In Massachusetts, winters have become warmer by at least 3.9 degrees. Interestingly, increasing temperatures, according to scientists, can bring higher amounts of snow.
Spring in the Bay State, on the other hand, now comes with more substantial precipitation. Meaning, after all that snow, you can expect not only more instances of rainfall but more intense ones, too.
That’s why as soon as the ice melts, you should bring out your spring home maintenance checklist. Take advantage of the warmer days to check for any house damage that winter may have brought.
There’s a lot that goes into this list, though, so we’ve come up with a home maintenance checklist template. Please feel free to download this and use it so you can keep your home in excellent condition.
Exterior Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
The roof, gutters, and driveway should be at the top of your outdoor spring house maintenance list. Your lawn and all exterior woodwork also warrant TLC, especially after winter. The extreme cold of the previous season could have damaged these parts of your home.
Roof Inspection and Debris Removal
Roofing systems can last between 20 and 50 years, depending on the materials. Those that use asphalt shingles have the shortest lifespan, at 20 years. Tiled, slate, and copper roofs, on the other hand, can last up to 2.5 times longer.
The sun’s heat and ultraviolet (UV) radiation, however, could shorten their lifespan. The same goes for increased snowfall.
The damage can get worse when, after all that heat and cold, comes heavier rainstorms. Such is the case in Massachusetts, with its now-hotter summers and rainier springs.
With that said, roof inspections should top your spring home maintenance checklist. It’s best, though, to have it inspected and cleaned not only during spring but also during fall. Be sure to have someone help you as you climb a ladder up to the roof.
Once on the roof, carefully remove debris, such as leaves, twigs, branches, and trash. Look for signs of missing, curling, corroding, or cracked shingles, tiles, or slates.
If you’re uncomfortable going up to the roof, you may be able to check its condition using binoculars.
If you’ve seen a lot of damaged roof components, have them fixed by a licensed roofing specialist ASAP. Otherwise, you may end up experiencing severe indoor leaks and water damage. Depending on your home insurance policy, it may not cover damages caused by a faulty roof.
Check and Clean the Gutters
Next on your house maintenance list is a gutter inspection and clean-up. Get rid of debris, such as leaves, twigs, branches, and even plastic, from the downspouts.
Then, check for signs of sagging, unevenness, and rust on the gutters. See if there’s any section that appears to be missing parts. You may also notice fallen gutter components, like metal pieces, on the ground.
If you see a lot of mold and mildew on your external walls, those usually signal failing gutters. The same goes if you notice water pooling around your home’s foundation. In such cases, contact a professional to get your gutters fixed, or you may end up with water damage.
Examine the Driveway
Asphalt, compared to concrete, has a softer consistency, so it tends to degrade faster. This is especially true if it receives constant exposure to hot environments. In these conditions, the material can develop cracks and even potholes.
As such, one of the best home maintenance tips for March (or early spring), is to check the asphalt for soft spots.
A concrete driveway, on the other hand, can crack and buckle in both scorching and cold conditions. Also, if you use a lot of road salt to melt ice during winter, your concrete driveway can stain or blotch.
In this case, examine your concrete driveway for cracks and buckling. Checking for spalling should also be part of your spring maintenance checklist. Spalling occurs due to moisture in the concrete, and it can cause the material to “flake.”
If you haven’t resealed your driveway yet, consider using silane or siloxane sealants. These materials can last for at least eight years.
Test Your Garden Sprinklers
Garden sprinklers with rotary heads can consume anywhere from 0.6 to 0.8 inches of water every hour. Those with stationary heads use more than twice that, at 1.5 to 1.7 inches of water per hour. However, they can use way more than that if they get damaged and start to leak.
Since they’re outdoors, sprinklers are at the mercy of not only the weather but also of bugs and vermin. Tiny bugs can find their way into the sprinkler heads and lodge into the nozzles. This may then make them less efficient in spraying out water.
This makes “resetting” sprinklers one of the most crucial spring home maintenance tips. This involves unscrewing the sprinkler heads and placing them in a bucket of water. This helps to rinse away dirt and debris, which then unclogs those small holes.
Check Your Garden for Wet or Mushy Patches
Sewer pipes, which are often underground (such as below your garden), can burst. This can happen if there’s enough wastewater that clogs them up, which can then freeze and expand.
However, burst pipes can also occur in spring, since this season brings a lot of rainwater. If there’s already a lot of clogs inside the pipes, the added water may have nowhere to go. It can either back up into your home or make your pipes “swell.”
When pipes expand, pressures of up to 3,000 pound-force per square inch or more can build up inside them. That can be too much for your sewer pipes, making them crack and burst open.
If a sewer pipe bursts, wastewater and sewage can flow out of it into the surrounding soil. The more of these substances that leak out, the damper your garden may get. So, if you notice these in specific areas of your lawn, it may be time to call a plumber.
Be sure to have burst pipes fixed ASAP, as most home insurance policies don’t cover them. If you don’t have home insurance, you’ll pay out of pocket costs to repair all the damages they bring. Without a policy, you could be looking at thousands of dollars of water damage.
