10 Spring Maintenance Tips for Military Homeowners
Spring has finally arrived – at least according to the calendar. While much of the country is still feeling the winter chill, the first official day of spring brings hope of warmer days to come. While home maintenance projects may not make the list of your favorite things, an opportunity to get out into the sun may just make it a bit more appealing. For many it has been a long hard winter, which means it has been equally hard on your home.
Whether you are a military family preparing for another PCS or can look forward to staying put for the time being, this is the perfect time to do some essential sprucing. While some maintenance projects are dependent on the region, there are many that are universal for all homeowners.
The moist winter environment may have left your siding or deck riddled with mold or algae. Pressure washing the exterior or your home will give it a sparkle, but if you are not well versed in the mechanics of power washing your home, it is best to hire a professional to avoid damaging your deck or siding. But before the water hits the house, do a thorough examination for any damage, leaks or holes caused by weather, age or rodents. Repair and seal these areas prior to having your home pressure washed.
Once the clouds have parted and you can get a good look at your home, you may see that there are areas of chipped or cracked paint. Cooler temps and lower humidity make it an optimal
time to grab your brush and put a fresh coat of weather resistant paint on all surfaces. Concrete paint is a great way to refresh stained and weathered concrete porches and walkways.
Climbing on the roof is risky in the winter months, but once the thaw arrives it may be time to take a climb to make sure all shingles are in place and vents and skylights are well sealed. While you are on the roof, this is the perfect time to check rain gutters and downspouts for obstructions or loose connections. Place water flow extensions at base of downspout to direct water away from your foundation.
As we transition from using our heater to our air conditioner, this is the time to turn off the gas pilot light for both your fireplace and your furnace. If you have a wood stove or wood-burning fireplace, clean the stove and chimney and close the damper. Turning off the gas and closing the damper will help save you money on your utilities.
They say the “early bird gets the worm” and this couldn’t be more true than when it comes to having your air conditioning system serviced. As the temperatures rise, numerous homeowners will realize that their system is not operating properly and service providers will be in high demand. You do not want to be at the bottom of that list, so call and have your system examined before the thermometer rises. If you have window air conditioning units that you removed in the winter, clean them up and put them back into place.
The spring time ritual of setting our clocks forward an hour is an optimal time to remember to replace the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test each unit. It is easy to forget about the small but valuable units on your ceiling, but you don’t want them to let you down in your time of need, so grab the ladder and batteries and use this time to discuss fire escape routes and safety measures with your family.
Hit the home improvement store and grab new filters for all of your air returns. This may be the time to invest in the higher grade filters to help safeguard your home and family from spring allergens.
Examine the foundation and walls for leaks and damage. If you have a basement, ensure that your sump pump is operating properly before spring showers arrive.
Soon the grass and plants around your home will be begging for water, so now is the time to
start up your sprinkler system and turn on the outside hose bibs to check for leaks and proper
operation. Seed, fertilize and mulch the lawn, shrubs and trees, removing any plants that did not weather the winter well.
One of the easiest ways to add curb appeal to your home is to update your landscaping. Planting seasonal flowers in the yard can bring new life to your home.
Bright, sunny days are more enjoyable when viewed through clean windows. Grab the window cleaner and newspaper and give the inside and outside of the windows a good scrubbing, as well as the tracks and sills. Replace any screens that were removed during the winter so you can let the fresh air come through.
Include a purge of your refrigerator with your spring-cleaning, removing expired or spoiled items. If you have a coil-back refrigerator, vacuum the coils to increase efficiency.
Cleaning behind your washer and dryer can prove to be a lofty endeavor, but reducing the lint from hoses and vents can help avoid potential fire hazards.
This is not to suggest that you take on a major home improvement project, but rather simple do-it-yourself projects that can make a major impact on the overall look and feel of your home.
Prepare for Something
Living the military lifestyle means that in a moments notice you could find yourself trying to sell or rent your home. Keeping up on seasonal maintenance items can eliminate the lengthy list of items that need your attention prior to your next PCS move.
Get a jump-start on the next season by viewing our “Year Round Home Maintenance” article.