Spring has finally arrived in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. After the long, cold winter we experienced it is more important than ever to keep up with our Spring home maintenance. I recently fell upon a nice home maintenance checklist I thought I would share with you. The checklist is provided by the National Center for Healthy Housing, and can be downloaded by clicking here. Nice resource to help remind us of our home maintenance needs.
I would like to suggest the first thing is a complete inspection of the exterior of your home. Make a list of jobs to be completed and projects you may need to hire professionals to complete.
1. Clean gutters and downspouts. You may have cleaned both these items in the Fall, but with our Spring and Summer rain you will want to be sure they remained cleaned out. Also, test your system to be sure that water is being diverted away from the house.
2. Inspect your chimney for any cracks or damage. Staying on top of your aging chimney will insure a long life span.
3. Touch up peeling or damaged paint on the exterior of your home. This is one of those projects, if maintained on a regular basis, will extend the life or your last painting.
4. Wash your windows and inspect them closely as you clean. Look for cracked windows and calking that is beginning to deteriorate. Window maintenance will save you money in heating and cooling cost. This is also the time to put in screens on your windows and doors.
5. Cleaning decks and porches will be easily done before all the summer furniture is brought out. Power wash to remove stains and dirt that may have accumulated over the winter. This is a great opportunity to inspect the condition of your deck or porch for future maintenance needs.
6. Remove lint from the dryer exhaust with a long, flexible brush. This is a job that needs to be done a few times a year to insure safety. Creating a good system will make this project easy to stay on top of.
7. Service your lawn mower, trimmers and edgers - to insure you are ready for their heavy use over the summer months.
8. Rake the yard; remove branches and debris that may have accumulated over the winter months. Your lawn will love you for the special attention that helps aerate the ground and removes the dead material from last year. Be sure the yard slopes away from the house to help water drain away from the foundation. You may also notice your lawn needs special attention like fertilizer or other nutrients, our local farm supply stores and home supply stores carry all types of lawn care products to help you have a lush, green lawn.
9. Driveway and walkways need close inspection for good upkeep. Seal your driveway to insure it remains in good condition. Examine your walkways closely for cracks or unstable parts that would be easily tripped over.
10. Before you finish up your Spring home maintenance, finalize that list of bigger projects that may need to be accomplished this year. a. Did your roof show any signs of damaged shingles and possible leaks. b. Scan where your electrical line runs to your house to be sure the lines are free from tree limbs. c. If you home has a septic system, Spring-Summer-Fall is the best time to have it pumped.
Last but not least! It is time to bring out the summer furniture and air conditioner. This is when I get really excited because I can now start thinking about the flower pots and gardening. Home maintenance takes a little of your time each season but the reward is overwhelming. Enjoy your Spring!