Longer days and warmer temperatures mean spring is right around the corner. And as your weather improves, early spring can be a great time to tackle some preventive home maintenance tasks.
By making a few changes around your home you can save yourself time — and money — in the long run. Here are nine easy ways to prepare your home for warmer weather:
1. Weatherize your home — specifically your windows. Consumer Reports indicates that maintaining your windows throughout the seasons will save you money on both heating and cooling. Remove and replace your windows’ caulk and weather stripping for maximum efficiency.
2. Give your gutters a good cleaning. Gutters are an integral part of your home’s overall well-being. Forgetting to take care of your gutters could cost you more in the long run, especially if you’ve been through a particularly rough winter. A clogged gutter could lead to leaky roofs, water damage, mold, or pest infestation.
3. Re-evaluate your roof. The winter can take a toll on your roof, so make sure you spend some time inspecting it at the start of spring. Keep an eye out for missing or loose shingles, and clear away any debris that may have collected over the last few months. Beware of excessive moss or mold: Both can lift shingles as they grow, allowing moisture to seep underneath.
4. Check driveways for damage or cracks. Just like winter weather can cause potholes on the streets, freezing and thawing can lead to cracks or other damage to your driveway and sidewalks. Take a moment to inspect the pavement around your house and consider making repairs as needed.
5. Inspect your AC. The last thing you want is to have a faulty AC system once temperatures starts rising. It’s important to make sure you change the filter at least once a season and consider having the unit serviced by a licensed professional for peak performance levels.
6. Remember the sump pump. Around 60% of Americans have wet basements and April showers may make you one of them. Sump pumps pull water away from your house and keep your basement or crawlspace from flooding. If you have a sump pump, test it to make sure it’s working. If your home doesn’t have a sump pump, don’t wait until that first big rain to consider getting one. Responding to a flooded basement could be costlier in the end than installing a pump ahead of time.
7. Watch out for termites. The presence of termites ramps up as the weather warms, and the average cost of termite treatment and repair is $8,000. Spring is the perfect time to start checking for signs of those buggy nuisances, including mud tunnels, paint blisters, damaged wood paneling or trim, hollow-sounding wood, and pinholes.
8. Put some love into your landscaping. Get an early start on tree trimming, before leaves grow and you have a harder time seeing individual limbs. Keeping shrubbery a safe distance from your home (at least five feet) will protect roofing and siding from moisture and will deter animals from nesting in your attic.
9. Call a chimney sweep. Most people tend to put off cleaning their chimneys until the last minute, but making sure your chimney is in proper condition before the warmer months could save on your energy bill and reduce unpleasant odors. If you have a working chimney, consider hiring a professional to make sure caps are in place and the damper is working correctly.