Spring is finally in the air across most of Canada and it not only brings warmer temperatures and colourful blooms, it also brings the realization that our homes have been slowly weathered over the last six months. Thankfully, pleasant weather makes spring the easiest time of year to make improvements and repairs to revitalize our homes.Warmer weather also encourages more foot traffic to open houses and private showings. It’s no wonder that more homes are put on the market in the spring than any other time of year. While spring can be an excellent time to sell a home, stiff competition means that they must look their best. Before determining the listing price for a property and placing it on the market, it’s important for essential property repairs, cosmetic improvements and in some cases, major renovations to take place. This will help maximize a financial return and increase the chance of it selling faster. A real estate agent can provide advice on the required updates and repairs specific to your property type and neighbourhood.Here are some general tips to get every home ready for spring:
1. Schedule Inspections
Having air conditioning units inspected by a certified professional before turning it on for the season is not only a good safety measure, it also helps prolong the life of the unit.Gas barbeques that were not in use over the frigid months should be inspected as well.It’s also wise to make sure outdoor faucets, receptacles, and lighting are not damaged. Clean all light fixtures, and replace burnt-out bulbs with energy-saving bulbs.
2. Fix Cracks
Cracks that may have occurred in foundations, walkways, and porches during the winter months may cause further water damage if they are not repaired. With warmer weather approaching, take time to patch cracks and replace loose bricks and pavers. Rent a power washer or purchase a chemical treatment to clean up embedded stains in concrete, stone or asphalt then fill cracks as soon as possible to avoid paying for additional repairs after the spring rain.At the same time, double check that your patio and walkways are sloping away from the house so that water does not pool near the foundation.
3. Caulk, Repair and Wash Windows
Just like cracks, gaps between windows can let water and pests inside. Scrape off any old caulking and replace. Also check any wood trim or sills for signs of decay and repair or replace as needed. This will also help keep drafts out and energy bills down.
4. Check Gutters and Downspouts
There’s a good chance the gutters and downspouts need some care after the buildup of ice and snow. Inspect downspouts and gutters just before the spring rains start to be sure they’re clear of leaves, tree limbs and other debris that might cause problems later on. Clogging usually occurs at the elbow in a drainage system, where the downspout connects to the gutter. Since this elbow is relatively easy to remove, take it off and inspect for clogging. Do a perimeter check from the ground to make sure nothing has come loose or detached from the house. This can help save a lot of money on repair costs.Also do a visual check of any chimneys and the shingles on the roof during this process to see if there is any damage.
5. Tend to the Garden
Prune dead branches, trim back overgrown shrubbery and remove any obstructive plantings. Spread mulch or bark around trees, shrubs and flowers for a weed-free, well-kept look. Strategically placed plants can conceal unattractive aspects of your house or yard. Bushes or hedges can hide air-conditioning units or propane tanks, and flower beds and window boxes will stylize a stark façade. Place large pots or hanging baskets around the stoop or porch.
6. Freshen Up
Restore your door by polishing the hinges and knobs, and paint or stain the door a complementary colour. Put out a new welcome mat — and make sure the doorbell works.Sweep the walkways, clear away cobwebs, tighten wobbly railings, and repaint posts and supports.
7. Tend to Home Interiors
While we tend to focus on home exteriors at this time of year, spring is also the perfect time to replace or clean furnace filters, check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, check the dryer vent for lint buildup, and have the fireplace cleaned.
This article was originally published on March 17, 2015 and has been updated on January 23, 2020.