As the cold, gray winter weather gives way to the brightness and warmth of spring, the perfect opportunity comes to think about what work needs doing around your home. Longer days and better weather can give you a new burst of energy and motivation after staying huddled up inside after winter, so it’s a great time to make sure your home is ready for the year ahead.
There’s plenty to take care of both inside and outside – so use this handy checklist to make sure you get everything done.
The outside of your home will have borne the brunt of winter’s bad weather, so a good task to start with is to do an initial check around the outside of your home to take stock of any major issues that need addressing. Make a list of urgent tasks, such as repairing any major damage to the exterior of your home, then begin to work through more specific jobs.
Check your roof and gutters
Take it from the top (literally) by inspecting your roof and gutters. If you’re using a ladder, make sure it’s steady and safe, then do a thorough check of the roof. Look for any missing or damaged shingles and repair, refit or replace them as necessary, and check for any algae or moss that’s started to grow.
Algae is generally only an aesthetic problem, but moss can begin to cause damage as it grows by lifting or displacing shingles, so this should be taken care of quickly. Don’t use heavy scrubbing or a pressure washer as this may cause further damage; instead, pick out as much of the moss by hand as possible, then use a water and bleach mixture to remove the rest.
While you’re up there, check your gutters and drainpipes too. Get rid of any leaves, twigs, or other debris so that they aren’t clogged, and make sure they’re all firmly attached. If you find any leaks, holes, or other damage, repair or replace them as necessary.
Inspect your decking, fences, rails, outdoor furniture, and any other wood
The cold and wet winter can easily lead to rot setting into wood that hasn’t been properly treated for a while, so your next step is to check all your wooden fixtures. Pay special attention to steps, railings, and decking, as rotten wood here can pose a safety risk. Replace any wood that’s begun to rot, then apply a layer of wood preservation oil, and finally a fresh lick of paint if it needs touching up.
If you have a wooden fence, you should also look for any weather damage and sagging or bowing sections. If there are any cracked or broken panels, you can re-attach them with glue, using strong tape to hold them together while it sets.
If the fence has begun to lean or sag in places, the panels may have come unstuck from the main posts on either side. Check the top and base of the main posts – if the panel has come unstuck at the top, you can simply secure and re-attach it to the post. If the issue is at the base, you may have to replace or re-anchor the post.
Clean your concrete
Next, you should check any concrete around the outside of your home, such as steps, driveways, and walkways. Accumulated dirt, grime, algae, and moss on concrete doesn’t just look bad; it can also make it slippery to walk on, so thoroughly clean it with a power washer. If there are any leaves, twigs, or other debris littering the concrete, gather it up and put any organic material into your compost bin.
Make sure exterior water fixtures are in good condition
They won’t have got much use in winter, so it’s important to check outside faucets, hoses, and sprinklers to ensure they haven’t suffered any damage over the last few months. Turn on faucets and check they run properly – low water pressure could be a sign that there’s a leak or burst pipe somewhere along the supply.
You should also check that any hoses haven’t cracked or split in the cold and turn on sprinklers to make sure they’re working properly. Inspect the sprinkler heads and make sure they’re still sprinkling in the right direction and trajectory to cover your whole lawn.
Inspect, clean, and repair your windows and doors
The worst of the year’s weather might be out of the way, but heavy spring rains could still be on the way, so it’s important to make sure your windows and doors are in good condition. Start by clearing debris from the windowsills and frames, then clean the seals and repair them if there’s any damage or holes.
If you have wooden sills or frames and didn’t check them at the same time as the rest of your exterior wooden fittings, check for rot, water damage, or cracks and splits. If you have storm windows fitted, check the drainage holes at the base are clear of debris that could stop water from draining out properly.
Once the fittings are dealt with, clean the window panes thoroughly – you don’t want any dirt blocking out the lovely spring sunshine. Last, check the paintwork on your window and door frames – if there are any scratches or faded patches, give them a fresh coat of paint so they can look their best.
