Your Easy Spring and Summer Home Maintenance Checklist
With sun in the forecast and green grass underfoot, we’re here to present you with your complete spring and summer maintenance checklist for getting your home and yard in top shape. We hope the promise of great weather, outdoor gatherings, and all the seasons have to offer are motivation enough to get you going. If not, keep in mind that these small preventative steps stave off costly fixes, unsafe situations, and future headaches so you can enjoy your home to the fullest, now and every day.
Ready to go? We’ll be right here with you, from inspecting your roof to replacing the smoke detector batteries.
Spring Maintenance Checklist
Inspect the Roof
During the long, cold weather months, lingering outside to look at the roof is probably not at the top of anyone’s to-do list. Now that it is nice out, take some time to look for missing, sagging, or cracked shingles. They are not just an eyesore, they could be letting in the elements—or worse. Rain, snow, debris, and pests can all invade through cracks and holes, posing a bigger problem the longer they persist. If any damaged shingles are present, replace or repair them. Use safety precautions if tackling yourself or call a licensed service person to perform the job. While you are at it, clear the roof of all debris to boost the appearance of your exterior and reduce the chance of future roof damage.
If you are seeing green this time of year, you are not alone: moss growth on roofs is common. And those damaged shingles we just mentioned? They contribute to its spread. Caused by moisture, shade, and cool temperatures, moss often grows on roofs that face north or are shaded by large trees. After it takes hold, moss can cause asphalt shingles to lift, curl, or blow off in high winds. Prevent or banish moss by applying a solution of equal parts bleach and water. After 15 minutes, rinse it off. Even though it might seem faster, easier, and a tad more gratifying, do not pressure wash or scrub your shingles. The force could damage them.
Gutters & Downspouts
Easily regarded as every homeowner’s least favorite outdoor task, cleaning out the gutters and downspouts simply must be done. With hope, you followed our Fall and Winter Pahlisch Homeowner Maintenance Checklist before the weather turned cold and now have a head start on clearing out the gunk. An overfull gutter or downspout is much easier to avoid altogether than deal with after the fact.
Although typically not as rainy in most areas of the United States, the warmer months do see a deluge from time to time, putting these dutiful channels to the test. Leaves, seeds, branches, needles, and organic matter of all strains and sizes collect and build up. You have probably even seen weeds sprout up out of them on occasion. Clear gutters and downspouts of all impediments, and then watch to ensure water is free-flowing, not overflowing. The latter can flood interiors and damage exteriors when left unchecked.
Double-Check Doors & Windows
Caulking along windows and doors gives them a crisp, finished look and keeps leaks and drafts at bay. However, changing seasons and turbulent temperatures can cause caulking and trim to dry out, split, and crack. Check to make sure yours are intact and in place by doing a once-over of all doors and windows. One big benefit to keeping all caulking and trim in good working order is keeping out pesky bugs and other pests. Best of all, replacing caulk and trim is a fairly quick, simple, and cost-effective DIY job best done during dry weather.
Next, now that windows and doors will be propped open, left ajar, and used more frequently to access the outside, check for smooth movement, free from hitches or damage. Lubricate squeaks and sticking points with silicone spray, wash window screens, and check for rips. Every well-fitting, properly functioning part assists with energy efficiency, heating, and cooling.
Air It Out
Crawl spaces under homes need adequate airflow to ease humidity and keep air quality at optimal levels. Foundation vents are the answer. Open them during warmer months to promote circulation, and close them during colder months to fend off frozen pipes. For spring and summer, store away the foam blocks used to further seal off foundation vents—just remember where you put them! Come fall, you will want to put them back into position.
Tune-up the Sprinkler System
Performing sprinkler system fixes can be daunting, and rightly so—you can’t see the problems, after all. Check all valves in the green underground boxes, where leaks are easiest to spot. Survey the lawn for pooling water, where a faulty connection or split line may be the culprit. Last, replace damaged sprinkler heads or refit them with those that shoot farther, wider, or more directly if your landscaping or plantings have changed. Repair all leaks or call in the pros prior to using the system on a regular schedule. Unfortunately, putting pressure on a damaged system will likely lead to more equipment failures and mounting costs. When it is running properly, set your watering schedule to mornings and late evenings to maximize absorption.
