After being cooped up indoors during a rainy winter, many Bay Area residents are looking forward to spring. But before you start enjoying the longer days and milder weather, it’s a good idea to survey your property to see how it has come through the winter months. It’s time for springtime home maintenance.
Indoor Spring Maintenance
Prepare your air conditioning unit. Warm weather is just around the corner. Before you start up your air conditioning system, remember to change the air filters and inspect your home’s ductwork for leaks or tears.
Check for termites. March through April is termite swarm season, when the insects migrate. Check your windowsills for sand-like granules known as termite pellets. This is a sign that termites may have infested your home and you should contact a professional pest control service.
Maintain window screens. Before you throw open your windows to enjoy a mild spring breeze, make sure your window screens made it through the winter storms intact. Patch up larger holes that insects could pass through. Remove and rinse any screens that have accumulated excessive grime over the winter.
Flush your water heater. Gary Packard, operations manager of MAPLEService, Inc., recommends this “spring cleaning” task for your plumbing system. When your water heater is professionally flushed and serviced, you reduce the amount of sedimentary buildup, which will help the heater last longer.
Clean out your attic. Moderate weather makes spring the ideal time to clean and inspect your attic. Removing dust can help keep the rest of your home free of allergens. If you find rodent droppings, mold or damaged insulation, a professional attic cleaning service can help.
Clean your fireplace or stove. If you’ve made use of your home’s wood-burning fireplace or stove this winter, spring is the time to clean the residue left behind from smoke and ash. Unless you’re adept at working on top of a roof, hiring a professional is a safer option.
Outdoor Spring Maintenance
Inspect your roof. Winter winds and rains can seriously damage roofs. Even if you didn’t notice obvious leaks during the winter, you should still look for loose shingles and examine the flashing, eaves, and soffits. Hire a professional roof inspector if you don’t want to climb up yourself. Roofing companies are often less busy in the spring, so this may also be an ideal time for a new roof.
Switch on your sprinkler system. With the rains winding down, you’ll soon need to start irrigating your yard again. Inspect the nozzles and remove any debris that has accumulated over the winter. Then test your sprinkler system zone by zone to identify any leaks or problems.
Clean off awnings and sunshades. Clear away any debris that accumulated in your home’s awnings or sunshades during the winter. Wipe away any dirt or stains using a solution of water and mild soap.
Pressure wash exterior surfaces. By pressure washing your home’s exterior, you can eliminate the natural buildup of grime and help the paint job last longer. Pressure washing equipment is powerful and can damage the paint job if not used properly, which is why Jose Barajas, owner of Maintenance Agents, recommends hiring an experienced professional.
Restain your deck. Professionals recommend staining your deck every two to three years to address general wear and tear. Between the rainy season and the harsh sunlight of summer, spring is the perfect time to fix up your deck.
Check your home’s foundation. If rainwater isn’t properly channeled away from a home, it can lead to softening and cracking of the home’s foundation. Inspect your foundation and contact a foundation contractor if you see anything unusual.