves out all the important items that need to be addressed outside your home. But not to worry, I’ve compiled a trusty guide (with included FREE checklist!) to make sure the outside of your home is well taken care of too! Our Spring outdoor home maintenance guide will give you a through list to check on your home to make sure that you don’t miss a thing!
Plan of Attack
This guide will give you a checklist that includes a top to bottom house once over on the outside of the house, a list of the mechanical maintenance that needs to be assessed, yard and flowerbed recommendations, fencing checks, and a garage cleanout. All rolled up into one handy checklist!
Home Top To Bottom Check
When the weather breaks, you want to do a thorough check of the house from top to bottom to make sure that the winter weather hasn’t caused any damage to your home that needs repair. It’s much easier to repair a small issue than a much bigger one later. So I say, start at the top of the house and work your way down.
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Check for any leaks or missing shingles. Also check the roof for overall wear and tear. Generally, you can expect your roof to last 15-ish years. Here’s a guide for signs to look for when you are checking your roof.
Get in the attic with a flashlight and check for leaks. Make sure everything up there is dry and stored away from any mechanical equipment. Check also to make sure your insulation is still looking fine up there as well.
You want to make sure your gutters are all clear and clean and ready for those April showers that will bring the May flowers. There could be lots of leaves and twigs and debris from the winter. So make sure you take a look and ensure that the gutters are all cleaned out.
Favorite Products for Gutter Cleaning:
- Aluminum Gutter Guard
- Gutter Cleaning Pressure Washer Extension
- Gutter Cleaning Brush with Pole Extension
Walk around the entire house and check for cracks in the bricks or missing pieces of siding. It’s much easier to fix small cracks now versus big cracks later.
Favorite Products for Siding Cleaning:
Ensure that your windows are opening properly. Give them a good cleaning, check to make sure their seal is still good and clean off the screens as well. Also, check to see if you need to add any caulking to the window to ensure any unwanted air isn’t making its way into the house.
Favorite Window Cleaning Products:
- Professional Window Cleaning Combo – Squeegee & Microfiber Window Scrubber
- Unger Professional Streak-Free EasyGlide Glass Cleaner Concentrate
- Windex Outdoor Window, Glass, & Patio Cleaner with Hose Attachment
Check all your doors to make sure the weatherstripping is in good shape. If not, replace it. You don’t want to let hot summer air into your house and drive up your electric bill.
Make sure the foundation of the house looks good. Check for any visible cracks. Also check to make sure your yard is draining well and that there are no puddles near the foundation of the house when it rains. You do not want standing water right next to the foundation of your house.
Exterior Clean Up
Pressure wash the outside of the house if needed to get any dirt, dust and mildew off the house. Especially if you have siding.
Touch Up Paint
Touch up any exterior paint that needs attention. Check your doors, shutters and trim to see if they need any touch up, or even to be totally repainted.
Check to make sure all your outdoor lighting is working correctly. Change out any bulbs that aren’t working. Call in an electrician if changing the bulbs doesn’t get the light fixtures working.
Driveways, Retaining Walls, Sidewalks
Check the driveways and sidewalks for cracks. For smaller cracks, it’s easy enough to repair. For larger cracks, you may need a bigger repair job, or even to re-pave the driveway. For your retaining walls, make sure there are no large cracks that need attention as well. If you do have cracks and aren’t sure about what to do with them or if it’s significant enough to cause a problem, call a landscape architect to come and take a look.
Now that the outside of the house is checked, let’s make sure all the mechanical components of the house are working well.
You should have your HVAC unit checked and serviced every fall and spring. Additionally, in the spring, we have an annual plumbing inspection as well as an annual electric inspection. If you have an irrigation system for your yard, now is also the time for getting that annual inspection. It’s really important to keep on top of your home’s mechanical systems. As always, small repairs early make for a MUCH cheaper fix than a big repair later!
You should have your mowers and weed-eater’s serviced in the spring to make sure they are serviced and ready to go for the season. Don’t neglect the mower, especially if you have a nice one. It needs to be serviced, oil changed (maybe) and the belts to be inspected. They have a long mowing season ahead.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
These are hugely important for home safety. Do not neglect to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Change out the batteries every 6 months. I like to do it when the time changes, it serves as a good reminder to change the batteries and on each unit. If you have gas of any kind in your house (hot water heater, stove, heat, etc) then you need a carbon monoxide detector. You can get the kind that plugs into the wall, it doesn’t even have to be hard-wired into the house.
Check your outlets, especially in places/rooms you don’t usually frequent. Make sure none of them have tripped and turned off the electric socket. For example, we had a freezer in the garage, plugged into one such outlet. I hadn’t gotten into the freezer for at least a week or so, and hadn’t realized that the GFI Outlet had tripped, and turned off the socket. Cue to a ruined freezer and a LOT of gross and ruined food.
PSA – Also, you need a freezer alarm to prevent this kind of moment
Yards, Porches, Decks, Fences and Flowerbeds
Clean up any remaining leaves, twigs and branches. If you have any bare patches, you can put out a little grass seed and fertilize the seeds and grow a few new patches of grass. Check for any irrigation issues as well. Clear out any weeds and clover in the grass as well.
Clean off your porch and sweep it clean. If it’s got any serious dirt or staining from the winter you could also pressure wash the porches while you are cleaning the house siding.
For your decks, check for any loose boards and make any necessary repairs. Pressure wash the deck to keep it clean and mildew free as well. This is also a great time to clean up the patio furniture and get it ready for the warmer months. While you are cleaning the outdoor areas, also give your grill a good once over and get it cleaned up for the season.
Side note: Clean your grill, clean your grill, clean your grill. Read about our great grill fire of Easter 2019 here for why you need to CLEAN YOUR GRILL!
Much like your deck, check for any loose boards or sections. Clean the fence if necessary, with the power washer. You should re-stain any wooden fences every 3-5 years.
To get your flowerbeds ready for spring and summer, make sure you clear out all the weeds and dead plants. Trim back any perennials that died out in late fall. Once you trim them back, they can start making their Spring comeback! Put in some fresh soil and mulch where needed as well. Now is an excellent time to trim and prune your bigger trees and shrubs. As I mentioned earlier, get your irrigation system inspected and ready to go during the Spring as well.
The fun part of the flowerbed clean up is to assess what will be coming back to life and what you want to add
Garage Clean Up and Clean Out
Each Spring, you should do a full garage clean out. Take everything out that you can and sweep and clean the area. Then as you put stuff back in you can get it organized and throw away and/or donate unused items that are just taking up space. This is a great time to de-clutter as best you can. If you have multiples of tools or items, donate them and get them out of your way.
This is a great opportunity to wash out your big garbage cans. Those things can get truly disgusting. You want to clean them up a little before the warmer months, when the odors will get unmentionably yucky.
Wrap Up – Spring Outdoor Home Maintenance Guide
And there you have it! A comprehensive plan to make sure the outside of your home as well as it’s mechanical systems are working beautifully! Obviously, you can’t do this all in one day. But you can use your handy printable checklist and knock a few things off each weekend until you are done. Just a little work now ensures that your home will be operating smoothly and look beautiful for years to come.
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