Spring has most definitely sprung, especially here in southern California, where we’re seeing the biggest wildflower bloom in a decade! Along with blooming plants and warming temperatures, though, spring also brings its own to-do list for homeowners. Here are my top 8 home maintenance tips to get your home ready for spring.
Have your roof inspected. Roof shingles can be damaged or even removed by harsh winter weather (yes, I just called our San Diego rainstorms “harsh weather”), making your roof susceptible to leaks. With all the rain we’ve had this year, you would likely already know if you have an active leak, but you may not realize the damage that has been done to your roof from the rain and wind. In addition, the summer sun can also be really hard on shingles, so it’s best to get ahead of any future problems by replacing cracked or curling shingles now before the damage gets worse. (Need a roofing expert in San Diego? Check out my list of preferred San Diego contractors!)
Clean your gutters. Clogged or leaky gutters lead to improper drainage, which can mean water in your crawl space or leaks in your ceiling. It’s also fuel for wildfires that you can easily remove. Get rid of any leaves or other debris that may have built up over the winter, and make sure that your downspouts drain water at least five feet away from your foundation walls.
Change your AC filters and service your AC unit. Hot weather will be here before we know it, so now is the time to make sure your air conditioning is good working order! Change your interior air conditioning filters to optimize your A/C’s efficiency, and call a heating and cooling contractor to clean and service your outside unit. While you’re at it, replace your water filters and range hood filters as well.
Clean your ceiling fans. Chances are, you didn’t use your ceiling fan much during the winter months, and all those weeks of disuse have probably led to some major dust bunnies! Clean off all of your ceiling blade fans so you don’t have a dust cloud the first time you turn them on.
Check and replace any damaged window screens. Before you throw open those windows to let in the spring breezes, check your screens for tears or other damage. Properly maintained window screens are key to keeping out flies and other pests! If you do find damage, it's easy to find a good mobile screen repair company that will come right to your home.
Adjust your irrigation/sprinkler timers. Your lawn, trees, and plants may need more water this time of year. Be sure you are following any local rules and the advice of your local plant specialists. And maybe it's time to plant that new garden or fruit tree you’ve been putting off!
Clean your grill and outdoor furniture. Check your grill for rust - small amounts can be scraped away but significant amounts of rust might mean it’s time for a new one! You can also use oven cleaner (for gas grills) or glass cleaner (for charcoal grills) to spiff up the outside of the unit. And if you haven’t invested in a grill cover yet, now is a great time so it stays looking great all through the bbq-ing months! Patio furniture should be vacuumed and wiped down to remove dust and debris. Consider buying an inexpensive outdoor heater (like you see on restaurant patios) to extend your outdoor time by a couple months.
Consider weatherstripping. If you’re looking to save money on your energy bills during the warmer months, look into weatherstripping your windows. Sealing your windows against air leaks keeps more of the cool air generated by your AC or ceiling fans where you want it - inside your house. This will save you energy and money! The Department of Energy has a lot of great information about different types of weatherstripping, as well as tips for do-it-yourself-ers.
Taking a little time now to prep your home for spring will mean more time later to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather!
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