Maintain the Clearance of Your Outdoor HVAC Unit
Were you aware that home heating and cooling already account for over 40% of your energy bill? If you pay, say $2,100 a year for energy, that means $840 goes toward your HVAC use alone!
Your home heater and air conditioner, however, can use more if left ill-maintained. That’s why one of the crucial spring tips for homeowners is to keep the outdoor HVAC clear and free of debris. This also means maintaining proper clearance (about two feet) on all sides of the unit.
Don’t forget to brush the vents to get rid of dust and filth build-up there. Also, keep in mind that spring makes vegetation grow faster, as this season gives them a lot of sun and water. So, as part of your spring home maintenance, check the HVAC unit clearance at least once every two weeks.
Polish (and Seal) the Windows
The numbing-cold winter of Massachusetts can make your window seals fail early. When this happens, moisture can get inside window panes, and from there, turn into ice. This, in turn, can cause further damage to window seals and make the glass all frosty.
So, as soon as the weather permits, wipe your windows both from the outside and the inside. This can help you detect damages such as failed seals, cracked glass, and air gaps. You can use caulking material on windows to help keep them sealed.
Fix or Replace Damaged Window Screens
Massachusetts is home to over 900 different types of insects and bugs. Without properly-working window screens, many of these critters can invade your home.
That’s why we’ve included screen inspections in this home maintenance checklist template. This involves looking for holes, dents, and torn mesh or fabric. You may be able to repair smaller problems, but you may need to replace those with extensive damage.
Assess Exterior Woodwork
Burglars themselves say that fencing systems make for an excellent crime deterrent. However, that only applies to stable, secure, and solidly-built fences. Criminals can take advantage of fence damages, such as teetering and sagging planks.
So, for your spring home maintenance, be sure to take the time to inspect your fence. Look for signs of pests, such as termites and wood-borers. Dry or wet rot can also make your fencing system fail and look unpleasant.
Do the same for all other woodwork outside of your home, such as decks, railings, and trellises. Check planks for signs of excessive dampness or water damage. Look for pest damage, rotting, and failed seals, lost fasteners, and missing joints.
Indoor Spring Home Maintenance Guide
Once you’ve finished inspecting the exterior of your home, it’s time to check the interior side. You can either start with the basement (if you have one) or from the attic. Work your way up (or down), so you can stay efficient as you carry out your spring home maintenance.
Check the Basement for Signs of Dampness
One study found that at least 47% of US homes experience dampness and mold issues. Homes with basements are those often affected, as this section of the house has the least traffic.
If you have a basement, you should be even more careful, as it can be prone to flooding. In case you don’t have one yet, consider getting flood insurance.
For your indoor spring cleaning and house maintenance list, take a whiff of your basement air. If you smell something akin to old bread or damp socks, that’s a good indication of mold.
Inspect all corners of your basement for patches of white, brown, blue, red, green, purple, or black. Molds can grow and appear in all these colors.
If there’s significant mold growth, it’s best to get in touch with a specialist. They can help eradicate these and also guide you on how to keep indoor moisture low.
Check and Flush the Water Heater Tank
If you have a basement, then your water heater tank is likely in there too. Now’s an excellent time to inspect it for damages, especially leaks. Keep in mind that leaks in US homes waste an average of 10,000 gallons of water every single year.
After inspection, drain your tank’s contents to clean it and flush away sediments. Getting rid of mineral build-up helps keep your water heater efficient. The cleaner and the more energy-efficient your heater is, the longer it can last.
From the Top
If you have an attic, look for signs of roof leaks like water stains on the ceiling and upper sections of the wall. Recent leaks are smaller in size, and also appear like darker spots against the color of the ceiling or wall. Long-term leaks can look like multiple rings, with the oldest ones being lighter-colored.
If there are significant leaks, you likely have mold problems too. In this case, it’s best to get in touch with a professional roofer and mold remediator.
Open (and Inspect) the Windows
As the spring season makes the temperature go higher, it’s time to let some fresh air in. You can promote better ventilation at home by opening the windows. Make sure that you do this after you’ve repaired or installed new screens, though, as bugs may get into your home.
Take the time to inspect the interior side of the windows, too, to see if there are any cracks on the sills and seals. Repair minor damages, such as peeling or flaky caulking. Test the hardware and replace faulty or damaged window latches and locks.
Change or Wash Your HVAC Filters
A clean filter can help make your HVAC system 5% to 15% more energy-efficient. Moreover, it keeps the interior components of your heating and cooling system clean. This, in turn, allows the appliances to heat or cool your home better and more evenly.
Plus, air filters help keep your indoor air quality at optimal levels. However, spring isn’t the only time to wash or change your filters; do this at least once every two to three months.
Start Using This Spring Home Maintenance Checklist Today
There you have it, your ultimate spring home maintenance checklist and guide. Don’t forget to download and print this, so you can check off each step as you finish them. You may also want to save a copy on your computer so that you can use the same list next year.
Need more help in maintaining your home and making it safer and more livable? Then please feel free to get in touch with us now! We’ll be more than happy to answer your home safety- and security-related questions.
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