Your Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
Many of the negative items I see during home inspections could have been prevented or mitigated with regular home maintenance. So, with spring just around the corner, I'm sharing my list of the items you should take care of now that the harsh winter weather is (likely) over.
This list was inspired by a similar list on the American Society of Home Inspectors website, and a book written by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
Roof, Gutters & Downspouts
Starting at the roofline, while being careful on your ladder, clean debris from your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can contribute to water damage in your home. If you have gutter guards, be sure they're in good working condition. While you're up there, check for any damage to the roof (like broken or missing shingles).
Check siding, fascia, and trim around doors and windows for damage/deterioration.
Remove Debris from Around the House
Leaves, trash bags and other debris tend to accumulate around the foundation and can trap moisture. Excessive moisture attracts insects, animals and may cause wood rot.
Service HVAC System
Be sure to check for debris both inside and outside the unit. Leaves, trash and nesting material may cause damage to the unit once it is turned on. Be sure to have the A/C serviced by a qualified HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) contractor before using it. Checking your HVAC system annually will help keep the systems in optimal condition, saving money in the short-term (energy costs) and long-term (keeps system lasting longer).
Prepare Your Lawn
Clean up your lawn to make sure there are no twigs, rocks or other hard objects that the lawn mower can hit and throw. Flying debris could injure someone far from the mower. If you mow your own lawn, check the mower’s blade for sharpness. A dull blade is actually more dangerous than a sharp one. Put fresh fuel in a gas mower, check the oil and make sure the wheels are on securely.
Inside Your Home
If accessible, look in your attic, crawl space and basement for any signs of water damage. Check smoke alarms and CO detectors. Change their batteries if needed.