When the snow melts here in northern Ohio, we can see what’s been left behind under all that slush, ice, and snow.
With that in mind, spring is the best time for cleaning your home from top to bottom. That’s also the perfect time to conduct a full home maintenance routine.
Here’s our spring maintenance checklist with 16 tips to help you find and repair any damage as well as get your home ready for summer.
1. Inspect for Winter Damage
An excellent first step is to conduct a visual inspection of the outside of your home. Start at the top of your home looking for any roof damage. Go on to look closely for any damaged siding or trim, gutter and downspout damage, cracks in sidewalks or driveway, and even chimney tilt. Don’t ignore minor fixes. If left alone, they can become major problems over time.
2. Inspect Your Home’s Foundation
Examine your home’s foundation for any cracks, bulges, or gaps between the soil and the foundation walls. Winter weather not only causes cracking, but ice can expand existing cracks. Wet soil freezing and frost heave only adds to the potential damage. If anything looks damaged, schedule a free inspection.
3. Check the Landscaping Around Your Foundation
Check that shrubs and trees along with any root growth are cut back well away from the foundation. The slope of the landscape is important to prevent the pooling of water while routing it well away from the foundation. This will also help your gutters and downspouts do their job.
4. Clean Up Your Yard
Even though you thought you’d raked up all the leaves in your yard before the snow fell, you’ll still find a significant collection of debris in your yard. Remove broken tree limbs, leaves, and dead flowers or plants. Mowing and edging for that first time can really spruce up things. Adding new mulch can also make a big difference. But make sure you don’t stack up the mulch around your foundation, as it can cause basement or crawl space moisture problems.
5. Seed Bare Spots in Your Lawn
You probably found some bare spots on your lawn during cleanup. This is a good time to seed those spots to allow the new grass to establish itself before the summer heat and rain. Make sure you pick the right seed for your lawn, including the appropriate amount of shade.
6. Prune Trees and Shrubs
Spring is the best time to trim trees and shrubs along with removing any dead branches and limbs. Make sure you cut them back from your home to allow airflow and sunshine to reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth. It’s also a good idea to remove any tree branches that overhang your roof, threatening to damage your home in a windstorm.
7. Gutter and Downspout Cleaning and Repair
Gutters and downspouts prevent rainwater from pouring onto your foundation. Spring and fall are the best times to clear out the leaves and remove any obstructions in the downspouts. Repair any winter damage. You may also want to install gutter guards to prevent leaves from collecting in the gutters.
8. Clear Outdoor Drains
Leaves can clog your rainwater drainage system. Dirt can be washed in and clog things up as well. Clear your storm drains and downspout extensions. Wash out the pipes with a garden hose and get them ready to handle the summer rain.
9. Test Your Irrigation System
Moisture control is critical to your landscape and foundation. That applies to drying out as well as excess moisture. Turn on each zone in your irrigation system and check to make sure it’s working. Identify any pipes and sprinkler heads that need to be repaired. It’s also a good time to adjust sprinkler coverage and waterflow.
10. Check All Outdoor Plumbing
Outdoor faucets can freeze during the winter. Now is the time to test and repair them. Heat pumps and AC units can also be damaged during the winter. Any pool equipment should also be on your inspection list. They must all be a part of your outdoor plumbing inspection.
11. Repair Screen Doors and Windows
Bugs can be a real nuisance if they find their way into your home through slight tears or even small holes in the screens. Inspect the screens and replace those that are badly damaged. For small holes you can find repair kits at a hardware store.
12. Inspect for Pest Damage
The approach here is to look both high and low for any pest damage. Roof-level damage can come from birds, squirrels, and flying insects. Bird nests frequently crop up in the spring. At ground level, look for ants, termites, and even burrowing animals. Seal up any cracks and holes you find to help prevent pest entry.
13. Power Wash Deck and Siding
Dirt, mud, and grime collected on your deck and siding over the winter months. Use a pressure washer set to the right flow for the particular wood or siding to clean all this off. It will give you a nice clean start to the summer.
14. Seal Your Fence and Deck
After you’ve cleaned the deck and repaired any damage you find, it’s a good time to stain and seal the wood. Do this at least every other year to maintain the wood and protect it from heat, humidity, and rainstorms.
15. Schedule HVAC System Service
The worst time for air conditioning repairs is during the hottest day of the year. That’s when the repair service is swamped with work and your family is complaining loudly about the heat. Add a regularly scheduled service in early spring for the air conditioning system and fall for the heating system.
16. Build a List of Summer Projects
Over the winter, you’ve probably collected a few ideas for home improvement. You may have also thought about adding new living spaces such as a workout room, office, or fan cave. This is a good time to build that list and include the spring maintenance tasks that you’ve found. Then prioritize them for scheduling throughout the summer.
If your list of improvements included adding more space, a finished basement could be the answer. But the basement needs to be fully waterproofed before you get started on that type of project.
We operate out of Cleveland to provide services throughout northern Ohio. We can help with your basement or crawl space project or any foundation issues you may have found in your spring maintenance inspection.
Contact the expert team at Ohio Basement Systems today for a free inspection and repair estimate.