How To Maintain Your House
With spring around the corner, it is the perfect time to learn how to maintain your house.
As a homeowner there is always plenty to do in and around your property.
Some tasks are best taken care of at certain times of the year, and spring is no exception.
There are some important tasks that should be done in the spring to prepare you for the season and the summer months ahead.
Because spring brings warmer weather, jobs you have put off through winter can now be completed and ticked off too.
Learning how to maintain your house is invaluable. Without some common knowledge on the simple basics tasks around your house to keep it maintained could eventually lead to huge costly repairs and a decreased value on your property if you decide to sell it in the future. The spring home maintenance checklist covers many of those important basic tasks.
1.Check And Clean Roof
With the horrendous winter weather subsiding, spring gives you the perfect time to get up on a ladder and check the roof for any potential leaks and damage.
The key places to check are the ridge tiles, roof tiles, and the chimney stack.
Take a look at the ridge tiles, is there any missing or dislodged mortar/pointing around the base and butt joints of the tile?
If there is, this will need addressing sooner than later.
A loose ridge tile can cause some serious damage if it becomes dislodged.
It could fall on a person, damage your car, damage your neighbours property and cause huge leaks in your roof.
Again check for any broken or dislodge tiles and replace.
It may also be a good idea to address any moss that has taken root on your roof.
Moss can severely damage the structural integrity of any type of roof. Once rooted the moss will begin to lift a tile/shingle as it grows bigger.
Because moss loves to absorb moisture from damp areas, it will cause bacteria and mold to grow.
This will undoubtedly lead to holes in your roof and major leaks into your loft which will eventually penetrate your ceilings, causing costly repairs to be made.
But be careful when cleaning moss from your roof, moss can be very slippery when wet.
Chimney stacks can cause some serious damage if not looked after.
Recently a client of mine kept putting the repair off to the flashing.
Then winter came and water seeped past the loose flashing, ran down each beam of the roof, dripped on to the joists and saturated all the ceilings upstairs.
Result, new plasterboard, plastering and decorating 🙁
So, make sure the flashing around the base of the chimney stack is intact and not deteriorated.
Also check for loose mortar joints between the bricks and re-point.
I understand roofs scare a lot of homeowners, and if this is your first time learning how to maintain your house, only attempt the repairs if your competent and confident you can do them.
If your not sure leave it to the professionals, get some quotes, compare prices and don’t just go for the cheapest.
Reputation, recommendation and knowledge are what your looking for.
Guttering can be a messy job, but it is one of those jobs that has to be done, especially periodically.
Guttering takes away all the water from your house cleanly and efficiently.
If a gutter is blocked or damaged it can cause damage to your outside walls, cause pools of water to form at the base of your house which could eventually affect your foundations.
Gutters can be easily cleaned, throw on some gloves and remove any debris that maybe sitting in the gutter (leaves, twigs, moss etc).
You may also need to use a small dustpan brush to loosen some of the debris.
Once the gutter is clean move over to the downspout. The elbows connected to the downspout are usually blocked.
If you can, remove the elbow from the downspout and unblock it, and refit.
Once your satisfied, run some water into the guttering using a hose pipe or watering can to test everything is free flowing.
It may also be a perfect time to give the guttering a good scrub down to bring that shine back.
Hot water and some car shampoo in a bucket usually does the trick.
Give it a good scrub with a soft bristled brush and then rinse down with a hose pipe.
During the winter months the exterior walls of your house get a good battering from rain, sleet, snow and freezing temperatures.
The result, loose or cracked mortar lines between the bricks.
These broken mortar lines can be a perfect invitation for bees and wasps to setup there new home during the spring months.
To address the broken mortar, rake out the loose/cracked mortar using a hand raking tool or angle grinder with a raking attachment.
Mix a 3 to 1 mix of cement and sand, and re-point the bricks using a pointing tool.
4.Window And Door Seals
Double glazing is built to last but the seals are not.
Check around your windows and you will see a black rubber trim that surrounds the edge of the glass.
This rubber trim keeps a tight waterproof seal around the glass and also makes the windows energy efficient (keeping the heat in and drafts out).
If your window seal is loose or missing, it can be easily replaced with a universal seal you can pick up from a local hardware store.
It is a relatively easy job to do.
Pull out the old seal and push the new one in, make sure you start from a corner and work your way round pushing the trim into the gap as as you go.
5.Caulking Around Window And Door Frames
Window and door caulking seals the frames into to your home to stop air getting in or out.
Caulking plays an important role by keeping your house energy efficient.
The lifespan of exterior caulking is between 10 and 20 years and is easily forgotten about.
So the spring season is a great time to really go over the caulking and see if it needs refreshing.
It is best not to reapply new caulking over old, whatever made the old caulking fail will undoubtedly affect the fresh caulking.
Instead, scrape out the old and reapply with new.
