By Florida standards, we have had a very mild winter, making us extremely fortunate compared to those living to the north and west.
Nevertheless, that does not mean we can simply dismiss the need for home maintenance as we approach spring and the rainy season that comes with it.
So, if you are a homeowner, it is time to consider what needs to be done around your home as we move from winter to spring. And if you rent your home, you should still take a good look at the property to see if there’s anything you need to report to the owner or property manager when it comes to maintenance needs.
For our purposes, we will start with the exterior of the home, and, as we have done in the past, enlist the help of Elena Mendenhall, the director of property management for RE/MAX Professionals.
“There are some common things you want to look for around the outside of the home,” said Mendenhall. “Start by looking up at the roof and gutters. The gutters need to be cleaned and a professional should look at the roof for any potential leaking problems.”
Next, she said, is cleaning up the landscape and possibly planting some spring plants. You can also clean up the garden and trim bushes. This may be the perfect do-it-yourself project. But if trees need trimming, you may need someone with experience.
“Inspect the home’s entrances to make sure they are clear,” she said. “And take a good look at the sidewalks and walkways to make sure there are no new tripping hazards. If repairs need to be done here, it’s best to have a professional handle it.”
Examine siding and decks to make sure there is no wood rot. If you find something, you may want to get it taken care of before it becomes a serious problem.
Finally, on the outside, see if a power washing is needed before the rainy season starts. And this may be the year for the paint job on the exterior of the home, decks or fences.
Moving on to the interior, spring is the right time for an HVAC inspection. You want to make sure it is functional and clean before temperatures climb.
Inspect caulking and grout for holes and cracks. Again, this may be something you can repair but it may require the help of a qualified handyman.
Examine for discoloration in the walls. This may be a sign of moisture or mold problems, said Mendenhall.
Spring is also a good time for your annual inspection of the smoke alarm and to make sure any fire extinguishers are up to date.
“You should start now, even though spring is still a few weeks away,” she said. “The first step is to make a checklist of all these items Then do your personal inspection, where you can. Obviously, some of the examination and maintenance needs to be done by a professional. But where it is something you can handle, take a look and see if it needs work. If you can do the work yourself, go for it. When you’ve done it, check it off your list. But don’t take on more than you can really do. If you’re uncertain, it’s best to call for help. And again, if you’re a renter, talk to the owner or property manager before you do anything.”