The new season means it’s time to declutter your wardrobe, wash your windows and (finally) wipe down your oven. But when it comes to spring cleaning, don’t neglect some of the bigger home maintenance tasks. They may not be the most fun way to spend a weekend, but you’ll save yourself serious time and money by tackling these jobs annually. Here’s a handy checklist for the spots every homeowner needs to pay attention to this spring. Last thing on your to-do list? Reward yourself with a refreshing seasonal cocktail when you’re done.
Inspect the Exterior of Your Home
That means checking the roof for damage, examining the chimney (get the flue cleaned by a certified chimney sweep) and looking at the surrounding concrete for any signs of cracks or movement. Also make sure to inspect the house itself for paint chips and holes or anything else that needs repairing.
Do a Safety Check
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (refer to the manual for how to do this) and make sure that your fire extinguisher is in working order. Now, you should actually be doing all of this monthly, but if you aren’t (ahem, guilty), then now’s the perfect time.
Get Your Garden Ready
Get your backyard in prime BBQ party shape by pulling out weeds, adding compost, cleaning the deck, taking stock of all your garden tools, cleaning the grill and rinsing any outdoor furniture.
Clean Out Everything
It’s time to get rid of leaves and debris from the previous season and ensure that there’s nothing obstructing your gutters so that water can flow smoothly. (Because, spring showers.)
Check the Attic and Basement
Mold and pests are two common concerns, so be on the lookout for any signs of damage. For mold, check for visible growth (usually black or green spots) or use the sniff test—mold has a damp and musty smell. And you’ll know if you have a pest problem if there’s any physical damage to walls or furnishings, but also look out for droppings. Call in the experts if you suspect a problem.
Check Your AC
Now’s the time to make sure that your air conditioner is in good condition (not when it’s the first day of summer and a sweltering 90 degrees). Filters should be changed on a regular basis and you want to make sure that your unit is nice and clean (this means that it will operate more efficiently). If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning and servicing your unit yourself (like us) or if there were problems with the AC last summer, then call in a qualified heating and cooling contractor.
Check for Air Leaks and Seal Windows
Now that you’ve checked your AC, make sure all that wonderful, cool air stays inside (and the hot summer air stays out) by getting rid of drafts. There’s no need to get fancy—for less than $5, you can tape up any spots where you detect an air leak (use your hand to determine if there’s a breeze coming in).
Get Your Carpets Deep Cleaned
Even if you have zero qualms asking guests to remove their shoes before stepping foot into your home, you’ll love starting fresh after a winter of tracking in all that snow, mud and blustery air from outside.