Isn’t owning your own home great? You have a space to decorate, renovate, and make your own. However, owning a home can be challenging. Houses require cleaning, maintenance, time, and care, and it can be hard to know where to start before the work piles on. Starting projects early is essential to a healthy home. Now that winter is over, and life is regrowing, it’s time to refresh your home.
Spring means it’s time to take off the storm windows, put on the window screens, and recoup after those winter storms. It’s time to repaint your home, fix your garage door, or clean off your deck. So whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or have been in your home for years, this spring home maintenance checklist has all the tips you need to help keep your house in tip-top shape.
Spring home maintenance checklist: indoors
During the winter, it’s easy to leave projects unfinished and to let messes pile up in your interior spaces. Now that spring is here, it’s time to make repairs and prep your home for summer.
Replace old, rusted locks
Spring is an excellent opportunity to replace worn-out or rusted locks. Consider installing locks that require a key on both sides of the door for added security. If you’ve just moved into a new home, consider changing your locks before anything else. You don’t know who the previous homeowners gave additional keys to, so you may want to hire a locksmith to install new locks.
Dust and vacuum
If you’re new to your home, you probably had movers bringing in lots of dust and footprints. Even if you’ve been there a few years, this is a great time to do spring cleaning. To start fresh, you can hire a cleaning service for as little as $100. If you do it yourself, begin with thoroughly cleaning any hardwood, tile, or carpet. Wash the baseboards, too. If you’re going to install a new dryer, clean out any leftover lint in the dryer vent to avoid fire hazards.
“Don’t forget to hit those often-overlooked places, like the inside of the refrigerator, oven, and microwave,” says Sam of Tailor Maid Cleaning Service. “A comprehensive clean leaves your house looking and smelling fresh just in time for summer.”
Clutter often builds up during the winter months. This can lead to a crowded, dirty home, making spring cleaning more difficult. To clean up, “focus on clearing clutter out and consider donating it,” says Evan of Mulberry Maids.
The team at VanGo Junk Removal suggests decluttering one room at a time. “Focus on a specific area, pick out the items you want to get rid of, and organize them into ‘keep’ and ‘toss’ piles. Then, call a junk removal team, clean the decluttered area, and enjoy your new space.”
Pro tips: identify your treasures and clean out the closets
Jump start your spring cleaning by identifying your closest treasures. Spring cleaning is easier when you get rid of objects that don’t bring you joy and keep the ones that do. – Pam Holland, professional organizer with Mindful Decluttering and Organizing
Focus on your closets. Cleaning out the bedroom closets, front hall closets, laundry room closet, etc., makes decluttering the larger room easier. Get rid of bulky items first so you’re only left with the necessities. Using the same organizational method throughout your home will help your house shine. – Luke and Jacqueline of Bin There Dump That, a nationwide waste management company.
Scrub 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,” says Ahmed Mezil of Hellamaid. “Clean during an overcast day, as direct sunlight causes streaking. All you need is a microfiber cloth and a glass-specific cleaner.”
It’s easy to accumulate extra items during the winter months. To get rid of clutter, “focus on clearing clutter out and consider donating it,” says Evan at Mulberry Maids. “After that, take time to clean neglected areas in the home, such as baseboards, ceilings, blinds, and window and door frames.”
Clean your carpet and rugs
James Lotito from Restora-Rug recommends flipping your rug around during a spring clean. “A rug’s fibers begin to wear when one side is walked on more often. Eventually, the rug can become permanently discolored and damaged. Rug padding can help mitigate this.”
Don’t use harmful, soapy chemicals when cleaning carpet. J.R. Mitchell of Citrus Carpet Cleaning also advises against using excess water and soap. “Soapy detergents leave the carpet sticky and discolored. Test carpet spot cleaners to see if they’re soapy before buying them. To test, shake them up – if they soap or foam, don’t use them.”
