Housing experts have noticed that first-time homeowners skyrocketed in the previous year, even amid thecoronaviruspandemic. According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of first-time homebuyers in the United States rose to 35 percent of all residential housing sales in June 2020. The increase in home buying and home ownership stems from people’s desire to move out of congested cities as well as decreased mortgage terms.
If you’re a first-time homeowner, you don’t want to put your new property in jeopardy by forgetting to maintain it properly. Winter can do nasty things to residential property and it could decrease the price of your home and make it uncomfortable to live in.
So here’s a spring maintenance checklist you can use to keep your first home in top condition.
- Check Roof and Gutters
Snowfall and blizzards will take their toll first on your roof and gutters, especially if you don’t have advanced protection like heating strips. When the snow clears, get a ladder and thoroughly check your shingles or roof for any leaks and cracks that may have developed over the winter. While you’re up there, make sure your gutters haven’t rusted through or sagged due to the weight of the snow.
- Mind Your Power
Electrical components inside and outside your home can also be damaged by winter weather. Outdoor cables and powerlines may be compromised by the extreme cold and your indoor electrical wiring can be overtaxed by space heaters and other devices you may have used heavily during the winter. Although you can perform these checks yourself, calling a licensed electrical service is heavily recommended. These professionals have the equipment and know-how to safely analyze your home’s electrical components.
- Assess Garden
Your yard the plant life in it will almost certainly be affected by winter. Even if you take precautions such as putting bags around shrubs, the weather may end up harming your plants anyway. Once the spring thaw hits, check on the well-being of all plant life in your garden. Did the snow crumple your privet hedge? Did it break a branch on an ornamental tree? Is the lawn sprouting or did it die? Assess the damage so you can decide whether to handle it yourself or call for professional assistance.
- Vent Your System
Your air vents will undoubtedly have accumulated all sorts of dirt and debris throughout winter. Open your vents give them a good airing out, scouring away any cobwebs and dust trapped int there during the cold months. This will refresh your home and revitalize the air inside.
- Scrub Air Conditioning
On a similar note, if you’ve been using air conditioning or letting it sit idly during winter, it’s time to scrub its filters. Your AC unit’s air filters are meant to remove any dust it sucks in,and removing them will reduce the strain on the system.
- Sweep Fireplace
Winter is the perfect time for sitting around a log fire, but once springtime begins, you should be scrubbing and sweeping your fireplace. Woodburning fires leave behind an ashy substance known as creosote that can cause severe damage to your home and maybe even put your family in the hospital. Uncleaned chimneys full of creosote can lead to chimney fires and the substance could restrict air flow up the flue and cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Sweep your chimneys and fireplaces as thoroughly as possible to avoid these situations.
- Fill Potholes
Your home’s driveway will be particularly punished by the extreme weather of winter. Check the asphalt or cement for any cracks or potholes, which can form rapidly during late winter and early spring. Potholes occur when water that seeps into asphalt or concrete freezes, this expands the water and causes cracks. Each thaw and freeze cycle expands the crack until it’s a pothole. If you do find any cracks and potholes fill them up immediately to prevent them from spreading any further.
- Explore the Attic
Attics tend to become messy storage spaces, especially during winter. Cleaning it out is an essential step, however, visiting your attic in the spring will also help you spot if your roof developed a leak. Aside from shifting aside furniture and removing cobwebs, check for tell-tale signs of roof leaks in your attic such as damp spots, mold and spongy wood. Identify the source of the leakage and patch it up to preserve the structural integrity of your roof and attic.
Spring cleaning may be an important event, but cleaning alone won’t be enough to keep your first home pristine and comfortable. First-time homeowners should practice regular maintenance and stay vigilant if they want their property to stay habitable for as long as possible.