When the snow starts melting and the crocuses start popping their little buds out of the ground, you know you’ve made it through winter’s long haul and are just about home free until spring. But as the sun starts to warm up, you may start to notice the parts of your home that you’ve neglected through the winter.
Whether you’re working on your home to get it ready to go on the market or just hoping to give it some love, don’t let these spring cleaning and updating chores slip through the cracks. Spring cleaning is a great way to freshen up the house and shake off those winter blues.
But, in addition to making the house feel refreshed by giving it a good once over, there are a few maintenance activities you can do around the house that will help you prevent some costly homeowners insurance claims.
1. Repair roof damage
Nothing is more intimidating to a potential buyer than a roof that needs some serious work. Keep up with small roof repairs so that you can avoid an expensive overhaul down the line. After a long winter, the first thing you should do is examine your roof and assess any damage, and while you’re up there, clear away any branches, leaves, moss, and other rubbish.
If you find an excessive amount of moss, mold, or other growth, you’ll want to treat your roof with chlorine bleach or copper sulfate. Replace any missing shingles and don’t hesitate to contact a roofer for a second opinion if need be.
2. Clean your gutters
Dirty gutters are an eyesore and a liability not only for you but for potential buyers, as well. Cleaning your gutters will take roughly 15-30 minutes, but will save you money in the long run. You can avoid flooding during spring rains by clearing gutters of all rubbish using a ladder, a small hand rake, and a hose.
3. Clean or replace HVAC filters
While this should be done more than once a year, spring is a good time to maintain your filters while you’re taking care of your other cleaning “to-dos.” Having a clean filter can help you save you money and prolong the life of your blower motor. Before flipping the switch from heat to AC, have a professional come in to ensure your system is in proper working order.
4. Bring the outdoors in
One of the most exciting things about spring is the burst of flower blossoms that happen around the neighborhood. Filling your home with potted plants will make your house smell good and look beautiful.
Use a mix of potted houseplants that will last for the whole season and blossoming vases that will need occasional updating.
5. Deep clean
It’s called “spring cleaning” for a reason. Now is the perfect time to give your house a nice deep clean. Throw away things you don’t need any more and clean every nook and cranny – you’ll be happy you did.
6. Keep up with the maintenance
Maintain your house regularly and look out for small things that need to be repaired or replaced, to avoid further damage. For example, a leak spot on the ceiling can cause great damage to your roof if not taken care of immediately. If your home is up for sale, a sign of poor maintenance will make the home seekers wonder what else is wrong with the house. A home warranty is a service contract that helps homeowners cover costly, unexpected repairs on home systems and appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear.
7. Clean the dryer lint hose
Check and clean the dryer hose once a year, as some lint can get past the lint trap. Having a clogged hose not only costs you money by having to run a load of laundry through the dryer cycle more than once, it is also is one of the leading causes of house fires.
8. Repair windows and screens
Replace damaged and warped screens so that you can enjoy warm spring breezes without being bothered by bugs and other critters. If you had a particularly rough winter, you’ll want to recaulk windows and inspect them for water damage and rot.
If you notice condensation between layers of glass, you’ll want to replace the sash or the window. Consumer Reports notes that maintaining your windows will help save you money on both heating and air conditioning.
9. Update your bathroom
Remodeling your bathroom is a great way to add more value to your home, but if a full rebuild is not within your budget, there are many small changes you can make that will freshen up your bathroom.
You can replace the dated wallpaper, old lighting, add some fancy cupboard knobs or change the faucet and shower heads. Right now, many Walk-in Tub manufacturers are offering big discounts!
Installing the proper lighting is a key element to a pleasant home design. No matter if you have big windows or not, this is particularly challenging because the lights have to be both charming and useful. Of course, ambient lights always offer a more pleasant atmosphere that doesn’t hurt your eyes either, but, after all, we’re talking about utility here as well.
10. Replace old mattress
Do you suffer from daily sneezing, watery eyes, clogged sinuses, or sniffling? Have your allergies become a simple fact of life for you? Millions of Americans have allergies, but did you know that one of the biggest causes of allergies might be in your bedroom?
Mattresses and pillows are huge allergen attractants as over the years dust and dust mites continually collect inside of these bedding material. This is especially true of mattresses as many homeowners go years without replacing or even vacuuming them.
Because so many people have allergies to dust mites, you may be risking your healthy by not replacing your mattress. When picking out a mattress, many people have very particular ideas about how it should feel. It is important to get one that is comfortable to you.
Consider the quality as well. Watch out for pillow top mattresses that are not able to be flipped over. They are likely to wear down and become less comfortable over time.
11. Declutter for Spring
Spring is the perfect time to pare down the clutter that’s been accumulating in your home. Before you get started, make a room-by-room plan so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by the prospect of decluttering your entire home—know that you don’t need to do everything in one day or even in one weekend.
Consider investing in drawer dividers and closet organizers to tame spaces that are prone to clutter. If you are planning on putting your home on the market, decluttering your home should be one of your top priorities.
12. Safe Holiday Travel
Easter is almost here! Yay! This means it’s time to celebrate with family and friends, which for a lot of us includes traveling to visit them. It’s no secret that traveling around the holidays can be quite stressful, so you should consider a home alarm system.
But installing a home alarm system isn’t just to stop burglars and intruders, it can also save you big money year after year. A house alarm will save you money on your homeowners insurance policy (which is generally mandatory if you own a home).
In fact, on average installing a home alarm system will give homeowners a 10-20% discount on their insurance by having a high functioning home alarm system installed. The good news is that these home alarm companies are pretty desperate for customers at the moment so you can get a good deal.
13. Pest Control – Don’t Wait
For most homeowners, home security is a top priority, but keeping your home safe from intruders means you have to think about more than just deadbolts and home alarms.
Whether you live in an urban area or among rolling country hills, a welcoming committee of common pests is waiting to make your home their own. Understanding when and how pests operate will help you protect your biggest investment and prevent seasonal pest problems.
Don’t wait until you see termites to take action against them. Termites can infest a home at any point during the year, but they tend to become more active in the spring, especially if the winter has been mild, wet, and damp. April and May are usually the busiest months for the pests.