The weather has warmed up, so it’s time to get going on the lawn and the flower beds and freshen everything up. We have some ideas for a checklist you can start with, but you should make a checklist that’s unique to your property and covers everything you want to check or freshen up. Once you make the list, actually go down it and check it off.
If you come across anything that you can’t take care of, run it by your real estate agent and ask them if they have any trade professionals they can recommend to come out and take a look. You want to make sure these things are taken care of at the right time so that you’re not looking at deterioration or things breaking down to cause bigger problems down the line. With a seasonal maintenance checklist, you can be proactive vs. reactive.
Your fence and gates are big aspects of the safety and aesthetics of your property.
- Rake dirt away from the bottom to keep it from rotting from the wet dirt in the winter.
- Power wash the fence.
- Replace broken or missing fence boards.
- Touch up stain (use a quality product–it lasts way longer).
- Trim trees and bushes away from the fence (12” at least) to let the fence dry out after it rains.
- Make sure the fence and gates are operating correctly and grease or spray the hinges.
While you’re trimming the trees back from the fence, go ahead and trim them back from the house, too. Trim bushes wherever needed so that when we get those nice spring rains, we’re good to go.
We’re obviously going to get spring and summer rain, so it’s a good time to make sure everything is hooked up correctly and will work in all seasons.
- Check all spigots for leaks. (There are usually repair kits for these. A handyman can do it.)
- Make sure the spigots are turned on—on new builds, they are sometimes turned off inside the garage. Go in and turn those on, then test them to make sure they work.
- Make sure the garden hoses are good for the year. If they’re leaking, upgrade them so you can take care of the yard during the summer.
- Check the well house (If you have one) to make sure everything is plumbed up good. You want to make sure there’s no leaks and that you have good ventilation.
- Look under all the sinks inside to make sure there’s no leaks.
- Check faucets and toilets to make sure they’re working correctly. If they’re not, get some plumber’s grease to take care of it (you may even want to reset the toilet on a new wax ring).
The warmer months (when it starts raining a lot) are a good time to check on exterior systems like the gutters, downspouts, drains and roof.
- Pressure wash the deck, siding, driveway, and patios to make sure things are all sealed up properly with a quality stain.
- Make sure the gutters are properly connected (shoot a hose up on the roof and make sure the water is going where it’s supposed to).
- Check all the drains in the yard and the downspout drains, especially ones that drain near the house. Make sure they are properly connected and draining away from the house.
- Check that the gutters are clear with no debris.
- Check for debris on the roof—sometimes debris up there can trap water. If there’s debris, get it blown off. You can brush away moss if you find some as well.
- Look for birds’ or bees’ nests up by the soffits and around the deck. If you find some, take care of them.
- Touch up paint or stain in areas around the outside of the house.
- Make sure the garage door sensors work (pressure sensor and motion sensor).
- Check on the AC condenser outside—you might need to wash it off with the hose and cleaner.
- Vacuum around the furnace and check the filter.
- Make sure the water heater is in good order: no leaks on the top/bottom/sides, good venting, and nothing rusted or corroded.
- Check inside the electric panel for tripped breakers. Vacuum inside and wipe it down.
- Check around the tub, showers, and surrounding trim to make sure everything is sealed up and has proper caulk.
- Look at the water lines behind the washer and dryer to make sure there’s no bulges in the line.
- Make sure the dryer vent is properly connected. Turn the dryer on and go outside to look at the flapper vent and confirm that it’s working.
- Check the ceilings and walls for nail pops or settlement cracks. If you find some, call a drywall or painting specialist to take a peek and see how they can get it right.
- Get a good flashlight and pop your head into the crawlspace and/or attic. Make sure everything in there looks good: no water that you can see, and no signs of rodents.