The job can be quite fiddly so you may need to use an array of tools (stanley knife, scraper, 4 in 1 tool)
6.Inspect Tumble Dryer Vent
When learning how to maintain your house this spring, MAKE SURE you don’t forget to inspect your tumble dryer vent.
Tumble dryer vents are very much overlooked but you will be surprised how easy tumble dryer fluff has the ability to catch fire and destroy your home.
Check the connection between the tumble dryer and the outside vent and clean any fluffy debris you may see.
It only takes a couple of minutes to do but I would really recommend this task to be done once a month.
7.Clean Refrigerator Coils
Refrigerator coils are designed to conduct heat away from inside the unit.
If there is too much dust and fluff in and around the coil, your fridge will be doing its job inefficiently.
The fluff can also shorten the lifespan of your fridge and also raise your electricity bill.
Use a duster and a hoover to remove all the dust and debris.
8.Revive Decking Area
Some projects need doing annually and this is one of them, Decking can take an absolute beating over the winter months.
With the build up of leaves and debris over the winter months and damp conditions, mold, algae and moss would have had chance to form.
This can turn your decking into an ice skating rink, especially when wet.
So before you go ahead and re-stain/oil the deck, give it a good clean.
Check out my easiest guide ever on how to clean your decking here.
Resealing a driveway will make a dramatic difference to the exterior of your house.
Some people frown and say it is a waste of money, but I disagree.
It is also the perfect time to repair any sunken or broken parts of the drive if you have tarmac.
If you do have damaged tarmac follow my 7 Easy Steps To Fix a Pothole With Cold Lay Macadam
Or if you have block paving, jetwash and reapply new sand in the joints and seal.
It gives the house great kerb appeal if your selling your house.
10.Get Your Garden Equipment Ready
With the warmer temperatures creeping in the grass will start to grow again, Spring is the perfect opportunity to service all of your garden equipment.
Give the lawnmower a good overhaul, fresh oil, new spark plug, new blade or have it resharpened.
Same goes for hedge cutters, shears etc.
This servicing gives you the confidence that every time you get them out of the shed they will always perform 100% of the time.
11.Trim Vegetation Back From Exterior Walls
To much vegetation around the base of your house can cause damp spots to appear on the inside walls and wreak havoc on the exterior pointing of the brick work.
Cut any vegetation back, especially hedges so there is at least a 6″ gap to allow the house walls to breathe.
Also make sure no vegetation is obstructing any of your vents (tumble dryer, boiler flue etc)
12.Inspect Loft And Basement/Cellar
Lofts and basement/cellars are the less visited areas of your house thats why its good practice to annually check these rooms for any unwanted guests, leaks and areas of mold.
Spring makes it a perfect opportunity to inspect these areas thoroughly.
If you do come across any of the above, make sure you address them urgently.
The loft and basement are core areas of your house (foundations & roof), which if left can cause huge costly repairs.
13.Clean Window Blinds
One of the most overlooked items to maintain in your home are your window blinds.
Venetian and vertical blinds just love attracting dust and grime.
I would suggest deep cleaning them every spring and dusting them once a week thereafter.
If you have plastic Venetian blinds, I have written a step by step guide on whats the best way to clean plastic Venetian blinds, go check it out!
14.Check Fire Alarms, Carbon monoxide Alarms And Extinguishers
When thinking about how to maintain a house, the fire alarms are easily overlooked.
We walk past them everyday and don’t really notice them but once they start beeping and get irritating, we then change the batteries.
In the UK annually there are approximately 200 fire-related deaths.
The majority of these occur within the home between 10pm and 6am when people are asleep.
There are about 37,000 house fires a year in the UK, the majority of which are caused by electrical equipment misuse, mainly cooking appliances. ( source: www.firstalert-online.co.uk › fire-safety-facts)
If you have mains operated fire alarms, awesome! But still check they are working correctly.
But if you have battery operated smoke alarms use this spring season to replace all the the batteries, even if they aren’t beeping yet.
Also do the same with carbon monoxide alarms, change batteries for fresh, regardless.
Check all dates and pressures on any fire extinguisher, and replace if necessary.
Did This Post Help?
Hopefully this list has shown you how to maintain your house this spring.
Most of these jobs are also a necessity if your trying or thinking about selling your house.
Even if your not selling your house, learning how to maintain your house and applying what you now know, will help keep your house value and appreciation rate up!
Grab your partner and/or a Friend and get stuck in!
Other Helpful Maintenance Articles
How To Fix A door Handle That Fell Off – There are many ways to fix a door handle that fell off, but there is one way that always works.
How to Fix a Punched Hole in The Wall – Don’t panic…Fixing a punched hole in the wall is easy if you follow these steps.
Refelting a Summer House Roof – Refelting a summer house roof is quite a big job but its definitely something you don’t want to put off, Follow my step by step guide.