Don't you just love the feeling of owning your own home? It's your personal canvas to embellish, remodel, and truly make your own. But let's face it, homeownership can be daunting too.
From cleaning and maintenance to dedicating time and effort to do so, it's easy to feel overwhelmed before you even begin. The key to a well-kept home is tackling projects early on. With winter behind us and the world blossoming anew, it's the perfect opportunity to rejuvenate your living space.
Spring is here, and it's time to swap storm windows for screens, bounce back from winter's fury, and give your home some much-needed attention. Whether it's repainting your walls, fixing a garage door, or sprucing up your deck, there's no better time to start.
Regardless of whether you're a first-time homeowner or a seasoned pro, our comprehensive spring home maintenance checklist has got you covered, ensuring your Waterloo Region home remains in pristine condition.
Indoor Spring Home Maintenance Musts
It's easy to procrastinate on jobs and let debris to accumulate in your indoor spaces over the winter. It's time to make repairs and prepare your home for the summer now that spring has arrived.
Replace Old Locks
Spring is a great time to replace any locks that have become worn or rusty. For increased security, consider installing locks that require a key on both sides of the door. Even better, you could install a smart lock that dispenses with the need for keys at all.
If you've recently moved into a new home, the first thing you should do is change your locks. Because you have no idea who the former owners provided extra keys to, and it's better to be safe than sorry.
Vacuum and Dust
If you're a new homeowner, movers are likely to have brought in a lot of dust and footprints. This is a terrific time to do spring cleaning, even if you've lived there for a few years.
You can hire a cleaning service for a reasonably low cost to start fresh. If you're doing it yourself, start by cleaning any hardwood, tile, or carpet thoroughly. Also, clean the baseboards. If your carpets are particularly grubby this may be a great time to treat them to a professional carpet cleaning.
Don't forget to inspect inside the refrigerator, oven, and microwave, which are commonly neglected. Just in time for summer, a thorough cleaning like this, though time-consuming, leaves your home looking and smelling great.
During the winter, clutter tends to accumulate. This can result in a crowded, messy home, making spring cleaning more challenging. To clean up, concentrate on getting rid of clutter.
You might want to concentrate on your closets while you declutter. Decluttering the larger space around them is made easier by cleaning out the bedroom closets, front hall closets, laundry room closets, and so on. Get rid of the bulky items first, leaving only the necessities. It will help your house shine if you utilize the same organizational strategy across your home.
Wash the Windows
Winter can be hard on windows. Algae, moss, and pollen can accumulate, leading to discolored and dirty windows. Be sure to clean your windows to maximize air quality and natural light. Clean during an overcast day, as direct sunlight causes streaking. All you need is a microfiber cloth and a glass-specific cleaner. And a little extra elbow grease of course!
Test Your Essential Alarms
You should check every smoke and carbon monoxide alarm in your home at least twice a year to ensure they’re working, and so making these checks a part of your annual spring clean is a great way to remember to do so. If they aren’t in working order, change the batteries or have the alarms replaced.
If your home is older, it may not have carbon monoxide detectors, so be sure to install one, and if any of these alarms are rather outdated consider replacing them with a smart detector like the Google Nest Protect, as it combines a smoke detector and a CO2 alarm in one, and can be controlled right from your phone.
Check Your HVAC Filters
Ideally, the spring is a great time to call in an HVAC professional to inspect your system as a whole, especially as the last thing you want to discover when the heat hits is that your A/C isn't working!
However, at the very least you should check and replace your HVAC filters, and plan on doing so every three months if you want to keep the air in your home cleaner and your allergies at bay.
Check Your Plumbing
Check for leaks, clogged drains, and water stains all-around your home. Look behind the toilet, behind sinks, and on your ceilings and walls. Leaky pipes are often straightforward to repair yourself, but if you see a large wet patch of drywall or moist areas on your floors, call a licensed professional right away (especially if you find leaks in the kitchen or bathroom)
Outdoor Spring Home Maintenance Musts
Cold, wet, windy weather can take quite a toll on a house, making it challenging to complete yard work, maintenance, and outdoor cleaning. Now that it’s springtime, embrace the warmer weather, get back outside, schedule repairs, and refresh your home.
