The basics of spring home upkeep

At long last – or at least what feels like long last – spring has sprung and wonderfully warm weather is right around the corner. As a homeowner, you're most likely relieved because there'll be no more ice and snow to shovel off your driveway, but the new season does mean you'll have some new necessary tasks to keep your house in tip-top shape. 

Don't be stressed by this, though: You can handle several of these necessary home maintenance chores on your own and without spending too much time and money. Let's get started:

The basics of spring home upkeepWith spring here, it's time to clean any remnants of winter out of your gutters.

Inspect your home's dampness-prone areas
If you have an attic, basement or both, it'll be wise to start here. Both of these areas can accumulate enough dampness to encourage mold growth, particularly if there's little ventilation or none at all. Family Handyman notes that it's easy to clean by scrubbing with water-diluted bleach and then vacuuming the remnants. To reduce your chances of facing this unpleasant issue going forward, consider installing a dehumidifier in your basement and regularly ventilating the attic any way you can.

You'll also want to search for signs of pests that may have infiltrated these areas. recommends looking for vertical cracks in the walls or tunneling marks in the wood, and if you find either, call an exterminator.

Exterior checkups
Your roof, shingles, gutters, certain types of siding and windows sustain the most damage from snow, ice and winds, so you'll want to look closely at all these areas. First, see if there are any cracks, gaps or holes in the roof or siding (if it's wood, stucco or brick). Small window gaps can be resealed with caulk, but any serious damage will require professional attention. 

Gutters, fortunately, are easier to tackle yourself. Houzz states that cleaning out leftover snow, slush and ice from the gutters and downspouts is necessary to keep rainwater flowing down from roofs and away from the foundation, so get this taken care of sooner rather than later. 

Checking on appliances for efficiency
As welcome as spring's weather is, it does mean that the heat of summer isn't that far away. So now is a great time to look at your air conditioner's outside unit and see if winter took a toll on it, according to HGTV. If the coils are damp or otherwise unclean, the system won't run efficiently and keep you cool, so get on the horn to a professional to have the unit serviced. Also, be sure to give window AC units a good once-over. 

Finally, because you'll likely be using more water in late spring and throughout summer – to shower more frequently in response to the heat – now may be a good time to preemptively invest in an electric tankless water heater. It can significantly bolster your energy efficiency so that an uptick in water use won't lead to an unfortunate surge in your utility bills. 

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