Spring is in the air at last. The sun is shining longer at night, the days are warmer and flowers are starting to peek out everywhere. It didn’t seem possible after the long, dreary winter, but we are finally firmly on our way into spring.
Spring is notorious for filling us all with a renewed sense of excitement and get-up-and-go. It makes us feel like taking on new challenges, starting new projects and doubling down on our goals. In many of us, this manifests itself as a powerful urge to start cleaning. This is why spring is a perfect and natural time to deep-clean your home and yard.
Never participated in spring cleaning before? That’s all right. This year is the perfect time to start. While everyone has different preferences and routines when it comes to spring cleaning, most people address some pretty standard chores during this cleaning spree. And there’s a lot more to it than just dusting some shelves and putting a few things in order. This is the time of year to clear out the space behind the fridge, clean the gutters, fix that leaky roof and get your house entirely in order for the upcoming year.
To help you get started on your spring-cleaning endeavor, we’ve put together this quick and easy guide to spring maintenance for your home. We’ll talk about some of the important things to keep in mind as you get started cleaning, and give you some tips to make this project successful for you.
1. General Cleaning
While spring cleaning is the perfect time of year for home tune-ups and improvement projects, it’s also the best time of year for general cleaning.
By cleaning, we don’t only mean things like dusting the shelves, vacuuming the floors and so on. Spring is a great opportunity to clean the places you normally overlook every day. You’ll want to clean the ceiling fans, move bulky furniture to clean behind it, wipe off the tops of high cabinets, launder the curtains and so on. These projects aren’t necessarily fun, but it’s worth it to see how clean and fresh your home will feel afterward.
While you’re doing this type of cleaning, keep in mind this is also an excellent time to purge items you no longer want or need. This might be old clothes, old dishes, old tools or something else altogether. Whatever you have too much of and no longer need, spring cleaning is an ideal time to pull it out and get rid of it.
2. Gutter Replacement
Because spring is such a rainy season, it’s crucial to get your gutters in good working order. If they’re malfunctioning or broken, it could cause damage to your house, your yard and your driveway.
Thoroughly inspecting your gutters is one of the most important spring maintenance tips for your home. Clear out all the leaves, twigs and other debris, then take a look at the underlying structure of the gutter. Is anything broken or misaligned? Is the gutter itself in good working order? Are the clamps that hold it in place still solid?
If anything is out of place, it’s important to put it back where it belongs. And if anything is irreparably broken, you’ll want to get it replaced right away. If you are replacing your gutter, make sure to set the new system up in the same way as the old one.
While you’re at it, it’s also a good idea to check the ends of your gutter. Make sure your gutter is draining where you want it to. To be prepared for the heavy spring rains, you’ll want to make sure you’re directing all that rain to a safe place where it won’t cause any damage or harm.
3. Deck Tune-Up
Maintaining a deck is a lot of work. Decks can take quite a beating, particularly during the snow and rain of fall and winter. For your deck to be ready for a fun summer, you’ll most likely need to dedicate some time to fixing it up this spring.
Firstly, you’ll need to look at the structure and frame of the deck. Have any of the boards rotted away? Is any of the wood cracked and splitting? If so, you’ll need to get these boards replaced. Have any of the nails rusted away or worked themselves out of the wood? Address these issues.
While examining the wood of your deck, it’s also worthwhile to take a look at the underside. Has anything under there rotted away or deteriorated from the damp and exposure? If so, these parts will need replacing. They might not be an immediate issue, but they will become a problem before too long. It’s always better to preemptively replace something than to wait until it causes serious injury or damage.
4. Check Your Air Conditioning
Because summer is coming, it’s a good idea to make sure your air-conditioning unit is in good working order. There’s nothing worse than this unit breaking down during the height of summer. To prevent this from happening, give your air conditioning a thorough health check before the hot weather kicks in.
This will not only help prevent your machine from breaking down, but it may also help it live longer, and save you both energy and money over time. As you perform this check-up, here are a few things to do:
- Make sure all the thermostat settings are in good working order.
- Make sure none of the moving parts are stuck, and provide some extra lubrication for smooth movement.
- Inspect the condensate drain to be sure it’s functioning correctly.
- Check all the various controls and make sure they are functioning as intended.
If you notice problems with any one of these components, it may be time to either call a service professional or to replace the unit altogether. Either way, you’ll be glad you noticed these problems before it comes time to turn the air conditioning on for the year.
5. Inspect and Repair Your Roof
It would be remiss to go through an entire spring cleaning season without giving some attention to your roof. After all, it took the brunt of the winter rains and snows. If there’s any part of your house that’s likely to need some care after the winter, it’ll be your roof.
Here are just a few of the things to look for as you inspect your roof this spring:
- If any of your shingles appear worn, broken or rotten, these will need replacement.
