Looking for an all-encompassing spring home maintenance checklist? Look no further as this post has a list of 12 items to focus on in the coming weeks to prepare for enjoying spring and summer.
Early spring is the perfect opportunity to spend time preparing for the nicer days. During the cool mornings, work on indoor projects and when the afternoons warm up focus on items outdoors. Home maintenance costs are free or minimal compared to the cost of major repairs or replacement of home items. So, taking time to do home maintenance is a great financial move.
After spending a few weeks completely indoors this winter, from the cold weather here in Kansas City, I’m itching to get outdoors, so I’m looking forward to projects and to ensuring our property is in top shape. I also want to make sure it is functioning well so we can spend our summer doing fun things, like exploring local hiking trails, etc., instead of seeing about home projects. So, I’m trying to get the necessities out of the way!
Without further ado, here are the 17 spring home maintenance items to be focusing on now and in the coming weeks:
Outdoor Spring Home Maintenance Items
The obvious place to start with preparing a home for nice weather is by focusing on outdoor tasks. Weather is unpredictable, so taking advantage of days that are warmer is key to accomplishing our spring home maintenance items for the outdoors.
Trim or Prune Trees
The best time to trim trees is in the late winter when the trees are completely dormant. Here in Kansas City (Zone 6a), the best time is around Valentine’s Day. If you didn’t prune yours around Valentines, the best next day is today. Have a tree trimming company come, especially if you have large trees or watch Youtube videos of professional gardeners if you have smaller, ornamental trees that need trimmed.
Clear Leaves from Flower Beds and Gardens
We leave the leaves on our flower beds and garden through winter to help the ground maintain moisture and to provide some insulation for plants. As the ground starts to unfreeze and frost is of lesser concern, it’s a great time to remove last year’s leaves and potentially put down mulch. You can use a rake, or if you’ve let the leaves dry out a bit, a leaf blower is a great tool to have for the task as well.
In Kansas City, we have a lawn waste removal day, so what we don’t save for composting, we have put into bags ahead of this pick-up day. By having our bags prepared and ready to go we don’t have to make a trip to the local disposal place ourselves. Additionally, we save ourselves waiting in long lines or having to pay $1 per bag on weekdays, when it’s much less busy.
Sprinkler System Check
I’m not here to advocate for sprinkler systems. I think they’re costly and honestly, the times they are beneficial (i.e. watering plants during dry spouts) can be easily fixed by using a hose. But, we do have a sprinkler system. It was put in by the previous homeowners and we are doing our best to maintain it.
In the late spring, after the ground has warmed up and threats of freezing are gone is a great time to look for valves that need replaced, sprinkler heads that need replaced, or other issues with the water lines, etc. Having water leaking through the summer can be very costly by way of large water bills.
Power Wash Home, Fence, and Cement Patios
If your home is made of vinyl siding, or there are things on your property, such as a fence or cement patio, the Spring is a great time to have them power washed. The weather is nice enough to do it yourself or have a professional do this (especially if you have a second story covered in vinyl). Having these items cleaned will make them more inviting during nice weather. You won’t be sitting thinking and kicking yourself that you really need to get up and clean something. Power washing is also a critical component to the next item on this list!
Seal Outdoor Items Made of Wood
Outdoor items made of wood generally need to be sealed once a year. So, if you have a wood fence, a wooden swing set, or wood deck, you’ll need a can of sealer and a brush for applying. Taking time to power wash each of these items prior to sealing ensures that you’re only sealing the wood and not locking grime onto the surface of the items.
Sealing wood is important because it protects the wood from moisture (rain or humidity) damage. Not taking care of these items can shorten their lifespan, and decks, swing sets, and fences, are typically costly, so taking time to do some spring home maintenance care on these items is a great financial move.
Plant Seeds for a Garden
This may seem ridiculous, but I have a tradition of giving plant seeds to my girls for Valentine’s Day. We like planting tomatoes and cucumbers. This year we are going to try our hand at bell peppers and watermelons (not my choice – I don’t like watermelon). Just after Valentine’s day is a good time to start plants that are being grown from seed. Know what grows well in your area and if you need to start the seeds indoors. For us, tomatoes need to be started inside, but cucumbers don’t like being transplanted so we will put the seeds directly into the ground in May.
Fertilize Grounds Appropriately
Depending on the plants that you have on your property, there are likely some that like to be fertilized in the spring. I love bearded iris, and they grow better if fertilized about 6-8 weeks before flowering. For us that is late February or early March.
