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Your Spring 2020 Home Maintenance Checklist and Cost Guide | HouseMax Inc.

Your Spring 2020 Home Maintenance Checklist and Cost Guide | HouseMax Inc.

This is the time of year when homeowners across the Midwest begin to watch the daily forecast and think about what they need to do around the house with a Home Maintenance Checklist—both inside and out—to be ready for warmer, wetter weather this spring.

Spring can be a difficult season across the Midwest. Temperatures here aren’t exactly stable any time of year, and in the spring they can vacillate pretty widely between warm spells and sudden freezes. And while April showers may very well bring May flowers, they can also bring flooded basements and other hassles for homeowners.

Last year was one of the wettest years on record for many cities here in the Midwest, and springtime precipitation can do a number on homes that are unprepared. That’s why your friends at HouseMax professional home buyers in Kansas City, St. Louis, and the Orlando, Florida area have put together this handy checklist. We’ve been in the business of buying and repairing homes for years, so we know what to watch out for as the seasons change, and we know how much each issue can cost to repair. Here’s your spring 2020 to-do list!

  1. Clean your gutters and downspouts. Leaves and other debris have probably built up in your gutter over the winter. This buildup can lead to overflow during spring and summer rainstorms. Your gutters are there for a reason, after all, and letting them overflow can lead to everything from ruined gutters to wood rot and the need to replace parts of your roof or even your foundation. That’s a lot more expensive than having your gutters cleaned, even if you don’t do it yourself!

    Important Note: Water should be flowing through your gutters, out your downspouts, and away from your foundation during a rainstorm. If it isn’t, you may be looking at damage to your driveway, walkways, or even your foundation. How much is that going to cost you? Anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 or more!

  2. Test your sump pump. If your sump pump isn’t working, you want to know about it before a storm hits, not in the midst of one. Your sump pump is what keeps your basement from flooding, and a sump pump replacement, which can start at around $350 plus installation, is still a lot cheaper than a flooded basement. To test your sump pump, pour water into your sump pit or tank until the float rises enough to make the pump kick on. If it doesn’t kick on, well, you might need a new sump pump.

    Important Note: This is also the time to inspect all your exterior faucets and hoses to ensure that none of them were damaged by freezes during the winter. It’s also a good idea to have a professional inspect your pipes to make sure they’re in good condition.

  3. Run the sprinkler system. Some homes in the Kansas City area have sprinkler systems in the yards. If you’re part of a homeowners association, it may be in charge of maintaining sprinklers. If the sprinklers are your responsibility, however, it’s a good idea to turn them on and make sure they’re working properly before warm weather really kicks in. The cost to repair heads and valves in the whole system can run around $200 to $250.

    Important Note: While your sprinkler system is on, take note of any sprinklers that are spraying on the street, the sidewalk, or your porch. There’s no point in watering those things. Once the system is turned back off, adjust the sprinkler heads to avoid wasting water.

  4. Inspect the concrete. During the winter months, the ground freezes and thaws, causing movement and expansion that can cause concrete to shift or crack. If you notice concrete that is uneven or cracked, you’ve got a job to do, once weather permits. Fortunately, you can fill in cracks in the concrete with a concrete crack filler from the store or with silicone caulk. How much will it cost to completely tear out and replace your driveway? Probably around $6,500 or more.

    Important Note: If you’re dealing with asphalt, you may be able to patch it rather than replace it, but damaged concrete often needs to be replaced entirely. When in doubt, have a professional take a look.

  5. Check all the woodwork. Since you’re walking the property anyway, now’s a good time to inspect that wooden deck and back fence. You’re looking for water stains, discoloration, or other signs of wood rot or pest infestations, not to mention rusty or loose nails or missing boards. While the cost to replace a fence starts at around $6,000 and a deck starts at $7,000 or above, it’s better to catch these problems now than to have your fence blow down in a spring storm.

    Important Note: Termites tend to swarm in the spring, so now is also the time to keep an eye out for these pests. Fortunately, while termites are the bane of wood everywhere, a professional exterminator can easily dispatch them if they’re caught early.

  6. Give your air conditioner a seasonal tune-up. Having your HVAC system checked out by a heating and cooling professional doesn’t just catch minor problems before they turn into costly repairs; it can actually help to ensure that your air conditioner runs smoothly and efficiently, which will save you money on your cooling bills once the summer heat sets in. A new air conditioner costs upwards of $2,500 plus installation (and would be much more for larger homes), but HVAC service companies often run specials in the spring. Keep an eye out if you need a new system.

    Important Note: Want to save money (and hassle)? While the HVAC professional is taking a look at your air conditioner, ask what type of filters are recommended for your system, and then buy them in bulk. You might save money on the filters, and you’ll be able to change them regularly. Doing so helps to keep your air cleaner and increases the life of your A/C.

  7. Check all windows and doors. Windows and doors help keep the hot air out and the cool air in during the summer (and vice versa during the winter). Unfortunately, thanks to the temperature extremes that we face here in the Midwest, doors and windows can expand and contract, leading to drafts and leaks. That’s why it’s a good idea to inspect all doors and windows during the spring. A replacement window can run anywhere from $175 to $700 per window, while installing a new exterior door costs an average of $1,200.

    Important Note: You should check windows and doors to ensure that they seal properly around the edges. This is also a good time to make sure that all the locks work as they should, too.

  8. Examine your roof. Winter weather and spring storms can do a number on roofs. Before the storms hit, it’s time to get up on the roof and make sure that no shingles are cracked, loose, or missing. A complete roof replacement costs anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 and up, but a replacement is better than an unexpected leak—or worse!

    Important Note: While checking on your shingles, don’t forget to look at the flashing around things such as vents, skylights, and chimneys.

    These are the kinds of efforts that we often see motivated home sellers undertake in the cities that we serve, but it’s actually much easier (and cheaper!) if you do them regularly instead of all at once when you’re ready to sell your home.

    If you’re planning to get your home ready for the market this spring or summer but you’re worried that repairs will take more time and money than you’re hoping to spend, you need a motivated home buyer in Kansas City, St. Louis, or Orlando That’s where HouseMax comes in. We make generous cash offers on houses no matter what condition they’re in. Contact HouseMax today for a complimentary home analysis from a distressed real estate expert!

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