Lesser-Known Seasonal Tips for Maintaining a Shipshape Home
Own a property? Preparing for changes of season can help you avoid costly surprises.
The seasons not only bring new foliage, but also new home maintenance tasks. From the first winter frost to spring cleaning musts, here are some lesser-known ways to upkeep your property all year long. These ideas come with a cost, of course, so make sure to either budget for seasonal maintenance (experts recommend setting aside about 1% of your home’s value) or pad your emergency fund. After all, your home is one of the most important investments you’ll make.
There’s nothing like watching the first snow of the season while cozied up at home, sitting by a crackling fire with a cup of hot cocoa. But, as a homeowner, you must learn to expect some of those small inconveniences that come with the winter wonderland outside your door. Anticipating minor issues like heating costs, freezing, and yard maintenance can get your home ready before the first frost:
- Switch ceiling fans to rotate clockwise to redistribute warm air and cut heating costs by 10%.
- Install a chimney balloon to prevent air leakage and cold drafts from entering your home.
- Drain your sprinkler system to prevent freezing and leaks. Expect to pay $75 to $150.
- If leaving town, pour nontoxic antifreeze into toilet bowls and tanks to prevent them from freezing.
- To maintain curb appeal, prune in late winter ahead of spring growth.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “April showers bring May flowers,” – but did you know this time of year can also bring other obstacles like flooding and termites? See the tips below to keep your home as fresh as the spring blooms:
- Waterproof steps and concrete structures to prepare for summer rain.
- Love your trees? Have an arborist inspect them for signs of illness.
- Avoid pricey repairs by cleaning the coils behind or beneath your fridge.
- Termites love spring. Look for wings, uneven paint and other warning signs on any woodwork.
- Clean your washer’s filters, often found near the base, inside the washing drum or at the hot and cold inlet hoses.
Sweet summertime typically brings us vacations and fun in the sun. Unfortunately, summer isn’t always all fun and games as scorching temps and potential flooding bring on a few household chores. Check these items off your list so you can enjoy time with your loved ones without worry:
- Clean exterior window weep holes (bottom of sliding windows) to stop water from creeping in.
- Test your sump pump before flooding happens. Pour five gallons of water into it and see if the pump turns on.
- A ¼ cup of distilled vinegar can rid your AC’s drain line of microorganisms. Specialized chlorine tabs in the ductwork help, too.
- Add extensions to downspouts so rainwater runs at least three feet away from your home’s foundation.
As the leaves change and temperatures drop, there are a few administrative items you’ll want to take care of around your home:
- Drain and flush your water heater to remove sediment buildup. And set it below 120°F to avoid scalding.
- Check your insulation for critters seeking warmth as temperatures drop.
- Grease garage door springs before winter to ward off corrosion and metal fatigue.
As the seasons change, ensure an easier transition in your home by anticipating some of the pitfalls that come with each time of year.
Sources: nytimes.com; wikihow.com; familyhandyman.com; homesteady.com; homeguides.sfgate.com; aplusairconditioning.com; angieslist.com; blog.rismedia.com; kiplinger.com; houzz.com; rd.com; covenantgaragedoors.com; realestate.usnews.com; houselogic.com; energyvanguard.com; businessinsider.com; squareoneinsurance.com