Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Posted by Steve Harmer on Monday, March 21st, 2016 at 4:00pm.

Spring in KamloopsSigns of spring include robins appearing, crocuses poking through the earth, buds popping out on tree branches — and homeowners who start thinking about maintenance work.

There are many possible tasks, but some should take priority. From the top down, here are spring projects that will help keep your house in tip-top condition.

Gutter Guard

Winter conditions dumped debris back into the trenches, so it’s time for the springtime gutter purge. As long as you can reach gutters safely, climb a ladder and pull out the accumulated muck. Blast water from a hose to clean the downspout. If gutters are out of reach, it doesn’t mean you get a pass on this chore. Call a professional.

Roof Reconnaissance

While you’re already on the ladder cleaning out gutters, examine your roof. Look for misshapen or missing shingles. Check flashing, which are the strips of material that divert water from seams and joints, for rust or excessive wear. Note if caulking is still in good shape. Small problems should be fixed before they turn into big headaches. If roof repair isn’t in your wheelhouse, seek expert help.

Paint Perks

Pressure wash your Kamloops houseUsing a pressure washer, hose down your siding to prevent mold. Then scan the whole house for exposed wood and peeling paint. Scrape off flaking paint, sand damaged areas, apply primer, and then paint

Sill Study

Take a walk outside to look at your home’s windowsills and doorsills. Winter is sometimes tough on these areas, and they deteriorate over time. Replace caulk if you find gaps wider than a nickel. You might also have to plug cracks or repaint surfaces.

From the inside, do another door check. If you see daylight through the crack around your door, install weather stripping because it keeps air conditioning inside.

Wash Windows

You may not have noticed the gradual build up of window grime during the winter, but it’s there. Before you use glass cleaner, brush or vacuum out the sills and window tracks.

Are you familiar with the “weep holes” in your sills? They ensure rainwater empties outside, unless they’re clogged. Check for blockage by pouring a little water into the sill. If it drains, great. If not, insert a wire into the hole, and nudge out the obstruction.


Screen Setup

Kamloops windows screenNow that your windows are clean, it’s time to switch out storm windows for screens, so you can let fresh spring air inside. But don’t install dirty screens.

If they’re dusty or a little dirty, spiff them up with the dust-brush attachment of your vacuum. Significant acclamation means you’ll have to use a soft-bristle scrub brush. Use water and a non-ammonia cleanser, and then rinse thoroughly.

Look for holes. Fix them, or replace damaged screens.

Don’t install wet screens. Let them dry in the sun.

Porch Purge

Sweep away detritus that’s gathered on your porch, steps and patio. Then use a long-handled deck broom or brush and all-purpose cleanser to remove stubborn dirt. Hose off the surfaces completely.

Conditioner Cleaning

Prepare your air conditioner, so it’s ready at a moment’s notice. Spring temperatures can unpredictably soar. First, make sure the power to the outside condenser is off. Then use a hose, power blower or vacuum cleaner to clear out leaves, twigs and other refuse.

Be especially gentle around any exposed cooling fins, because they’re bendable. Finish by vacuuming the registers indoors.

Foundation Fixes

Take a walk around your house to inspect the foundation. Plug holes with expandable foam. Scout for signs of pests, such as small droppings or termite wings.

Rake away leaves that accumulated along the foundation. They make lovely rodent nests.

If you seen hairline foundation cracks, don’t panic. They can occur when concrete cures or the structure settles. Put pieces of tape on any cracks, and revisit them during the summer. If there’s no expansion, seal cracks with an epoxy-injection system. But if cracks expand, it’s time to seek the opinion of a structural engineer.

Kamloops Sidewalk Pressure washingSidewalk Spray

Use a pressure washer to clean your sidewalk and driveway. Clear the surfaces first to get rid of dirt and debris. Since you don’t have a cool alternative fuel street sweeper, you’ll have to use a plain old broom.

Protect your doors and windows with plastic sheeting. Then be sure to follow the pressure washer directions. 

Degrease the area with a product designed for this purpose. Then clean the space with detergent.

If you use salt or sand on ice during the winter, don’t let residue run onto your lawn or garden. After a thorough cleaning, coat your driveway with a waterproof sealer.

Concrete Cure

Fix cracks in your concrete or asphalt driveway and sidewalk. Surface cracks and chips are definitely do-it-yourself jobs. Use a cement mix from your local hardware store.

For bigger problems, call a professional. Deep cracks and sunken or buckled concrete is usually outside the skillset of the typical homeowner.

Pump Probe

In many parts of the country, spring weather brings melting snow and rain. Make sure your basement will stay dry by testing your sump pump.

The pit, or sump, is part of a warning system for the pump. When the hole gets too full, water is forced outside.

Test your pump by pulling up on the float, as if a rising water level had lifted it. If the pump starts working, you’re all set.

When you start welcoming the signs of spring, it’s time to give your home a little TLC. How do you prepare your home for season? Let me know in the comments.

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