Winter can be harsh on your home’s exterior. It’s always a good idea to give the outside of your house a thorough checkup to get everything ready for springtime. Here is the only home exterior spring-cleaning checklist you need to prepare for the warm season.
Clean Gutters and Check Downspouts
Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water to back up and damage your roof, walls, and foundation. Clean out all your gutters and downspouts by removing any debris, such as leaves, twigs, or other obstructions that may have built up over the winter months. If needed, you can use a garden hose to test for proper drainage.
Check for Pests and Rodents
Winter motivates pests to invade your home. Even if you thought you sealed up any points of entry, rodents and insects may be able to squeeze through. And when they depart in the spring, they can leave some nasty effects behind. So you need to do everything you can to keep these pests out.
It’s important to inspect your home for signs of infestation. Look for droppings, nests, or other evidence of a pest problem. If you find any signs, contact a professional exterminator or pest control specialist to help with the problem.
Inspect Your Roofing
Winter months can take a toll on your roof, so it’s important to inspect it for damage or signs of wear and tear. Look for missing, loose, or damaged roof shingles, and ensure that the flashing around chimneys and vents is in proper condition. Also, check your attic for any water damage.
Homeowners who do their own roof repairs put themselves in danger of serious injury from falls. Instead of risking it, contact a licensed and insured professional roofing contractor for major repairs.
Pressure Wash the Home’s Exterior
First, replace any damaged or missing siding or shingles and fix damaged caulk and seals around windows and doors. Then, give your home’s exterior a thorough pressure washing to remove dirt, grime, algae, and mildew that may have built up over the winter months.
Wait for a sunny day with temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit before beginning your pressure washing task. You should use a mild detergent or cleaning solution that’s safe for your home’s exterior materials and won’t kill or damage your garden beds.
Inspect, Clean, Repair, and Replace Windows and Doors
As you’re preparing your home’s exterior for pressure washing, you may notice rotting window frames, cracked glass, or damaged weatherstripping. Repair or replace frames, seals, and damaged glass to ensure energy efficiency and security.
Clean the windows on both sides of the glass to remove dirt, dust, fingerprints, and other smudges. Use a safe cleaning solution and a soft cloth or sponge to wipe down each window. Then, use a squeegee to dry off any excess water. Don’t forget to clean the window screens as well!
You can use a brush and vacuum attachment to remove any debris from the screen frame, then rinse with water to get rid of dirt and dust. For more stubborn spots, use a mixture of dish soap and warm water to give them an extra boost.
Also, check door hardware, such as locks, knobs, and hinges, for security and proper function. Lubricate them as needed.
Clean Outdoor Furniture, Grills, Decks, Patios, and Walkways
Clean outdoor furniture, grills, and decks with a mild detergent solution. Use a brush to remove any stuck-on debris from hardscape patios or walkways, then seal them with an appropriate weatherproofing product. Remember to replace any loose boards on your deck and repair cracks in your patio.
Check Exterior Fixtures
Inspect all exterior lighting fixtures to ensure they are in proper working order and replace any burnt-out bulbs or faulty wiring. Also, inspect the doorbell, if applicable, and check for any cracks or corrosion that may need repair. Finally, make sure that all outdoor faucets and hose connections function properly.
Scrape and Paint
Check the paint around windows, doorways, and other areas of your home’s exterior for any signs of chipping or peeling. If necessary, scrape off old paint and apply a fresh coat to protect your home from water damage. Make sure to choose a paint color that will help your home stand out in the neighborhood.
Remove Debris From Around Your Foundation
Look for any fallen branches, leaves, or other forms of debris that may have accumulated around the foundation of your home. Remove and discard these items to keep water damage and pests from entering your house. Be sure to also check for any cracks in the foundation and seal them up with waterproof caulk if necessary.
Tend to Your Lawn and Garden
Rake away thatch, aerate your yard, and reseed any bare patches on your lawn. Spread mulch to keep weeds from germinating and wait to mow until the grass has greened up and grown to over three inches tall.
Plan where you’ll add some new perennials or annuals to brighten your garden beds. Keep an eye out for spring sales at your local nursery and pencil a weekend into your calendar to work on your garden.
It’s important to mulch under your trees, but avoid volcano mulching, where you apply thick layers of mulch against tree trunks. This chokes off oxygen and can lead to fungal infections. Instead, spread mulch beyond the root flare, where you can see roots entering the Earth, and stop at the drip line, which is the outer border of the foliage.
You should also trim your tree, but if you have a larger tree species in your yard, you should leave that work up to a licensed tree service. They can ensure your tree turns out beautiful and healthy.
Consider adding extra interest to your garden space with garden art poles.
Along with these tasks, don’t forget to clean out bird feeders, organize your garage, change your smoke detector batteries, and inspect your HVAC unit. With this home exterior spring-cleaning checklist, your home’s exterior will be ready for spring in no time!