Now that winter has finally gone and sunny summer days lay ahead, it’s a good time to tackle some home maintenance — both to enjoy your home right now and to keep it in good condition for the future.
Following these simple steps will help you ensure your home is ready for the summer season. I’ve divided up the chores into two sections to help you get started.
1. Start with the Big Stuff
These are major areas of the home that, ideally, you need to thoroughly examine every spring after the cold weather passes to make sure the structural “bones” of your home stay in good shape.
- Roof — You don’t necessarily have to climb up there yourself. You can eyeball it from the ground, use some binoculars or hire a professional if you think you need a closer inspection. But you should check it out. Here in Northern Virginia, we’ve had several particularly windy storms, so it’s important to make sure those shingles are secure.
- Chimney — If you have a brick or stone fireplace, check the joints for cracks that could allow for water infiltration. While you’re at it, have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
- Foundations — Walk around the entire house to check for any cracks in the concrete. If you find any, you need to bring in an expert to address this problem quickly before it gets worse. Fill in any areas where the soil is sinking.
- Gutters and downspouts — While you’re out there walking around, check for any loose or leaky gutters. Make sure your downspouts are draining away from the foundation. This is a good time to clean out the leaves or other debris.
- Concrete or asphalt — Take a close look for any cracks or sinking that need to be filled or caulked. You also should periodically professionally seal the surface, particularly the driveway.
- Exterior woodwork — Check for any wear where you have woodworks that’s exposed to the elements. That means window trim, decks, fences, pergolas, trellises or even the mailbox post. Replace any boards that need it, and make sure you use water sealant at least every year or two. Touch up any paint that needs it.
2. Plan for the Stuff You Can Do in an Afternoon
These are other important things you need to check, but can easily add to your regular weekend activities.
- Faucets — Once the temperatures are consistently above freezing, turn on those outside faucets to check for leaks. Take this time to check your garden hoses, too.
- Sprinklers or irrigation system — The same thing applies here. Turn on the system and make sure it’s operating properly. Check for any broken or damaged sprinkler heads. Adjust the heads so you’re spraying the yard and landscaping and not the sidewalks or street to avoid wasting water.
- Lawnmower — Make sure it’s ready to go for the growing season. Fill it up with gas or give it a charge. Get the blades sharpened if they need it.
- Screen doors and windows — Check for any rips or holes in your screens to make sure the bugs stay outside. You can find repair kits at home improvement stores.
- Grill — Before you fire up the grill, make sure it’s up to the task. Be sure that your propane tank is full and the connections are secure. If you’ve got a charcoal grill, make sure it’s free of ashes. Give the cooking surface a thorough scrubbing to get rid of last season’s leftovers.
- Air conditioning — Service the AC unit now. The last thing you want is for the AC to go out when the temps are hovering above 90 degrees later this summer. And don’t forget to change your filters regularly.
Maintaining your home is essential — for your summertime enjoyment and for its resale value. If you’re considering buying or selling a home, I’ve helped plenty of Northern Virginia residents through the process, and I’d be happy to help you, too!
A lifelong resident of Northern Virginia and a top-producing real estate agent, Samantha Bendigo knows buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction — it’s a life-changing experience. Over the course of 14+ years, she has closed 500+ real estate transactions with over $100 million sold. Helping homebuyers and sellers throughout the Northern Virginia region, Samantha specializes in Vienna, McLean, Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Prince William County, Fauquier County and Loudoun County. Email Samantha Bendigo at Virginia Luxury Homes today, or call 703-628-2420 to discover how you can start living in the home of your dreams.