When most people think of spring cleaning, they think of cleaning the interior of their home. But your home’s exterior can benefit greatly from a thorough spring cleaning as well. Winter weather in Kansas City can take a real toll on your home’s exterior. When the weather warms up, it’s the perfect time to clean and make necessary repairs to get your home back into perfect condition.
Take some time to walk around the exterior of your home and lawn and make a list of everything that needs maintenance, cleaning, or repairs.
The following areas and tasks should be on your spring maintenance checklist:
Power wash – Spring is the perfect time to give your home’s exterior a good cleaning to remove all the dirt and grime, which will give it a fresh look and help prevent mold and mildew. Power wash the siding, deck, fence, driveway, and sidewalks. If you don’t own a power washer, you can rent one from many home improvement or hardware stores. You can also hire a professional to come do it for you.
Siding – Check your siding for signs of rot or mold and look for joints or seams that need to be recaulked. Also look for paint that is lifting or peeling. You may be able to patch, repair, and repaint only those areas that need it.
Windows – Clean the glass, inside and out, and clean the screens with the hose and soapy water. Check each window for cracked paint, soft spots, mold, and rot. Depending on the extent of damage you find, you may be able to just patch and paint. But if you find a significant amount of rot, you’re better off replacing the windows. Paint wood windows every year or two to help prevent rot.
Wood trim and components – Check wood doors, porches, columns, trim, and siding – anything made of wood that is exposed to rain and sun – for rot. Repair or replace as needed. These items require repainting periodically to help prevent wood rot.
Deck – Check your deck for loose or damaged boards and replace them as needed. Hammer down any raised nails and replace popped nails with longer nails or screws. Sand down any rough or splintered areas along rails and posts or on the floor. Give your deck a good power washing and consider restaining and sealing it.
Fences – Look for areas of rot, loose rails or parts, and insect infestation. Replace any broken or damaged pickets. Power wash it and consider restaining or sealing it.
Gutters – Your gutters divert thousands of gallons of water away from your home each year. Inspect the cutters to make sure they are clear of debris and that they are positioned correctly to drain water away from your foundation. Make any necessary repairs before heavy spring rains begin. Consider installing a gutter guard to help keep your cutters free of debris and reduce the maintenance required by your gutters.
Paint – Check for peeling paint on your siding, trim, windows, and doors. If there are just small areas that need attention, you may be able to get by just sanding and touching up those areas. Keeping your paint in good condition can help extend the life of your siding and trim. The average exterior paint job lasts about 10 years. Repainting your home can give it a fresh, new look and increase the curb appeal and value of your home.
Roof – Inspect your roof for missing, cracked, or broken shingles and loose or missing flashing. This is often a job best left to a professional roofer, especially if you have a steep roof.
Brick and block areas – Inspect these areas for cracked or crumbling mortar that may allow water in. Scrape away any loose mortar and replace it with new mortar.
Concrete – Look for large cracks in your concrete that may allow water in. Sweep out the crack and fill it with cement. Hydraulic cement can be a good option as it swells as it hardens and helps fill voids that are difficult to reach with a trowel.
Fill low areas with soil – Look around your yard and along your home’s foundation and fill in low areas with compacted soil. This can help prevent foundation flooding and damage.
Cleaning your home’s exterior and making necessary repairs will not only improve your home’s appearance, but it can also save you money on more extensive repairs down the road. Take the time to do repairs right rather than just applying a temporary band-aid fix.