During the first full month of spring, you get to emerge from your home, enjoy milder weather, and if you’re lucky, see a sunny day or ten. Of course, between those so-called “April showers,” the month is a great time to prepare your home for the upcoming stormy season. That’s why we put together this April home checklist with absolutely no tricks but perhaps one or two jokes. (We’re fun like that.)
Assess your home for winter damage
Winter can be beautiful, but it can do a number on your home. If you’re in the North or Midwest with snowstorms and ice, you may find some of your home’s exterior elements – driveways, walkways, roofs, and decks – to be in worse condition than autumn. With the snow and ice gone for the season (crossing fingers!), now’s the time to walk your property and see if you need to call a professional to complete any repairs.
If you’re not cleaning up winter’s aftermath, April may be a great time to focus on your curb appeal and start your hardscaping – power washing your walkways and deck, paving or patching your driveway, cleaning your gutters and downspouts, etc.
Now, you may be wondering, “How frequently should I clean my gutters?” and the real answer – as often as they need to be. However, in most cases, they need to be cleaned twice a year – in middle to late spring, after the seeds fall, and in middle to late autumn, after the leaves fall.
While you’re outside, also test and service your water elements, including your sprinklers and fountains.
Clear your view
April showers will not clean your windows, so before you miss a beautiful summer sunrise, give your windows a much-needed shower. Wash your windows, both interior and exterior, and if you put away your screens for the winter, now’s the time to bring them back. Insect season is here, and with your screens in place, you can leave your front door and windows open but keep the bugs outside.
Say good-bye to your winter gear
As part of your late spring-cleaning agenda, banish any snow removal items to the back of your shed or garage – snow blower, shovels, ice melt, etc. – and bring forth your landscaping equipment – lawn mower, rakes, hoses, etc. This is also a great time to bring out your patio furniture and prep your grill. It’ll be Memorial Day and the unofficial start of summer before you know it!
Service your HVAC unit
Your heating unit may have worked well all winter, but in some places, it may already feel like you’re walking on the sun. (Looking at you, Southern States.) Make sure your HVAC unit works all year season long by regularly changing your air filters and getting your unit serviced by a professional now. A qualified technician can replace any worn parts, test for leaks in the ducks, clean the coils, clear debris in the drainage areas, and inspect the system. They’ll also unclog and flush the system.
As part of your April home maintenance checklist, you may want to include the following items to improve the safety and value of your home:
Clean out your dryer exhaust vent
Lint builds up in your dryer exhaust vent and can become a fire hazard if left. It can also lower the efficiency of the unit and raise your electricity (and gas) bills, so experts advise cleaning your dryer vent at least once a year, perhaps even more depending on how frequently you use your unit.
If you’re not sure how to make your dryer exhaust vent lint free, contact a qualified professional who can help!
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
This should be part of your home routine every month, not just your April home checklist. Just hit the test button on your devices and make sure they’re working. If they’re not, try replacing the batteries.
If your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm still doesn’t work, then it’s time to replace the unit! Make sure to get one with a 10-year battery as they are mandated in many states. Though you’ll still need to test your units monthly, the likelihood of suffering an outage is less with a long-life battery.
Sign up for vipHomeLink
Let’s be honest – it’s hard to know what to do and when to do around the home, which is why we created the vipHomeLink home management app. Inside, you’ll find an ever-expanding library of expert tips, personalized reminders for home maintenance, and tailored reminders for home improvement. You’ll also receive property-specific push notifications and a Virtual Home Checkup with one of our home experts!