Once the weather finally warms up enough to go outside without feeling winter's bite, you can take stock of the home maintenance projects best suited to spring. The good news is that a few hours of your time spent checking off the items on your homeowner's checklist can help you increase property value and make your home more comfortable for you and your family.
Here are 11 home maintenance projects you’ll want to put on your to-do list this spring to save you from costly repairs in the future and immediately improve your home’s value.
1. Tune Up Your Air Conditioner
The last thing you want to do is turn on your air conditioner on a really hot day to discover it is not working. This underscores the importance of checking your air conditioner before you intend to use it on a daily basis. Remove air filters and clean or replace them. Schedule a professional air conditioning service to ensure the internal components of your air conditioning unit are in good repair and ready for a long summer of use. Regular maintenance reduces the likelihood of an expensive replacement and protects your home investment.
2. Check Weather Stripping on Doors and Windows
Many people know to inspect the weather stripping around their windows and doors before winter arrives. After all, if the air keeps coming in around your windows, your home will be a lot colder. It is just as important to take a look at it in the spring, before the weather gets hot. Your goal here is to minimize heat transfer, or the movement of hot air from the outdoors into your home. If the weather stripping is damaged or missing, your windows and doors are more inefficient at blocking hot air from coming in. Replacing weather stripping is generally inexpensive, simple and can also reduce your energy consumption, which is a great incentive for prospective homebuyers looking for consistently lower energy bills.
3. Inspect Door and Window Caulking
If your home is more than a year or two old, you may spot some cracks between the windows and doors and the exterior walls caused by the natural shifting of the home over time. Cracks make the home appear old and outdated, and they also decrease the HVAC efficiency. The cracks work as air leaks, allowing hot air to penetrate, and making it easier for dust, allergens and even insects or rodents to get in. Unless they are significant or show signs of other damage, you can readily seal the cracks with caulking. This DIY can save you up to 14 percent on your energy bills.
4. Check Siding for Damage
People often focus so much of their time on the function of their interior homes that they forget the importance of making sure the exterior is in good repair. Curb appeal is vital for maintaining your property value. Start with your home's siding. Some types of siding are more prone to absorbing water. Even if the siding itself is impermeable, water can come in through the sides and around the trim. Check each panel for signs of wear or damage, and replace panels that are damaged. Regular inspections can help you maintain the life of your siding and help you know when it's time for new siding.
5. Examine Brick and Stone
Brick and stone surfaces are intended to be very hardy and last a long time, which makes them such a wise investment for your home to increase property value. However, they do sustain damage from hard winters and age. Look at the individual bricks or stone for signs of chipping or breaking. Inspect the mortar around the stones or bricks. Loose mortar can lead to broken or chipped bricks or stones, which can become a nesting ground for insects and rodents. Arrange for repair to loose mortar, and replace any problem bricks or stones to maintain the investment in your home and its value.
6. Inspect Exterior Paint
Almost everyone who comes to your home likely sees the color and quality of the exterior paint before they view anything else. The maintenance required for your paint job depends heavily on the type of paint you select. Certain kinds last longer than others. Look at the paint on your siding or stucco for signs of chipping, peeling or paint blisters. If you only have a few small places that need a touch-up, you can fix it easily. However, should several large areas need fresh paint, you might consider a completely new layer of paint for the home. As an added bonus, it makes the home look newer and may give your home a modern upgrade.
7. Check Gutter Cleanliness and Function
Like your HVAC system, your gutters tend to go unnoticed until they have some serious problems. After a rainstorm, inspect your gutters to see how the water flows from your house. Are they overflowing with fallen leaves and debris? Are they leaking? Do the downspouts point away from your home's foundation? Are the gutter guards holding up? Looking at the entire system helps you avoid costly and unsightly damage to your roof, exterior walls and foundation. Clean gutters regularly, then request repairs if necessary.
8. Test Flashings on Roof Vents, Skylights and Chimneys
Flashing, which can be metal, plastic or other material, is used to prevent water from leaking into your home through openings around roof vents, skylights and chimneys because these are common paths of entry for rainwater. If your flashing is loose or broken, rain can trickle into your attic or under shingles to cause major damage to your roof and the interior of your home. Replacing flashing is a small investment that will save you from replacing your roof, furniture or flooring.
9. Examine Roof Shingles
The condition of your roof shingles is another aspect of your home's exterior that can be seen easily from the street. Roof shingles of almost any material are created to be relatively easy to replace, but you cannot always see the extent of the situation from your driveway. The best way to inspect roof shingles is from the roof. Look for signs of loose, broken or missing shingles. Arrange to replace them to avoid having to replace your entire roof in time.
10. Check All Concrete Elements on the Property
Your foundation may not be as obvious as other components of your property. However, if you want to increase property value in your home, you want every concrete piece to be solid and safe, especially the foundation. Inspect the foundation inside and out for cracks or signs of water damage. Look for cracks in your driveway, sidewalks and patio. Repair the cracks and request a professional to fix your foundation, as needed. Make sure that retaining walls look as clean and neat as they did last year. A solid foundation is one of the first items many prospective homeowners look for when viewing a house.
11. Inspect Chimneys
Problems in the structure of your chimney usually start at the top and work inward. A missing chimney cap exposes the rest of the structure to damage from wind, snow, rain and more. Over a period of years, this can hurt the brick and mortar. Before you schedule a routine chimney cleaning, examine the chimney top for signs of serious wear. That way, you can plan for repairs at the same time.
Maintain the Value of Your Home
Seeing what last winter did to your home can feel a little daunting, but these 11 to-do projects are an absolute must in order to maintain the comfort of your home, as well as increase the property value. They also lower the risk of expensive repairs and replacements of components like windows, gutters and roofing, building on the worth of your investment and keeping your house safe and secure for your family.