We are officially in the spring season, and the spring is a great time to tackle a whole host of home maintenance items. Read on for home maintenance suggestions in April - June. If you missed Part 1 of our month-to-month guide to home maintenance post, you can read it here.
Check Yard for Low Spots: The best time to do this is after a good rain. Take a tour of your yard and look for puddles in the grass. Fill these spots with clean dirt. Good news: you don't have to worry about the grass - it will grow through a couple inches of dirt. You can also pay a landscaper to do this for you.
Check Soil Drainage: Water can be incredibly destructive, and you definitely don't want water pooling around or sloping toward your foundation. Walk around your foundation to inspect and see if there are any areas sloping toward the house. You can measure slope by using a 2x4 piece of wood. This is most likely a job for a professional to check the slope and grade and correct as necessary.
Prep Garden Beds: If you enjoy planting flower or vegetable gardens, you'll want to prep the beds by removing leaves and other debris, as well as trimming any dead growth from last year. After completing this, add compost and mulch in advance of planting!
Check Your Sprinkler System: A lot can happen in the months when your sprinkler system is shut off. You'll want to check each zone to ensure the heads are aimed appropriately and working properly. In addition, you'll want to check for and replace any heads or parts. Many companies offer a yearly sprinkler system tune-up if you don't want to or know how to do it yourself.
Give Your Mower a Tune-Up: Now is a great time to sharpen the cutting blade, replace the spark plug and air filter, and change the oil. Doing this can significantly extend the life of the mower. You can also hire a professional to do this service as well.
Check the Eave Vents and Foundation: These vents perform important functions - they let air circulate through crawl spaces and roof framing to help prevent mold and mildew. They also have screens to keep out debris and critters. Check and clean clogged vents along the foundation walls and under eaves, and repair any broken or missing screens. A handyman can complete this for you as well.
Check Exterior Paint: Inspect your siding and exterior trim for small cracks and chips and repair them before the moisture has a chance to penetrate.
Check Patios and Walkways: Winter can cause significant damage to unmortared brick, stone, and concrete areas, especially if you live in an area that gets freezing temperatures. Check for any shifting, sinking, rising, or loose brick, stone, or concrete. Fixing any issues will depend on what you find, but it may be as simple as prying up a displaced paver, smoothing out with fresh sand, and putting it back in place.
Nourish Your Lawn: If you want to keep your lawn looking green and lush after the spring rains, consider applying a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to feed your lawn through the summer and help keep weeds at bay.
Fix Gates and Fences: Cold, wet weather can be very hard on wood, and can cause it to move, rot, twist, and warp. Check for loose fencing and sagging gates and fix as needed.
Mulch: If you have garden or flower beds, adding two to four inches of mulch can help insulate the plants and keep weeds at bay.
Wash Your Windows: Wash the girt and grime that builds up throughout the year and enjoy the gleaming shine of freshly washed windows! This can be a big job, but there are many companies or handymen that can do the job for you.
Check Your Grill: It's almost grilling season, so to ensure your grill is ready, give the grill a nice clean to remove grime and debris from last season. In addition, be sure to check gas hoses and connections to make sure they are secure.
Give Your AC a Check-Up: You may want to do this one sooner depending on where you live, but before the summer gets into full swing, check to make sure your AC unit is in good working order and ready for the summer heat! You can always hire an AC pro to check over and clean your system as well.
Help Prevent Mold: Mold can be an incredibly costly and scary problem as a homeowner. Did you know that mold can build up even in the hot summer months (this is especially true for folks living in high-humidity areas)? Here is one potential way: by not using your AC properly. Many people keep their AC turned up to save money on energy costs. Lowering the temperature can help keep moisture at bay, and could actually end up saving you money by preventing mold. Another tip is to leave your AC fan in the auto position, instead of on because when it is always in the on position, it does not have a chance to drain off and can actually end up blowing the moisture back into your home. It is also recommended to not shut off supply grills as this can cause a build-up of condensation, and potentially, mold growth.
Get Your Pool Ready: Test your pool water and make sure the pH and other levels are consistently at the recommended levels. Also, begin running your pool pump daily. Running it for an hour per 10 degrees of water temperature each day is generally sufficient to keep your pool from going green.
Tame Pesky Pests: While it's impossible to have a pest-free home, there are several things you can do that can help. To reduce mosquitoes, make sure to get rid of any standing water on your property. If you have bird feeders, keep them at least 25 yards away from your home since they can attract rodents. Trim shrubs and bushes, cut back/weed thick vegetation, and stay on top of your fruit and vegetable garden to help reduce a variety of pests. Lastly, yellow sodium vapor outdoor light bulbs are less attractive to mosquitoes and moths.
Clean Your Fridge's Condenser Coils: The summer heat causes the biggest demand on appliances such as your refrigerator. To help keep it running smoothly, clean the condenser coils so that they can adequately release heat from the condenser which keeps your fridge cool.