As the weather starts to warm and the snow begins to melt, many Chicago homeowners begin to think spring! Whether you are putting your home up for sale during the spring market or staying right where you are, there are 10 essential spring maintenance tips that should be completed.
Start your maintenance of your Chicago home by taking a walk around the exterior of your home. Here are the things to look at during your walk:
- Roof: Grab a ladder, binoculars or use just your eyes from the ground and take a good look. Chicago winters can be tough on a roof. Look for cracked, missing or loose shingles. If you notice any of these issues, hire a reputable roofer or handyman to fix them. Also, make sure to clean out the gutters so leaves and debris don’t cause extra roof damage.
- Foundation: Inspect carefully for cracks, flaking or chips. Make sure to repair these quickly and effectively before they get worse. There are products that you can purchase at your local hardware store such as Quikrete and Sikaflex. If you aren’t sure if you need to call a repairman for the foundation or do self-repair, put a nickel into the crack and if it fits, call the professionals.
- Decks: Before you bring out the grill to barbeque, check your deck for loose railings, loose floor boards, nails that are sticking out and deterioration. Also, look in areas that become damp during the winter months because they might have rot or decay. Replace any rotten wood and then remember to reseal your deck in order to protect the wood.
- Windows: Look at all your windows for leaks and cracks. Remember, you can lose cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter. Use an exterior caulk to refill any open areas. Make sure to wash your windows too. Create a window cleaner of one cup of water, one cup of rubbing alcohol, and one teaspoon of white wine vinegar and wash with a soft cloth. Your windows will be sparkling!
- Lawn: Pull out the lawnmower, rake and clippers. Make sure your bushes and trees are free of any loose branches and dead vegetation.
Now it is time to inspect the inside your Chicago home.
- Cleaning: Start off your interior with a thorough cleaning. Vacuum furniture, tops of book shelves and all the other places that might have been neglected during the winter months. Wipe down the kitchen and refrigerator. Make sure to inspect tiles for any areas that need to be grouted in the bathrooms as well.
- Air conditioning: This is an essential part of your spring maintenance. Vacuum out the connections and the outside of the unit. When changing the filter check the drain pans, and hoses for leaks. Keep a record of when you changed the filter in order to keep it on a schedule. Some filters need to be changed monthly or every 3 months. This simple task will help keep your system running efficiently; helping remove dust and allergens from your home.
- Basement: Check all the areas in your basement that you suspect get damp during the winter months. If you notice a musty smell, or there are water stains on the walls, then call a professional to help find the source of the water and remove any mold.
- Attic: Crawl up into your attic or use a flashlight to peer inside to make sure that no critters have taken residence in your home during the winter. Call an exterminator if you notice any signs of animals or insects. Make sure your attic has proper insulation and good ventilation to prevent mold growth. Mold will look like black blotches that take on the appearance of stains.
- Smoke Detectors: This is the most important maintenance you can do inside your home. Make sure the system works properly by testing it and replace the batteries. Inspecting your smoke detector should be done on a regular basis. It is always a good idea to replace the batteries several times a year. Consider doing it when you change your clocks twice a year to spring forward or fall back.
Whether you are getting your Chicago home ready for the For Sale sign on your lawn or staying right where you are, these 10 spring maintenance tips are sure to get your home ready for summer! These are just a taste of some essential tips, as you continue to perform them you might come up with more that are specific for your home. How do you prepare your home for spring? Leave us a COMMENT with your tips below.