Carry out some routine A/C maintenance
As the weather warms up, you’ll start to rely on your air conditioning more, so to get the most out of it, you should ensure it’s in full working order at the start of spring. Clean around the exterior and get rid of any fallen leaves or other debris, then open it up and start working on the inside.
Take out the filters and replace them – this should be done fairly regularly throughout the year so that the A/C will run more efficiently and supply higher quality air to your home. Clean out the vents and ducts as well, check for any other damage, and turn it on to test it’s in working order. If you find any issues or just aren’t sure what to look for, don’t hesitate to arrange for a professional to come and inspect it to ensure it’s in top condition.
Get to work on your lawns and gardens
It won’t be long before your lawn, and other plants start to grow with the better weather. Start out your garden work by inspecting your lawnmower – check the engine, oil, and cutting blade (if any damp has got into where it’s stored, you may have an issue with rust). After that, move on to the lawn itself.
First, rake up and gather any leaves, twigs, and other surface debris, and dispose of organic matter in your compost bin. After this, do a harder rake into the soil of your lawn to loosen it for seeding and to dislodge any moss that’s taken root. Re-seed as necessary, being sure to overseed any particularly bare patches.
Next, deal with your soil beds. Start by removing surface debris again, such as leaves and twigs, then grab a trowel and thoroughly de-weed the beds. Mix in some compost to get the beds ready for planting, and make sure that lower areas of the garden are filled with a lot of highly compacted soil – this will increase its absorbency to avoid the beds from being flooded in the spring rains.
Finally, you should take some time to trim trees, hedges, and bushes, especially those closest to your home that could cause damage to the walls or begin to block out sunlight as they grow.
Once you’ve dealt with your home’s exterior, it’s time to get ready for spring inside as well. Luckily, there’s less to do inside, but it’s still important to take the time to carry out some interior work so you can enjoy spring to its fullest.
Open up your windows
Over winter, your windows will have been closed tight most of the time to keep the heat in. That means they’ve been keeping all the air in as well, though, so the arrival of spring means you have the chance to air out your home and let some fresh air in. Choose a warm day, ideally with a slight breeze, and open up all your windows to allow fresh air to circulate through your home.
Get your beds spring-ready
Next, move onto the bedroom. Take your spring clean as an opportunity to flip your mattress, which will improve its lifespan and keep it comfier in the long run. You can also start to get out thinner duvets, comforters, and blankets ready for the warmer weather – you don’t want to be sweating under thick winter bedding as the temperature goes up.
Check basements, attics, and crawlspaces
It’s easy to forget all about these areas of your house during winter while you’re huddled up in the warmest parts of your house, so when spring arrives, you should check them all thoroughly. Look for signs of damp, mold, leaks, or any other damage, and carry out any repairs or cleaning as necessary.
Do a thorough house cleaning
The biggest part of your spring clean is the cleaning itself. Winter can easily lead to an accumulation of dust, muck, and grime simply because of being stuck inside for longer (and possibly because of muddy shoes being tracked through the house too), so when spring comes, it’s time to freshen it all up.
Start by vacuuming around the entire home, making sure to get underneath furniture for any hidden dirt. Mop, and clean wood, stone, or laminate flooring, and bring out the steam cleaner or carpet shampoo for rugs and carpets. Finally, clean the inside of all your windows to make sure you’re getting all the warm spring sun into your home that you can.
Carry out safety checks
Your spring clean is a good time to do any safety checks around your house. Most importantly, change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them to make sure they’re still working. You should also take the time to restock your first aid kit and check that any fire extinguishers are full and have the right pressure.
Consider home improvements
Now that it’s warmer and lighter, you might find you have more energy and motivation to handle making improvements around your home. These could be bigger projects like renovating or redecorating sections of your house or smaller changes such as making upgrades to improve your home’s energy efficiency, such as installing insulation, a smart thermostat, or other technological upgrades.
Add spring flowers as a finishing touch
Finish your spring clean with a vase of springtime flowers to add a splash of color to your bright and airy home. Daffodils, tulips, and rhododendrons are all good options, helping to complete that fresh spring feeling.
For more helpful tips on maintaining your home throughout the year, check out our blog on home maintenance tasks and the four times per year you should do them.