Start With a Visual Home Check
Before beginning any project, take a walk around your house and perform a quick visual examination. Make a list of everything that needs to be repaired. Is there any rotting wood? What is the state of the concrete? Is there a crack in your chimney? Are there any shingles missing? Examine the sprinkler heads and irrigation systems outside.
Beginning with an overview of the exterior of your property allows you to concentrate on individual improvements without neglecting anything important. As you find problems snap a few pictures with your phone and note what needs to be done. Google Note is a great app for doing this.
Wash Down Your Home's Exterior
Waterloo Region winters are harsh and the winter weather will almost certainly have left the outside of your home dull and grimy.
Despite what you might have read, to give your home's exterior a basic 'bath' you don't need to rent a power washer. They can damage your siding or chip paint if you don't really know what you are doing.
A garden hose can clean most messes, especially with the proper nozzle. Only use detergent or chemical-based cleaners when necessary, as these can damage your plants. C
leaning your home’s exterior helps it look better and can prevent long-term damage. If there are real problems, like lots of damaged paint, or what you might think is wood rot, call in a professional to help.
Make Sure Your Gutters are Clean and Clear
A healthy home requires clean gutters. Keep the gutters clear of leaves and sticks that obstruct adequate drainage to avoid costly roof damage. To avoid any pricey problems, clean out your gutters at least a few times a year, but be cautious.
Have someone with you outside in case the ladder begins to sway. Cleaning gutters can be dangerous, so use extra caution at all times. Professional gutter and downspout cleaning is a better option than risking a trip to the hospital if you're worried about doing it yourself.
While you are cleaning your gutters you should also check for damage. Even small cracks can lead to big trouble down the line. You should also check the pitch of your downspouts as if they have been knocked out of line by the snow you could end up with floods. Again, don't be afraid to call in the pros if required repairs are beyond the scope of your DIY skills.
Clean Up Your Patio or Deck
The summer is the time of year you really get the most out of your deck or patio, and before you haul out the outdoor furniture for the summer, spending a few hours making sure everything on and around your patio or deck is clean, in good repair and organized will help you get even more enjoyment from your outdoor spaces.
Wooden decks need special care. Here is one space that you may want to consider using a power washer on - or at least a powerful hose, to help ensure you remove any mold or mildew that could eat away at the deck. Stone patios often benefit from a careful power washing too, but be careful, as too much pressure could crack it.
This is also the best time to check for damage, especially under the deck and around the stairs, and ensure that any repairs that need to be made are completed before that first BBQ, so that your cookouts are safe as well as fun.
Check Garden Paths
Maintaining your garden paths for spring is an essential aspect of creating a beautiful and inviting outdoor space. To keep your paths looking their best, follow these simple yet effective tips:
Clear Debris and Weeds: Begin by removing any leaves, twigs, and other debris that may have accumulated on your garden paths during the winter months. Regularly check for weeds growing between the path's stones or pavers, and remove them promptly to prevent further growth. Consider using a weed removal tool or a natural weed killer to make the task easier.
Repair Damage: Inspect your garden paths for any damage, such as cracks, loose stones, or pavers. Address any issues promptly by replacing damaged stones or repositioning pavers as needed. This will not only enhance the appearance of your garden paths but also help prevent potential accidents.
Clean the Surface: Garden paths can become dirty or stained over time, so it's essential to give them a thorough cleaning. Use a broom or a leaf blower to remove any loose dirt or debris. For a deeper clean, use a pressure washer or a garden hose with a nozzle attachment to wash away grime, mildew, or algae. Be sure to use a gentle setting on the pressure washer to avoid damaging the surface of your garden path.
