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Spring Maintenance Tips

It's spring, which means flowers, rain, baseball, gardening, bbq's, desperate attempts to get in shape before swimsuit season, skipping work to be outside before it gets unbearably hot...

Spring also means it's time for home maintenance after a winter of neglect. Don't feel too bad about it--you're not the only one to hibernate from maintenance during the winter.

Following are some simple tips to keep your home operating in tip-top condition.

Spring Maintenance Tips Andrea Pusey recaulks the weatherstripping around the door


  • Try out your air conditioning system. If you wait until the first hot day to check your AC and it doesn't work, you will have a long, hot wait before the repair people can get to it. They'll be overworked and cranky by the time they get to your home; you'll be cranky because you're so darn hot.
  • Remember to inspect/replace your HVAC filter monthly.
  • Check and clean the clothes dryer vent and stove hood.
  • If you have a coil-back refrigerator--you probably do--vacuum the coils at least twice each year. Your refrigerator will run much more efficiently with clean coils.
  • Clean everything, top to bottom! Use non-toxic soaps for better indoor air quality.
  • Now get outside and enjoy the weather!

Outside - Up High

Make sure you are properly hydrated, wearing appropriate sun and bug protection, and listening to motivational music.

  • Inspect the roof for damaged, loose or blistered shingles. Have damaged shingles replaced if they're on less than 20% of the roof. Reroof if damaged shingles cover more than 20% of the roof.
  • Examine flashing around chimneys, vents, and roof edges.
  • Remove debris from gutters and downspouts and patch any holes. Make sure the downspouts direct water at least 5 feet away from your foundation walls.
  • Examine fascia or soffit boards. Replace if they are soft or rotting because they may allow rain into your attic. If you live in a hurricane-prone region, extend the fascia so it terminates below the underside of the soffit.
  • Trim branches and shrubs that are touching your home which can provide a pathway for bugs or excess moisture to enter your home.
  • Remove dead branches that may fall on your home. Snap!

Outside - Down Low

  • Clean up fallen limbs, branches and other debris around the home to discourage the proliferation of wood-eating insects. Termites = bad.
  • Clean out basement window wells.
  • Inspect/replace caulk on windows, doors, and other penetrations, such as dryer vents and cable wire holes. Inspect the condition of the caulking where two different materials meet, for example where wood siding joins the foundation's wall or at inside corners. Improper caulking provides an avenue for moisture to get inside your walls and cause mold.
  • Check the condition of the exterior surfaces. Touch up any areas that need paint before they deteriorate further. Inspect bricks and concrete blocks for cracked mortar or loose joints.
  • Inspect grading around the house to be sure water drains away from the foundation on all sides. If water pools near the house, you could be in for a very wet basement and difficult spring removing water and even mold from the basement.
  • Make sure that your lawn sprinkler heads do not spray the walls of the house. Water = bad.
  • Check your inside and outside foundation walls and piers for termite tubes and damaged wood.

Once you've finished, sit back, relax, and feel proud of the great work you've done over a refreshing mint julep.

Content updated on 5/1/2006

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