With spring right around the corner, it’s time to start working on your list of home maintenance tasks. Your list probably contains more tasks than you can accomplish before the end of the year, so it’s important to prioritize.
While some tasks can be put off until future years, the following tasks should be handled as quickly as possible.
1. Clean your chimneys
If you use a fireplace or a wood burning stove, it’s critical to clean your chimney or flue each year. If you use your wood stove for heating year-round, you should clean it every few months.
As you burn more wood in your fireplace or wood stove, creosote builds up in the chimney. Creosote is flammable and often causes chimney fires that can spread quickly to other areas of the house.
It’s important to clean your chimneys regularly to remove creosote before it becomes a hazard. Too much creosote buildup can also damage your chimney.
If you can’t get on the roof and you don’t want to bother cleaning your chimney from the inside, hire out the task every few months. At the very least, give your chimney a thorough cleaning once a year no matter how little you’ve used your fireplace or wood stove.
2. Dig up your nuisance blackberry bushes
“April showers bring May flowers” means beautiful gardens, but it also means rapidly growing blackberry bushes.
If you have nuisance blackberry bushes, dig them up before spring. Don’t give them a chance to grow. Ideally, put a blade on your weed whacker or use a machete to chop them down as much as possible. Then, digging them up will be easier (and safer).
3. Fix gravel roads/pathways and asphalt driveways
With spring rains come potholes. If you have any gravel roads or pathways, or an asphalt driveway, fix any small potholes before spring. When the rain comes, the potholes will just get worse and you’ll have to spend more time and use more materials to fix it.
If you’re used to dumping pea gravel over potholes, there’s a better and cheaper way that will last much longer. Dumping gravel in a pothole will only last about a week in the rain or with traffic and the hole will get bigger. Instead, order a load or two of crushed asphalt and pack it in a few inches deep with a steamroller.
Since it’s considered a recycled material, crushed asphalt is cheaper than rock. It also lasts longer, hardens over time, and doesn’t produce dust or mud. You can make a crushed asphalt road last around 5 years and you won’t even see any small potholes for at least a year or two.
4. Pump your septic tank
Is it time to pump your septic tank? Maybe not, but if you’re getting close to that time, consider having it pumped now rather than later.
You don’t want to call someone out in the winter to pump your septic. Doing anything in the winter is a little more difficult. If you get snowed in, you may not be able to call someone.
Handling this small, but necessary task in the spring will save you frustration later.
As an alternative option, you could use septic tank activating enzymes to help your tank take care of itself naturally. Technically, a properly working septic tank shouldn’t need to be pumped at all.
5. Fix leaks in the roof
The perfect time to fix a leaky roof is when it’s dry and warm. If you haven’t been hit with rain yet, get those leaks fixed fast. Your patches will have time to dry and you won’t have to get out on the roof in the middle of winter.
6. Fix any holes in the walls or windows
Holes that bring drafts into the house are easy to forget about when it’s warm. If you don’t fix them now, once winter approaches, you’ll quickly remember that you forgot to fix those holes.
If you have any holes, missing baseboards, or drafty windows and doors, fix them up before the end of spring so you can enjoy your summer and know you’ll be warm in winter.
Work now, play later
Don’t put off any of these important home maintenance tasks. If you handle all your tasks now, you’ll have your whole summer to relax and enjoy.