Pro tips: remove stains and keep your air fresh
For stubborn rug stains, the most crucial thing to remember is to not rub or add too much water to the stain. You must first carefully remove any excess signs of the stain using an absorbent material like tissue or a dishcloth. You will need professional help if your rug has a severe stain or if it cannot be cleaned using regular methods. – A Step Above Carpet Cleaning
As Spring arrives, people want to open their windows to let in fresh air. Unfortunately, this can increase airborne toxins and negatively impact air quality. Choosing a professional carpet cleaner can remove an estimated 94% of contaminants from the carpet, improving a home’s appearance and air quality – Greener Method Cleaning and Restoration
Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
Check every smoke and carbon monoxide alarm in your home at least once a year to ensure they’re working. 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.
Check air filters and ducts
If you have allergies, this step is critical. Central heating and air conditioning use air ducts and filters to circulate air throughout the home. If these ducts and vents fill with dust, dirt, or grime, it could prevent rooms from getting warm or cool and present a fire hazard. Check the filters for any dirt and clean and replace them as needed. If there is a large mess, hire a licensed technician. Professional vent, air conditioning, HVAC system, duct, and furnace cleaning costs around $350.
If you use steam heating to heat your home, drain your boiler to clear out sediment.
Pro tip: try a steam cleaning machine
If conventional cleaning methods don’t work, try a steam cleaner; they’re perfect for deep, efficient cleaning. This green, chemical-free cleaning device is the perfect solution for those with allergies. It removes stains and dust from your apartment with ease, helping freshen up your home. – Andriy from Luxury Cleaning Services, a New York City cleaning company.
Clean the laundry room
Cleaning your laundry room is a necessary spring cleaning step. Brandon Boyewsky, CEO of Sweep Home Chicago, suggests the following laundry room steps:
- Remove items: Take everything out of the room and wipe down the shelves
- Clean the washer and dryer: Clean the washing machine and dryer inside and out
- Check for lint: Remove lint from the dryer and make sure the exhaust vent is unclogged. If it’s clogged, get it serviced by a professional
As the seasons change, take your insulation into account — your attic space is an excellent place to start. If your home is hard to keep warm or cool, consider adding more insulation or replacing the old stuff as part of your spring home maintenance checklist. Your pipes and water heater also need insulation, especially outside. Quality insulation can save money and lead to a more efficient, sustainable home.
Inspect the chimney
Whether or not you use your fireplace, furnace, or wood stove, your chimney needs a yearly cleaning. Chimneys can accumulate dangerous gasses, leading to fire hazards and poorer air quality in your home.
Check the plumbing
Inspect your entire house for leaks, clogged drains, and water stains. Check under sinks, on your ceilings and walls, and behind the toilet. Leaky pipes can be simple to fix but call a licensed professional immediately if you discover a large wet patch of drywall.
Spring home maintenance checklist: outdoors
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.
Diego Rios from The King Carpet Cleaning suggests incorporating rewards as part of your spring cleaning routine. “For every task you complete, put on your favorite show or eat a treat. For every day you clean, order something new or go on your favorite hike. Do whatever you can to keep yourself motivated and feeling accomplished.”
Inspect the whole house
Before starting any project, walk around your home and take a simple visual inspection of your house. Take note of anything and everything that needs repair. Is any wood rotting? How is the concrete? Is your chimney cracked? Are there missing shingles? Inspect outdoor sprinkler heads and irrigation systems. Starting with an overview of your home’s exterior allows you to focus on specific projects without forgetting anything.
Wash and scrub the home’s exterior
Winter storms can damage your home’s exterior, leading to chipped paint, dirty shingles, mossy masonry, filthy windows, and unsightly weeds. Over time, these minor nuisances can turn into a more significant problem. Take advantage of the better spring weather and give your house a bath. Clean your windows inside and out, wash your brick, and pull out weeds.
Don’t spring for a power washer; this can damage your siding or chip paint. 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. Cleaning your home’s exterior helps it look better and can prevent long-term damage.
Clean out the gutters
Clean gutters are vital to a healthy home. To avoid costly roof damage, keep the gutters free of leaves and sticks, which prevent proper drainage. “Clean out your gutters at least a few times a year to avoid any costly problems,” says the team at Access Maids. “Be careful. Have someone outside with you in case the ladder starts trembling. Cleaning gutters can be dangerous, so always exercise extreme caution.” If you’re nervous about doing this yourself, professional gutter and downspout cleaning costs between $115 and $230.