- Look for any curled corners on your roof, which may have occurred due to moisture buildup or the weight of snow. These will need to be corrected.
- Clean off any buildups of pine needles, leaves or similar debris.
- Look for any obvious and glaring problems, like a sagging roofline or large sections of cracked tiles. These will clearly need to be addressed to get your house safe and ready for the summer.
6. Check the Siding
Siding isn’t something you’ll need to replace every year, but it’s worth taking a look at every spring to see if this is the year it needs an upgrade.
If you’re not sure why siding is a priority, take a moment to consider the facts. While the roof will certainly take the brunt of the winter weather, the siding usually doesn’t escape unscathed, either. Winds and snow batter into the siding all year long. Year after year, this results in quite a bit of wear and tear. Eventually, this siding will need replacing.
New siding will not only help protect your home from the elements. It also provides an aesthetic upgrade for your house, making it look newer, fresher and more stylish. If you find your home looking a bit drab and old-fashioned, you might consider replacing the siding, even if it doesn’t need it quite yet.
If you decide not to replace your siding this year, you’ll still at least want to give it a once-over as you complete your spring cleaning. Clean it off and check for any cracks or damage. If all is well, it should last another year with no problem. If it needs replacing, think of it as an opportunity to give your house the upgrade you deserve.
7. Service the Chimney
If you heat with a wood stove, or even if you just use your fireplace to create a cheerful ambiance in the winter, it’s a good idea to clean your chimney out in the spring. You’ll want to give it a good cleaning to remove extra soot or debris that will have lodged inside. While obviously, it’s impossible to clean every inch of the inside, you can at least clean near the bottom and the top.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the outside of your chimney, too. If it’s built from bricks or stones, be sure to carefully inspect the narrow joints between these bricks. Have any of them fallen out? Are any of them extensively damaged? Do you notice excessive weeds or other vegetation growing out of these gaps? These are signs of water infiltrating your chimney, and you should address them.
Another sign there might be trouble in your chimney is efflorescence, which is a white deposit that looks a bit like calcium. You might notice it building up slowly on the bricks of your chimney, which could be a sign of trouble indicating moisture or a compromised structure. We recommend calling a professional to be sure.
8. Look at the Foundation
You might not be able to see your entire foundation, but you’ll usually be able to see sections of it, particularly in a garage, basement or similar area. Here, you’ll want to check for things like long cracks in the floor, which could indicate damage due to cold weather.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to seal up these cracks with a regular caulking job. Instead, you’ll need to contact a professional, who will be able to seal them up with a chemical solution. It’s important to check your foundation in the spring so you can catch cracks like these before they become a problem.
9. Seal up the Windows
Most likely, you gave your windows a thorough check before winter set in seriously. However, they’ve taken quite a beating since then, and it’s a good idea to check them out and make sure the seals are still holding up well. While it’s true unsealed windows aren’t quite as much of an issue in the summer as they can be in the winter, they’ll still cause problems. All your cool air will escape, causing your energy bills to skyrocket. Because of this, it’s best to double-check your windows in the spring.
Check the weather stripping around your window and make sure it remains intact. Caulk any gaps or leaks you may notice during this examination, and replace any worn-out weather stripping. You’ll start seeing savings on your energy bill, and who doesn’t want that?
10. Take Care of Leaks
Unlike many of the items on this list, leaky taps and pipes aren’t exactly more likely to occur in the spring, nor are they more likely to be caused by a long winter of being subjected to harsh weather. However, they are something you’ll need to check for periodically. As long as you’re already cleaning house and inspecting these other things, you may as well include this on the list just for efficiency’s sake.
Check all the faucets in your house for leaks. Poke your head under the sink and make sure nothing’s leaking under there. Follow any exposed pipes along the walls, in the attic or in the basement, and make sure none of them are sweating and leaking puddles onto the floor. Check around any large appliances like your washing machine or dishwasher and make sure there are no water stains that indicate a leaking problem has existed for some time.
11. Trim Overgrowth
If any low-hanging branches threaten to fall onto your roof, spring is the perfect time to get out there and take care of them. With the heavy winds and rain that often accompany spring, you don’t want to risk tree branches crashing down onto your roof. You might also clean up any overgrowth that is taking over your mailbox, telephone pole, gutters or anything else of importance.
Call a Professional to Help With Your Spring Maintenance Projects Today
Has your spring cleaning grown from a few simple tasks into large and difficult maintenance projects? When your spring cleaning checklist gets too big to handle by yourself, contact Sunshine Contracting Corp. We have more than 20 years of knowledge and experience in maintenance, installation and repair work. Whether you’re looking for service for your windows, your roof, your siding or something else altogether, we’re ready to help you get ready for the summer.
We’re committed to providing you with the best possible results at prices you can afford. If you live in Northern Virginia and are ready to get started, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today for your free estimate, or give us a call at 703-935-4663.