By this point in the cold season, you probably have a bit of cabin fever. Why not put that restless energy to good use sprucing up the old homestead?
What can you tackle while snow still coats the ground in much of the northern hemisphere? Here are seven smart ways to prepare your home for spring.
1. Spruce Up Your Entryway
The first thing guests — and prospective homebuyers — see when they approach your castle is your entryway. You can transform your frontage, making it warm and welcoming, by painting your front door and window trim an inviting hue. Got a green thumb? A few window boxes add an extra cozy touch.
While you’re adding the finishing touches, remember all your entryways. You’ll want to paint your garage door to match, opening the ideal opportunity to inspect for wear and tear, protecting your family’s safety. It’s also smart to safeguard your floor and belongings from spring snowmelt flooding by replacing the weather stripping if necessary and filling in any foundation cracks.
2. Protect Your Floors
As much as you might look forward to the spring thaw, you could dread the impact on your white carpet. The easiest way to protect your flooring is to doff your shoes when you come inside. Pick up a shoe rack or learn how to DIY one with an old pallet you can probably scoop up for free at your local hardware store.
Now’s the perfect time to seal your grout if you have tile floors. Many home builders skip this step because of the cure time required, but unsealed grout can stain if you drop a glass of red wine — leaving you with a permanent mess.
3. Coat Your Garage & Driveway
Once the snow waves goodbye for the season, it’s time to repair and seal your driveway from any cracks or potholes that happened over the winter. You’ll want to wait for a clear weekend with temps of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now’s also the ideal time to epoxy your garage. However, you have other options if you use the space for something other than parking. For example, a wood composite can transform your man-cave into an elegant den — just add a leather couch, a cigar and a red smoking jacket.
4. Plan Your Perfect Landscape
Your home’s exterior enhances your curb appeal, improving your property value even when you don’t plan to sell. It might be too early to dig in the good earth, but you can plan your garden.
Early spring is ideal for aerating your beds and preparing your soil for planting. You can simultaneously start your seedlings on a sunny windowsill so that they’re ready to transplant as soon as temperatures permit.
5. Prepare Your HVAC System
Your indoor air quality matters, particularly during a pandemic. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends swapping your filters every two to three months, more frequently if pets or smokers increase particulates and dander.
If your home has central air conditioning, early spring is the time to schedule an inspection of this half of your system. You should also have professional service before the cold season begins in the fall.
6. Clean Your Gutters
Winter storms do more than blanket the earth in white. They also blow leaves and other debris hither and yon. It often lands in your gutters, where it can cause clogs — and eventually leaks and disaster.
Spring is the perfect time to clean your gutters. It allows you to simultaneously inspect your roof, checking for damaged flashing around chimneys and missing tiles or shingles.
Please wear a hard hat when climbing ladders or performing any work where you could slip and fall. If you have a 2-or-more-story home, consider calling in a professional service that can use safety equipment like a bucket truck to get the job done, injury-free.
7. Inspect Your Foundation and Septic Tank
A cracked foundation can spell catastrophe. Over time, it compromises the structural integrity of your home. In severe cases, it can lead to collapse.
Likewise, a damaged septic system can lead to the nightmare of overflowing toilets — not something any homeowner relishes. Problems can occur when you don’t use the system for a while, which might be the case if you and the family spent an extended winter holiday with the in-laws.
Check for standing water around tanks. Inspect the pipes for any cracks or signs of rust. Likewise, walk your home’s perimeter to check for foundation trouble. Horizontal or diagonal cracks and those larger than ¼ of an inch deserve professional attention.
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