Hi, my name is Lesley, and I’m a terrible housekeeper. I really don’t think it’s a problem, though. On my list of priorities, it’s pretty low. I mostly have control of the situation. You can imagine how I feel about spring cleaning. I wash the windows that I look out of most often so I can actually enjoy spring when I do have to be cooped up in the house. Otherwise, I don’t do much spring cleaning.
Home maintenance, however, is at the top of my priority list. A little dirt won’t hurt me. A big home expense will. Read on for my top home maintenance musts.
Inspect the Roof
Inspecting the roof begins on the inside, believe it or not. Go to the highest floor of your home, and inspect the ceilings of each room carefully, looking for any water stains or leaks. Get into the attic if you can to look for leaks or rotting wood. On the roof itself, walk around and check for soft spots. Look for missing, broken, or worn shingles. Also check the flashing around pipes, vents, and chimneys. In my opinion, hiring a professional to do this makes sense. If you choose to do it yourself, you can find more details here.
Schedule HVAC Maintenance
You can do several things throughout the year to help maintain your air conditioner, such as regularly changing the air filters and cleaning around the unit. But you should leave inspecting and servicing your unit to the professionals. Your air conditioner is a big-ticket item, so it’s important that it gets the proper attention.
Of course, you should be knowledgeable about what the professionals are going to be looking at. Luckily, he have this handy cooling season checklist from Waller Heating & Air Conditioning that lists everything a professional should be inspecting and testing.
Power-Wash the House
Image via Flickr by Peachtree Pressure Washing
This isn’t as bad as it sounds, especially since you can rent or buy high-powered pressure washers with attachments. Be sure to close all windows and doors, or you’ll have a bigger mess on your hands. The two main things to remember are to soap from the bottom up and rinse from the top down. Wear eye protection, and don’t try to use a ladder. Check out this site for all the info you could want about power-washing your house.
Clean the Gutters and Downspouts
This is rather easy, but it can be a bit gross. I highly recommend using gloves. You need to make sure the gutters are clear of all leaves and debris that may have stacked up over the fall and winter. I even had a tree growing in my gutter once!
Cleaning the gutters is especially important due to the heavy spring rains we often get. We want that water to go out, not settle in around the foundation. So, after cleaning the gutters and downspouts, run some water through to make sure everything flows smoothly and goes where you want it to go. If you notice leaks, damaged gutters, or a loose downspout, you’ll need to fix these before the rain arrives. The DIY Network helps us out with how-tos for fixing gutters and downspouts here.
Check the Sealant Around Windows and Doors
Inspect the frame of each window and door for damaged caulk or gaping sealant. Repairing gaps will help with your cooling bill. Plus, it just makes the house look nicer. If you do find places that need to be repaired, follow the step-by-step instructions on this site for an easy fix.
It may seem like a pain, but all in all, completing this checklist each spring will help to prevent a much bigger pain, such as a flooded room, down the line. As always, if you have any additional tips, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Happy spring!