After the long winter some regions experienced this year, many of us are looking forward to getting outdoors to enjoy some sunshine and warm weather again. With gardens springing to life and the days lengthening, April is a month of renewal.
For this month’s home maintenance tips, we asked three Long & Foster agents for advice on what to do to get your home in top shape during this first full month of spring.
Long & Foster Realtor Phyllis Engart of the Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, office recommends taking a walk around your property to inspect for any damage caused by winter weather. First, look for any trees or bushes that may have been damaged and prune or replace them, if necessary. Are your shutters fading? “Most people don’t realize that shutters have a lifetime guarantee,” said Engart. “Just call the manufacturer, have them delivered, then hire someone to replace them. It’s amazing how new shutters or a fresh coat of paint on old shutters can revive the look of the house.” Do your windows need to be cleaned? Clean windows can transform your living space, added Engart.
“Make sure your gutters are clear of winter’s debris,” said Mary Elise Moran, a Long & Foster agent based in the Arlington, Virginia, office. “The rainy season starts in April and clogged gutters can cause water damage to your home.” Moran said her home inspector recommends using a professional landscaper’s services for more than just aesthetics. In addition to improving curb appeal, proper plantings, mulching, and grading of the area around your home helps prevent water from seeping into your basement.
Paul Gee, an agent in Long & Foster’s Westham office in Richmond, Virginia, advised on getting your HVAC system checked this month. “April can bring hot days,” said Gee. “Before you have friends over on an 80 degree day and realize your AC doesn’t work, have your spring service check-up, so there are no surprises on the first hot day.”
Gee added that during the winter, birds, squirrels and other animals can try to get into homes in search of warmth. Some of these animals build nests and chew electrical wires, which can cause danger. Check attics, basements, garages and crawl spaces for any signs of animals, Gee advises. He added that warm, wet weather can bring ants into the house. April is a good month to apply some long-lasting insect repellent around the exterior perimeter of your home to help prevent bugs from entering when warm weather arrives.
If you’re planning to sell your home this spring, you’ll also want it to have great curb appeal. Your real estate agent is a great resource for suggestions that will help make your home picture perfect, both outside and inside.