Apply a Sealant (if applicable): If your garden paths are made of porous materials like natural stone, brick, or concrete, consider applying a sealant. A sealant can help protect the surface from staining, moisture damage, and weathering, making your garden paths more durable and easier to maintain.
Edge the Path: To give your garden paths a neat and polished appearance, edge the areas where they meet the surrounding grass or garden beds. Use a lawn edger, a spade, or a string trimmer to create clean, sharp lines that define your garden paths.
Refresh Mulch or Gravel: If your garden paths are lined with mulch or gravel, take the time to refresh these materials as needed. Replenish the mulch or gravel to the desired depth, ensuring a consistent and attractive appearance.
Reevaluate Your Outdoor Lighting
Evaluating and improving your home's outdoor lighting is essential for enhancing curb appeal, increasing safety, and creating an inviting atmosphere. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you assess and upgrade your outdoor lighting effectively:
Assess your current lighting: Begin by walking around your property during the evening hours to evaluate your existing outdoor lighting. Take note of any dark or shadowy areas, glare, or fixtures that are not functioning properly. Pay special attention to the entrance, pathways, stairs, and any potential hazards.
Identify your lighting goals: Determine the objectives of your outdoor lighting, such as enhancing curb appeal, improving safety and security, or highlighting specific architectural or landscaping features. Knowing your goals will help you make informed decisions on the type and placement of lights.
Choose the right types of lighting: Outdoor lighting can be categorized into three main types: a. Ambient lighting: Provides general illumination for an area, creating a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. Examples include wall sconces, post lights, and hanging fixtures. b. Task lighting: Ensures safety and visibility for specific tasks or areas, such as illuminating pathways, stairs, or entrances. Consider using path lights, step lights, or spotlights. c. Accent lighting: Highlights specific features of your home or landscape, such as trees, statues, or architectural elements. Spotlights, uplights, or downlights are ideal for this purpose.
Opt for energy-efficient options: Consider using energy-efficient lighting solutions, such as LED or solar-powered lights. These options are not only environmentally friendly but can also reduce your energy costs in the long run.
Address safety and security concerns: Ensure that all entry points, pathways, and potential hazards are well-lit to reduce the risk of accidents and deter intruders. Motion-activated security lights can be an effective solution for areas that don't need continuous illumination.
Layer your lighting: Combine different types of lighting to create a well-balanced and visually appealing outdoor space. For example, use a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to illuminate your patio or deck area.
Choose appropriate fixtures: Select outdoor lighting fixtures that complement your home's architectural style and can withstand the elements. Look for fixtures with a weather-resistant finish and materials designed for outdoor use.
Plan for proper installation: Consult with a professional electrician or outdoor lighting specialist to ensure your lighting plan complies with local codes and is installed correctly. This is especially important if you're installing new electrical wiring or adding fixtures to existing circuits.
Prepare Your Lawnmower
Before your grass grows too long, pull out your lawnmower and double-check that everything is in working order. Check the battery if you have an electric mower. Replace the fluids in your gas mower. In any case, make sure the blades are sharp and ready to go so you can mow quickly and efficiently.
Also, take a look at any other lawn-care equipment you may have. For the summer months, it's critical to get your outside green spaces in order right from the start of the spring season if you want them to look great right through the fall.
Check Pools and Ponds
If you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool it's likely you have an opening date in mind, and are ready to complete the basics in terms of getting it ready for use. However, this is a good time to evaluate its safety, especially if your have kids or pets (or the near neighbours do)
If you have a pond or other water feature you'll probably need to clear away any leaf debris left behind now that the snow is gone and will have revealed such things.
Investing time and effort in spring home maintenance not only enhances your home's appearance but also safeguards against expensive repairs down the line.
By following our comprehensive guide, you can ensure your house is in excellent condition, letting you savor your living space and relish the warmer months ahead. If you're considering buying or selling a home in the Waterloo Region, don't hesitate to reach out to one of our experienced real estate agents.
Our dedicated team is here to guide you through the process, ensuring a smooth and successful experience. Take the first step towards your dream home today by contacting Team Pinto.