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HOUSE CARE CALENDAR: Spring & Summer

April 30, 2020

From summer vacations to winter holidays, it seems each season offers the perfect excuse to put off our to-do list. But be careful, homeowners: neglecting your home’s maintenance could put your personal safety—and one of your largest financial investments—at serious risk.

In no time at all, small problems can lead to extensive and expensive repairs. And even if you avoid a catastrophe, those minor issues can still have a big impact. Properties that are not well maintained can lose 10 percent (or more) of their appraised value.

The good news is, by dedicating a few hours in this season to properly maintaining your home, you can ensure a safe living environment for you and your family … and actually increase the value of your home by one percent annually! You just need to know where and how to spend your time. With so many of us at home practicing physicaly distancing and the nice weather we’ve had this week, there’s no better time to get started!

Use the following checklist as a guide to maintaining your home and lawn this spring and summer. It’s applicable for all climates, so please share it with friends and family members who you think could benefit, no matter where their home is located.

Spring ?

After a long, cold winter, many of us look forward to a fresh start in the spring. Wash away the winter grime, open the windows, and prepare your home for warmer weather and backyard barbecues.

Inside


  • Conduct Annual Spring Cleaning

    Be sure to tackle those areas that may have gone neglected—such as your blinds, baseboards and fan blades—as well as appliances, including your refrigerator, dishwasher, oven and range hood. Clear out clutter and clothes you no longer wear, and toss old and expired food and medications.

  • Shut Down Heating System

    Depending on the type of heating system you have, you may need to shut your system down when not in use. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for proper procedures.

  • Tune Up A/C

    If your home has central air conditioning, schedule an annual tune-up with your HVAC technician. If you have a portable or window unit, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper maintenance.

  • Check Plumbing

    It’s a good idea to periodically check your plumbing to spot any leaks or maintenance issues. Look for evidence of leaks—such as water stains on the ceiling—and check for dripping faucets or running toilets that need to be addressed. Inspect your hot water heater for sediment build up. Check your sump pump (if you have one) to ensure it’s working properly.

  • Inspect Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

    Check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly. Batteries should be replaced every six months, so change them now and again in the fall. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to test your individual devices. And even properly functioning devices should be replaced at least every 10 years, or per the manufacturer’s recommendation.4

Outside


  • Inspect Perimeter of Home

    Walk around your house and look for any signs of damage or wear and tear that should be addressed. Are there cracks in the foundation? Peeling paint? Loose or missing roof shingles? Make a plan to make needed repairs yourself or hire a contractor.

  • Clean Home’s Exterior

    Wash windows and clean and replace screens if they were removed during the winter months. For the home’s facade, it’s generally advisable to use the gentlest method that is effective. A simple garden hose will work in most cases.

  • Clean Gutters and Downspouts

    Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned at least twice a year. Neglected gutters can cause water damage to a home, so make sure yours are clean and free of debris. If your gutters have screens, you may be able to decrease the frequency of cleanings, but they should still be checked periodically.

  • Rake Leaves

    Gently rake your lawn to remove leaves and debris. Too many leaves can cause an excessive layer of thatch, which can damage the roots of your lawn. They can also harbor disease-causing organisms and insects.7 However, take care because overly vigorous raking can damage new grass shoots.

  • Seed or Sod Lawn

    If you have bare spots, spring is a good time to seed or lay new sod so you can enjoy a beautiful lawn throughout the remainder of the year. The peak summer heat can be too harsh for a new lawn. If you miss this window, early fall is another good time to plant.

  • Apply a Pre-Emergent Herbicide

    While a healthy lawn is the best deterrent for weeds, some homeowners choose to use a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring to minimize weeds. When applied at the right time, it can be effective in preventing weeds from germinating. However, a pre-emergent herbicide will also prevent grass seeds from germinating, so only use it if you don’t plan to seed or sod in the spring.

  • Plant Flowers

    After a long winter, planting annuals and spring perennials is a great way to brighten up your garden. It’s also a good time to prune existing flowers and shrubs and remove and compost any dead plants.

  • Mulch Beds

    A layer of fresh mulch helps to suppress weeds, retain moisture and moderate soil temperature. However, be sure to strip away old mulch at least every three years to prevent excessive buildup.