If you recently bought your house, take time to decide how you want your home’s exterior paint to look. Better weather means more time for testing different styles and color options. If you want a revamp, paint over last year’s colors to spruce up your home. If you’re hiring a professional, schedule early to ensure they complete the project by the end of the summer.
Clean the patio and deck
Winter can be hard on outdoor structures, especially if you don’t maintain them. If your deck or patio has built-up wear and tear, be sure to take the time to get it ready for warmer spring weather. Pull out old leaves or debris, check for damage, spray it down with a power washer, treat wood, and clean it thoroughly. Wooden decks need extra care; the wood can rot or crack, which can be hazardous.
Check screen doors, patio furniture, and any other outdoor furniture. Water and wind can take a toll on your home.
Prepare the lawnmower
Take out your lawnmower and make sure everything works before your grass gets too long. If you have an electric mower, check the battery. If you have a gas mower, change the fluids. Regardless, ensure the blades are sharp and ready for work so you can mow efficiently and effectively.
Check any other lawn maintenance equipment that you have as well. Getting your outdoor spaces into order is important for the summer months.
Maintain your lawn
Now that grass is growing again, start working on your lawn. If you have dead grass or a patchy lawn, reseed and ready it for summer fertilization. “Before mowing,” says Erica Mooney from Valley West Landscapes, “ensure your lawn edges look clean and crisp. Use a hard-edged blade against hard-scapes and a weed-whacker against plant beds.”
There are five steps to maintaining a sustainable, healthy lawn, according to Josh Lanius, CEO of Sod Source:
- Mow regularly: Regular mowing is crucial for keeping your property healthy.
- Fertilize: A good fertilizer gives your yard the nutrients to stay green and healthy.
- Water consistently: Be sure to keep a watering schedule, watering deeply and infrequently, rather than shallowly and often.
- Aerate: Nathan Scott of Urban Eden Landscaping also suggests aeration. “Aerating not only relieves natural compaction, but it also allows vital nutrients to penetrate into the roots of your grass, resulting in a much healthier lawn.”
- Control weeds: Weeds can quickly take over a lawn if left unchecked.
Pro-tip: try a no-mow May
“Do your pollinators a favor and skip spring lawn mowing. Be sure to leave flower stems alone through May to give pollinators time to emerge from their winter slumber. Mowing too early can eliminate the most valuable natural resources for hundreds or even thousands of pollinating insects. – Dawn Pape of We All Need Food and Water, a nonprofit organization.
Take your plants, trees, and shrubs into account
Whether you’ve just moved in or your yard got out of hand during the winter, you may need to trim trees, care for your lawn, prune shrubs, and pull out weeds. Damaged trees can be a hazard during inclement weather, so be sure to have them inspected yearly by an arborist. Plant flowers and any edible plants you want, and make your yard your own.
Desirea from Purple Care recommends not over-trimming your hedges to avoid a nutrient imbalance. “Add new mulch to protect against rapid evaporation and encroaching weeds. If you live in a warmer area, plant angelonia and black footed daisies. They’re visually stunning and love lots of hot sunlight.”
Consider changing up your landscaping as well. Spring is a great time to try something new, and your yard is an excellent place to start.
Tidy up the pond
If you own a pond, it’s time to open it up for the warm months ahead. Skim the top of the pond for debris, treat the water, feed the fish, and scrub off algae and moss. This process can be complicated and dirty, so hire a maintenance professional if you’re unsure.
Leslie Triplett from The Pond Digger suggests evaluating the entirety of your pond. “There are many chores that can’t be overlooked, like replacing UV bulbs, cleaning quartz sleeves, and inspecting air intakes. Be sure to evaluate your pond for wildlife, treat the water, and inspect the life support systems. Ponds take a beating over the fall and winter, so take your time to clean them right.”
Incorporate new lighting
Warmer months are coming, which means it’s time to start hosting outdoor events. “One important thing to remember when preparing your outdoor space for summer is lighting,” says Olivia Cronin from Design Public Group. “Not only do exterior lights provide safety and security, but they also allow you to enjoy the great outdoors long after the sun sets. The best part? There’s no need for electrical work with lightweight and portable options like the Porta Table Lamp from Normann Copenhagen and the Carrie Portable LED Lamp from MENU.”