Properties require maintenance and upkeep to ensure a maximum lifespan. This makes getting your home ready for spring vital for protecting your investment. Failure to do so can cause long-term issues.
While there are numerous tasks that can prepare your home for the coming year – many of which depend upon your specific circumstances – there are a few that no homeowner should overlook. Even with these tips, though, variations may still exist dependent upon the climate in your area.
Some of these tips are geared towards when winter is winding down – others should be done long before flowers, sunshine and songbirds show their faces. Keep all this information in mind when preparing your home and yard for spring.
Prepare Soil for Proper Gardening
Those who love gardening understand that Spring is a pristine time to do so. To ensure the soil is ready when springtime comes around, though, you need to get started during the winter. You can begin by protecting your soil with natural winter mulch such as dead leaves. Wood chips and other options are acceptable as well.
You can also keep the soil healthy by growing winter cover crops such as field peas, legumes and cabbages. It’s also okay to allow winter weeds to grow in. They will provide protection from erosion and improve soil drainage with their roots. In early spring, go ahead and hoe them down for compost.
Clean Out the Gutters
Whether it’s the white oak leaves up north or pine straw down south, your gutters are likely to be overwhelmed once winter comes around. After your local trees have shed their leaves, it’s a perfect time to clear out any gutter debris.
If you plan on cleaning gutters yourself, make sure you take a pair of gloves up with you to remove the bulk of the refuse and take other safety precautions. Once this is done, spray a water hose into the gutter to get rid of the last vestiges of gunk. Take off the nozzle and run your hose into the downspout. This removes any buildup of foliage that’s inside gutter elbows and bends.
You can also consider hiring a professional to take care of this task if you do not have the proper equipment or are unsure of how to clean your gutters.
Take Action to Fight Termites
While termites could potentially pop up anywhere, you’re more likely to run into this nuisance living in the South. Having a Pest Inspection can help determine if your home is at risk, and catch issues early before they become more costly problems later. If you or your inspector spot signs of a termite infestation – such as droppings, winged insects and mud mounds/tubes/tunnels – you should seek out treatment regardless of where you live.
As the weather begins to warm and ice or snow begin to thaw, these critters can start to become problem. Minimize the possibility of facing this issue with the following steps:
- Trim all shrubbery at least 12 inches away from your exterior walls.
- Use pine needles instead of traditional mulch. It's less tasty to termites.
- Don't allow any sprinklers to face your foundation.
- Clean foundation vents to ensure appropriate ventilation.
Correcting these issues is imperative for preparing your home for spring. Termites can result in thousands of dollars in damage, so this could be one of your most essential spring-readiness steps.
Bleed Your Radiators
If you live in an older home in certain areas – especially the Northeast and other cold regions – you’ve likely been dealing with radiators for a long time. Once winter is done, bleeding your radiators will help ensure they’re ready next season.
Most radiators can be bled through the following steps:
- Fully 'open' every radiator in your home so it's at the maximum setting.
- Turn off central heating after a few minutes and allow radiators to cool.
- Turn off radiators one by one and open their bleed valves. This should start at the unit closest to the boiler.
- Place a tray under each valve when allowing air to come out. Expect water to drain.
- When air is completely out, close the valve and move on to next radiator.
- Ensure boiler's air pressure is at correct level when done with all units.
You’ll likely use your radiator extensively during the winter, and this can cause air bubbles to develop. If that happens, the system won’t be as efficient. That’s why this process is an essential spring preparation tip for homes with radiators.
Clean Exterior Windows – Inside and Out
Your windows catch the brunt of the cold winds that attempt to infiltrate your home. They often bring along with them dirt, dust and even salt if you’re living in the Northern United States or other particularly cold areas. The end of winter is the perfect opportunity to clean exterior windows in preparation for spring.
Many people opt to simply hire a window cleaning service for this task. This is especially beneficial if your home is flush with windows or they’re simply unsafe to get to. If you choose to handle the cleaning on your own, a bucket of cool water instilled with a few drops of dish detergent will work well.
Perform a quick surface clean of the windows and frames with this detergent solution and a sponge or microfiber towel. You may need to do this twice for the exterior of windows since they can get very dirty. Follow up by spraying a solution of two parts water and one part white vinegar on both sides of the panes. A clean and lint-free towel should be used for drying.
Consider a Home Inspection
Having a professional home inspection is another great way to prepare your home for spring – especially if you’re thinking of placing it on the market. Statistics show that selling real estate during the middle of spring results in homes being sold nearly 20 days faster and at prices 1 percent higher than average.
A home inspection will help identify any issues that currently exist or have the potential to arise. This can include roof damage, drainage problems, foundation issues and a host of other concerns. Winter is particularly stressful on structures, so bringing in an inspector once it’s over is never a bad idea.
Check for Roof Damage
Winter storms, freezing rain, heavy snows and all forms of cold weather issues can cause serious damage to your home, making the end of winter the perfect time to check for roof damage. Start by walking around your home and looking for obvious signs of damage, such as fallen shingles or debris on the roof. If you come across missing shingles, they need to be replaced as soon as possible.
If safe to do so, you can also assess the roof from a higher vantage point and look for leaves, moss, branches and other debris as well. These should be removed and cleaned. Contact a professional roofing inspection if you’re inexperienced in this area or identify a potential issue.
Checking the inside of your attic for signs of leaks can also help identity if your roof is in need of repair.
Is Your Home Ready for Spring?
While property upkeep is a year-round job, getting your yard and home ready for Spring is a great way to minimize necessary work throughout the coming months. With just a bit of preparation and upkeep in the latter part of the year, your home will start off strong in the changing seasons.
If you want to help ensure your property is fully protected, contact a WIN Home Inspection expert near you today by clicking here. You can also reach out at (800) 309-6753 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.