Spring has finally arrived! As a landlord, it’s a great time to enjoy the warmer weather and get your rental properties for the new season. While apartment complexes may require less maintenance after the coldest months, single-family homes will need your attention.
The harsh winter weather and freezing temperatures may damage parts of your property, including the roof, chimney, windows, walls, foundation, gutters, and decks.
It can be overwhelming to manage all maintenance tasks at once, but you don’t have to do it all in one day. Instead, work on each item throughout the season and by the time you’re done, you’ll be ready to rest easy this summer. Whether you’re focusing on indoor or outdoor care, here are ten tips for spring home improvement.
1. Cleaning Downspouts and Drains
Having your gutters and downspouts cleaned and fixed after the last frost is crucial. Clogged gutters and downspouts can rot your trim at the eaves, which attracts all kinds of vermin into an attic space.
Early-season gutter and downspout cleaning can also aid in avoiding damage from spring rains. Downspouts and drains must be clear and unobstructed. In case of heavy rains or melting snow, water is channeled away from home, preventing moisture from collecting around your foundation.
2. Roof and Foundation Inspection
Winter storms can cause roof damage, so inspecting the roof once the weather warms up is important. If you notice any cracks, damaged or missing shingles, you’ll need to install new shingles or replace the flashing.
You should also make sure to check the attic for leaks. Pay particular attention to the walls, as attic mold can cause serious damage in the long run.
Post-winter maintenance should include examining the foundation for cracks and necessary concrete repairs. While narrow cracks can be fixed on your own, certain more complicated cases should be passed directly to a foundation specialist for further inspection.
3. Check the Chimney
Hire a certified chimney sweep to remove ash and soot and inspect the chimney for structural damage. Although a chimney and fireplace may not be used frequently during the warmer months, essential chimney maintenance is something you should keep in mind.
4. Basic Cleaning
Cleaning up neglected parts of the house in the spring is a good idea. Chair rails, window frames, the tops of wall-mounted cupboards, and ceiling fans should all be dusted or vacuumed. Wash or vacuum fabric drapes, and clean wood and vinyl blinds with a wet, soapy cloth. Getting rid of accumulated dust, mites, and allergens will make your home cleaner and healthier. Vacuum upholstered furniture and mattresses and think about renting a carpet cleaner.
If you see grease residue in the kitchen, you might want to wash the cabinets, backsplashes, and walls with warm water and mild soap. The same is true in the bathroom, where soap residue, temperature changes, and humidity conspire to create the ideal environment for mold and mildew to grow.
5. Air Conditioning
With warm weather approaching unexpectedly, it's important to service your home's air conditioner now to get it ready. Unless you have prior knowledge of home air conditioning systems, hiring specialists to complete this task is recommended.
Check your home's ductwork and vents to ensure no obstructions when your air conditioning is being serviced, especially if you've had any work done on your home during the winter. If any obstructions are discovered, hiring an HVAC service technician to fix the issue may be a good idea.
In recent years, the potential health risks posed by pests, such as mosquitoes, have become more apparent. Remove any standing water, moistened leaves, and garbage to prevent pests from taking over your property. Additionally, inspect your wooden furniture for termites and other harmful insects.
7. Screen Doors and Windows
Screens are essential for allowing fresh air in while keeping bugs out, but they can only do their job if they're free from tears and holes. Before the warm weather arrives, check each screen thoroughly and fix any holes or tears, no matter how small. You can easily find screen repair kits at most home improvement and hardware stores.
8. Clean Up the Yard
Once you’ve resolved major maintenance issues in your rental properties, it’s time to spruce up and beautify the back and front yards. First, remove winter debris from the gutters and clear away litter, branches, and leaves hidden under the snow cover.
In addition, give some TLC to your trees and shrubs! Pruning dead branches will help them recover from the cold winter season. You can also start maintaining your lawn; raking is the first thing you should do to prepare your lawn for the new season.
As grilling season approaches, preparing your grill for use is essential. Gas grill owners should inspect burner jets for clogs or obstructions and ensure that gas hoses and connections are secure. Additionally, check that you have sufficient propane. Charcoal grill owners should clean out any ash and grease residue, a habit that should be maintained throughout the grilling season, not just in the spring.
10. Inspect the Deck and Patio
Inspect your deck or patio for warped, loose, or splintered boards and clear any accumulated debris. Whether it’s made of wood, plastic, or composite materials, the deck should be cleaned annually to prolong its lifespan. If the finish on your wood deck has faded or worn out, it's a good idea to clean, stain, and reseal it now. For composite decking, follow the manufacturer's recommended care guidelines. The same applies to wood or composite fences, pergolas, trellises, and other outdoor structures.
If you have a stone patio, a simple hose down will suffice for maintenance, unless you notice moss or staining, which may require more intensive cleaning.
Spring Wrap Up
Rental maintenance is one of a landlord’s most important responsibilities. When something isn’t working correctly in a rental, it negatively affects both you and your tenants. To avoid costly repairs - and, more importantly, to keep your tenants satisfied! Addressing maintenance issues quickly and efficiently is a must.
If you’re unsure about a maintenance request in your rental property, find a service professional by posting a bid request. Assign recurring spring maintenance requests to service professionals and make them recur once a year right from the maintenance request page.