Look for Leaks
Second to the sinking feeling of realizing a spigot has been left on entirely is the frustration of finding a faucet that has been leaking indefinitely. To catch drips before they do damage and ward off serious water-related problems, check all exterior spouts, including spigots, faucets, and hose bibbs (also known as a hose valve), for leaks. Inspect the hose carefully, especially if there were attachments connected to the hose bib during the winter months. Undetected issues could cause major damage inside your home when the hose bibb is turned on, which is, unfortunately, when major problems become apparent for the first time.
Assess the Air Ducts
Your heating and cooling systems work hard to achieve your perfect indoor temperature. Over time and depending on compounding conditions like air pollution, dirt, dust, and debris are bound to build up in your ducts. These irritants compromise the air quality of your home and the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.
When it comes to cleaning air ducts, calling in a service provider offers the most complete job. However, you can make a dent in the dirt with a few straightforward steps. First, you will want to inspect your air ducts and register while your system is running. Using a flashlight, look for dust blowing out. If you do, a cleanout and deeper look are likely warranted.
Beyond just the usual dirt and debris, what you are looking for in ductwork are red flags such as mold and rodent droppings. Hopefully, you will find little to no signs, but if you do, a quick vacuum cleanup followed by a thorough scrub down with bleach, water, and detergent is all you need. Before scrubbing, don a long-sleeve shirt, rubber gloves, and goggles to protect yourself from the harsh solution. When finished, let the air dry out thoroughly, and then seal the clean surfaces to slow future moisture and mold growth.
Summer Maintenance Checklist
Ready the A/C
By the time summer arrives, most homeowners are poised to flip the air conditioning switch to on. To make sure your system can kick into high gear when you need it, schedule a service call or scrutinize your A/C unit well before you’re on your way to overheating. Changing the air filter or washing a reusable one every one to three months is a great first step in keeping your system running smoothly. You’ll also want to clear the drainpipe regularly. If you sense that a vent isn’t distributing air as it should be, there could be a blockage. Bringing in a certified technician can help you figure out what is going on.
In the spring, temperatures don’t change as greatly as they do in the summer when daytime highs can hit dozens of degrees above morning lows. To ensure you are not watering when the majority of your efforts (and water bill) will quickly evaporate, reconsider your watering schedule. If you didn’t start sprinkling lawns and gardens in the morning or evening in the spring, now is the time to make that adjustment. Whether you’re watering by hand or with the aid of a sprinkler system, water when it is coolest to give your grass and plants a sufficient soak and the best chances of thriving.
Make Your Home Shine
The sunny weather and long days are great for home updates and repairs. If your home needs a new coat of paint, power washing, new windows, deck refinishing, or any other special attention, plan them for the summer months. Not only will you have the best conditions of the whole year, but you’ll also have the eye of friends, family, and neighbors taking note as they gather, play, and parade by during the many outdoor events and activities taking place this time of the year. Who doesn’t love a few oohs and aahs of appreciation?
Check Your Detectors
With firepits, sparklers, citronella candles, and barbecues all in full effect, summer is an apt time to test both your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly. Replace batteries if necessary and swap out any units not performing as they should be. Don’t forget to confirm your fire extinguisher hasn’t expired or gotten moved to the back of the closet. Even though it’s summer and we’re outdoors more, being prepared for the unexpected is always in season.
Keeping up on Home and Yard Maintenance
We hope our Pahlisch Homes seasonal maintenance checklists guide your home and yard upkeep and make it easy to stay on top of your responsibilities as a homeowner. (Our handy list for Fall and Winter is available in the Front Porch section of our website.) Though they won’t always be the most enjoyable part of your weekend, these tasks are designed to help you maintain the value, safety, and integrity of your home—as well as the joy of owning it.
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