If the sight of the mercury creeping upward fills you with spring fever, we’re with you. We, too, are restless for the toastier and longer days that are just around the corner. But before you can kick back on a balmy evening with a crisp glass of rosé or a cool IPA, you’ve got to get your home in shape.
Spring, when temps are beginning to rise but before those April showers—is the ideal time to get down and dirty with those maintenance projects, says J.B. Sassano, president of Mr. Handyman, a commercial and residential repair, maintenance, and improvement franchise.
March “home maintenance projects can extend the longevity and improve the quality of your home, inside and out,” he says.
1. Clean the gutters
Task: Remove leaves, pine needles, and other debris that have accumulated over the winter so your gutter system is ready to handle spring showers. Overflowing gutters and blocked downspouts can damage siding and foundations.
Shortcuts: Install gutter guards—screens, foam inserts, surface tension covers—which help to keep debris out of gutters. In general, screen types work best, according to the folks at Consumer Reports.
2. Clean the AC condenser
Task: Remove dust and debris that have accumulated on the AC condenser (the big metal box outside your house) so that the AC works efficiently.
Shortcuts: Hook up a garden hose and spray the outside of the condenser. The water will melt away the gunk. Don’t use a brush, and be careful if pressure washing—you could damage or bend the fins.
3. Prep the yard
Task: Start bringing your yard back to life now, before temperatures warm up for real.
Shortcuts: Remove branches and stones, and use your lawn mower with a catch bag to make short work of dead leaves and twigs. Got roses? For full, beautiful blooms, most landscaping experts will tell you to prune your rose bushes just before the plant breaks dormancy and after the final frost—around mid-March for much of the country. If any buds are diseased, bag and toss them in the trash to avoid spreading fungus and infestations.
4. Inspect the roofing
Task: Take a close look at your roofing to check for loose and missing shingles, worn and rusted flashing, and cracked boots around vent pipes.
Shortcuts: Make it easy on yourself by checking your roof with a pair of binoculars while standing firmly—and safely—on the ground.
5. Inspect walkways and driveways
Task: Winter is tough on concrete and asphalt—freeze and thaw cycles can break apart stone and concrete. You’ll want to seal cracks with sealant made for the specific material of your driveway or walkway to prevent further damage.
Shortcuts: Stuff foam backer rods in large cracks to reduce the amount of sealant you’ll need.
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