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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

April 26, 2023 - 9:00am --

While enjoying the warm temperatures and picking up the many sticks that were strewn around from the strong winds last week, I was reminded that it’s time for some spring maintenance on my home.  If you are a new homeowner, the following are some tips that might be helpful for you. And for the rest of us, they are great reminders to keep our homes in good working condition.

A newer home will not require the maintenance that a 30-plus-year-old home will require.  However, taking care of the little things will keep them from turning into big expenses down the road.  Freezing temperatures, heavy rains and other Ohio weather conditions may cause additional wear on the foundation, roof, and windows.  The home’s location may also affect how it drains and other environmental maintenance. For example, if the home is in the woods, it may have issues with mold and mildew.  The Ohio Housing Finance Agency guideline for a home maintenance budget is about $1,500 to 3,000 per year.  Another source suggests 1 percent of the purchase price of your home should be set aside for ongoing repairs or another estimate is $1 per square foot. By including this in your budget, there will be funds available for when repairs are needed.

The following is a list of tasks that may need attention in the spring of the year with our homes:

  • If you have a fireplace, clean it out, remove all ash and vacuum well.  Remove wood from around the house.
  • Have your air conditioning system serviced every two or three years.  Keep a notebook or spreadsheet with the dates and updates that were made for warranty purposes.
  • Clean or replace your air conditioning filter.
  • Clean the gutters, again.  Wash them to get the grime and dirt off, inside and out.
  • Check the ridge vents for any obstructions or evidence of pest damage.  Consider adding a roof vent or whole house fan to improve cooling without much extra energy cost.
  • Take pictures of any foundation problems and file them to compare in the future so you can see if the problem is progressing or needs professional attention.
  • Look around the foundation for pests such as ants or termites and monitor over the next few months when they may be most active.
  • Check decking and stairs for damage or rot and make necessary repairs.
  • Check caulking around windows and doors to keep hot air out and cool air inside this summer.
  • Look at sidewalks for necessary repairs.
  • Test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector and replace batteries if you forgot to do it with the time change. If detectors are more than 10 years old, replace them.
  • Go through the house and make a list of things that need attention.  Patch holes, paint, replace fixtures, clean out drains, fix leaks and try to attend to them.
  • In the yard, trim trees and bushes so nothing touches your house.
  • Once spring blooming shrubs are finished blooming, cut them back to remove crossing branches, and restore the shape.
  • Clean and take out patio furniture.
  • Check railings and steps to make sure they are clean, safe, and secure.
  • After ground is warm and threat of freezing has passed, check outdoor water source, hose, and sprinkling systems to make sure they are in working condition.
  • Examine exterior lights for working conditions.
  • Ensure sump pump is working properly before more spring rains.  Check spouting and make sure downspouts are pointed away from the house.

While the list seems long, take it one step at a time.  Your home is your investment and taking care of it today can ensure greater equity in the future!

Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722 or
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This article was previously published in The Daily Record.