  • Fertilize Lawn

    Depending on your grass type, an application of fertilizer in the spring may help promote new leaf and root growth, keep your lawn healthy, and reduce weeds.

  • Tune Up Lawn Mower

    Send your lawn mower out for a professional tune-up and to have the blades sharpened before the mowing season starts.

  • Inspect Sprinkler System

    If you have a sprinkler system, check that it’s working properly and make repairs as needed.

  • Check the Deck

    If you have a deck or patio, inspect it for signs of damage or deterioration that may have occurred over the winter. Then clean it thoroughly and apply a fresh coat of stain if needed.

  • Prepare Pool

    If you own a pool, warmer weather signals the start of pool season. Be sure to follow best practices for your particular pool to ensure proper maintenance and safety.

Summer ?

Summer is generally the time to relax and enjoy your home, but a little time devoted to maintenance will help ensure it looks great and runs efficiently throughout the season.

Inside


  • Adjust Ceiling Fans

    Make sure they are set to run counter-clockwise in the summer to push air down and create a cooling breeze. Utilizing fans instead of your air conditioner, when possible, will help minimize your utility bills.

  • Clean A/C Filters

    Be sure to clean or replace your filters monthly, particularly if you’re running your air conditioner often.

  • Clear Dryer Vent

    Help cut down on summer utility bills by cleaning your laundry dryer vent at least once a year. Not only will it help cut down on drying times, a neglected dryer poses a serious fire hazard.

  • Check Weather Stripping

    If you’re running your air conditioner in the summer, you’ll want to keep the cold air inside and hot air outside. Check weather stripping around doors and windows to ensure a good seal.

Outside


  • Mow Lawn Regularly

    Your lawn will probably need regular mowing in the summer. Adjust your mower height to the highest setting, as taller grass helps shade the soil to prevent drought and weeds.

  • Water Early in the Morning

    Ensure your lawn and garden get plenty of water during the hot summer months. Experts generally recommend watering in the early morning to minimize evaporation, but be mindful of any watering restrictions in your area, which may limit the time and/or days you are allowed to water.

  • Weed Weekly

    To prevent weeds from taking over your garden and ruining your home’s valuable curb appeal, make a habit of pulling weeds at least once per week.

  • Exterminate Pests

    Remove any standing water and piles of leaves and debris. Inspect your lawn and perimeter of your home for signs of an invasion. If necessary, call a professional exterminator for assistance.

While this checklist should not be considered a complete list of your home’s maintenance needs, it can serve as a general seasonal guide. Systems, structures and fixtures will need to be repaired and replaced from time-to-time, as well. The good news is, the investment you make in maintaining your home now will pay off dividends over time.

Keep a record of all your maintenance, repairs and upgrades for future reference, along with receipts. Not only will it help jog your memory, it can make a big impact on buyers when it comes time to sell your home … and potentially result in a higher selling price.

Are you looking for help with home maintenance or repairs? We have an extensive network of trusted contractors and service providers and are happy to provide referrals! Call or email us, and we can connect you with one of our preferred vendors.

Christiane and your Friends at Redpost.ca ♥

“Working Together to Spread Kindness”

Sources:
HouseLogic.com – https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/value-home-maintenance/
Home Advisor – https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/servicing-your-air-conditioner/
Keyes & Sons Plumbing and Heating – http://keyes-plumbing.com/things-to-check-in-spring/
Allstate Insurance Blog – https://blog.allstate.com/test-smoke-detectors/
Houzz – https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/17268616/list/how-to-wash-your-house
Angie’s List – https://www.angieslist.com/articles/why-gutter-cleaning-so-important.htm
Angie’s List – https://www.angieslist.com/articles/what-thatch-and-how-does-it-impact-my-lawn.htm
HGTV – http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/lawns/top-spring-lawn-care-tips-pictures
This Old House – https://www.thisoldhouse.com/more/may-mulching
Lowes – https://www.lowes.com/projects/lawn-and-garden/fertilize-your-lawn/project
The New York Times – https://www.nytimes.com/guides/realestate/home-maintenance-checklist

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