Knowing if you need to add nutrients to your garden or other plants, like newly planted trees, is helpful. Also, treating your lawn with appropriate fertilizer and for grubs (if this is an issue in your area) is an important yard maintenance item. Spending a little on fertilizer to keep plants healthy is typically cheaper than replacing plants. I’m not a specialist in plants, so do some research through your local university extension office to get reputable information.
Clean out Grill/Smoker/FirePit
If you are like us, you probably used your smoker or firepit on the randomly nice evenings into late fall or early winter. But once the weather turned, you likely didn’t have time to clean out these pieces of equipment. Take time this spring to clean out the grease in your grill or smoker, and remove old ashes. Taking the time to clean these items up may just give you the incentive you need to make sure to enjoy them during the nice seasons of the year.
Clean Outdoor Furniture and Textiles
Just like we cover the grill and leave it once it gets cold, the same probably goes for any outdoor pillows or rugs, or other outdoor textiles you may have. Take time to give them a clean so that they start out the season looking refreshed. It will make your outdoor spaces more comfortable and inviting to clean these items.
Indoor Spring Home Maintenance Items
Now for a few things to see about indoors on the cooler days of spring.
Clean Windows Inside and Out
This one is really an outdoor and indoor item; however, you’re mostly going to enjoy the fruits of your labor from inside. Over winter dirt and grime build up on window panes. Take time this spring to give your windows a good cleaning so you can let the sun in and enjoy the greening of outdoors through spring.
Last fall we had 18 windows replaced in our home, so this spring I’m excited to test out the functionality of the double hung windows. It is definitely a little nerdy, but after that hefty payment I want to enjoy the ease of cleaning them this spring! It’s the little things, folks!
Clean Laundry Vents
My least favorite item on our fall home maintenance article (check it out here) is having chimneys cleaned out. This is likely my least favorite item for spring, but so critical. Each year it is important to have dryer vents cleaned out. Lint and other debris can build up in the vent pipes creating a fire hazard.
Clean the vent by the dryer and also where it exits your home. There is a pipe cleaner that extends into the pipe a distance which can be helpful for getting as much of the line cleaned as possible. Of course hire a professional, if you are at all uncertain about doing this work yourself or if you have no business moving a dryer on your own.
Seal Tile Grout and Other Surfaces Like Countertops
Depending on the surfaces in your home, there are likely some that need to be sealed. Shower grout needs to be resealed once a year to ensure water cannot leak through it. Other grout lines likely need to be resealed every three years or so, depending on the amount of traffic, etc. Similarly, butcher blocks (whether used as counter tops or cutting boards) need to be sealed once a year to once every three years, again depending on the amount of use.
Take time this spring to review the surfaces in your home and research if/when they need to be resealed. Take the time to reseal anything needing sealed and you can’t recall the last time they were sealed.
Have Carpets and Other Upholstery Washed
Simply vacuuming carpet and upholstery does not truly clean the items. These items should be professionally cleaned at least once a year, and the spring is a great time to see about getting professional cleaning booked. If you have a number of pets or have a lot of people in and out of your home, likely having carpets cleaned more frequently may be important.
Have the Air Conditioner Serviced
Just like you have your heater looked at in the fall, it’s important to have air conditioning units reviewed in the spring. Ensure they are in top condition, so that when the heat waves hit in the summer you don’t have to worry about them going out. Your technician will replace your air filter as well. When you book their visit ensure if they are bringing a filter with them or if you need to have one onsite for them to replace it for you.
Check Smoke Detectors
While we may not be using our fireplaces in the spring and summer and we may choose to use our ovens less, we still need to ensure our smoke detectors are functioning properly. If any of the detectors are powered by a nine-volt battery, go ahead and change them out, as they need to be changed every six months.
Clean Out the Coat Closet
I love cleaning out the coat closet in the spring. It is a sign that the weather is truly turning and for whatever reason it feels like the items in a family coat closet multiply throughout winter. More shoes, more coats, more gloves seem to migrate from other areas of the house. Taking time to clean out the coat closet and donate anything too small and riding things that are missing their pair is a good thing. There is no need to hold onto them until fall.
Last but not least, donate items. Just like the winter coats that aren’t going to fit the kids in the fall, take some time to think about what you can donate. Look through your winter clothes and see if there are things that you didn’t wear this year. Look through your home decor and see if there are things surrounding you that aren’t functional or that you don’t love. Your home needs to be personalized based on what you love, so if you don’t love it or it isn’t providing you a service, off it goes. Donating items doesn’t have to mean spending money to replace the items. Sometimes minimalism can free up the space so you can enjoy it more.
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