It's been a long snowy winter here in Denver, and it's officially Spring (even if the weather doesn't make us feel that way). Spring tends to be the forgotten season in Colorado, in most areas it's more like a second winter. But a seasonal change it is, and a great time for Denver area homeowners to freshen up the inside and outside of their home in preparation for warmer temps ahead. So, get ready to wash away the winter grime, open the windows, and prepare your home for warmer weather and backyard barbecues.
Inside Your Home
❏ Conduct Annual Spring Cleaning
Be sure to tackle those areas that may have gone neglected—such as your blinds, baseboards, and fan blades—as well as appliances, including your refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, and range hood. Clear out clutter and clothes you no longer wear, and toss old and expired food and medications.
❏ Shut Down Heating System
Depending on the type of heating system you have, you may need to shut your system down when not in use. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for proper procedures.
❏ Tune-Up Your A/C or Swamp Cooler
If your home has central air conditioning, schedule an annual tune-up with your HVAC technician. If you have a portable or window unit, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper maintenance. As soon as we have that first day above 75 degrees, everyone is rushing to get maintenance of their cooling systems, so it's always a good idea to plan ahead.
❏ Check Plumbing
It’s a good idea to periodically check your plumbing to spot any leaks or maintenance issues. Look for evidence of leaks—such as water stains on the ceiling—and check for dripping faucets or running toilets that need to be addressed. It is recommended that you flush your water heater at least once per year. It is recommended that tankless hot water tanks are descaled at least once a year as well. Doing so will help to prevent the potential problems that sediment and that hard Colorado water can bring over time. Check your sump pump (if you have one) to ensure it’s working properly.
❏ Inspect Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly. Batteries should be replaced every six months, so change them now and again in the fall. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to test your individual devices. And even properly functioning devices should be replaced at least every 10 years, or per the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Outside Your Home
❏ Inspect Perimeter of Home
Walk around your house and look for any signs of damage or wear and tear that should be addressed. Do you have any loose or broken siding or cracks in your stucco? Peeling paint? Loose or missing roof shingles? Make a plan to make needed repairs yourself or hire a contractor.
❏ Block Critter Entry Points
You may be surprised to find how many holes you have between your foundation and your siding where insects and rodents can get into your home. Mice can fit through a crack or hole one-fourth of an inch or larger - or about the width of a pencil. And insects can get through just about any crack. For rodents fill small holes with steel wool. Put caulk or silicone around the steel wool to keep it in place. Use lath screen or lath metal, cement, hardware cloth, or metal sheeting to fix large holes. For small insects, make sure to fill any remaining holes with clear silicone. These materials can be found at your local hardware store, and a 1-hour tour with a caulk gun around your home will do wonders for pest control.
❏ Clean Home’s Exterior
Wash windows and clean and replace screens if they were removed during the winter months. For the home’s facade, it’s generally advisable to use the gentlest method that is effective. A simple garden hose will work in most cases.5
❏ Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts should be cleaned at least twice a year. Neglected gutters can cause water damage to a home, so make sure yours are clean and free of debris. If your gutters have screens, you may be able to decrease the frequency of cleanings, but they should still be checked periodically. And make sure all of your gutter downspouts are down, and ejecting water at least 5-10 ft from your foundation walls. This is the most common cause of structural and foundation issues in Denver!
❏ Rake Your Lawn
Gently rake your lawn to remove leaves and debris. Too many leaves can cause an excessive layer of thatch, which can damage the roots of your lawn. They can also harbor disease-causing organisms and insects. However, take care because overly vigorous raking can damage new grass shoots.
❏ Seed or Sod Lawn
If you have bare spots, spring is a good time to seed or lay new sod so you can enjoy a beautiful lawn throughout the remainder of the year. The peak summer heat can be too harsh for a new lawn. If you miss this window, early fall is another good time to plant.
❏ Apply a Pre-Emergent Herbicide
While a healthy lawn is the best deterrent for weeds, some homeowners choose to use a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring to minimize weeds. When applied at the right time, it can be effective in preventing weeds from germinating. However, a pre-emergent herbicide will also prevent grass seeds from germinating, so only use it if you don’t plan to seed or sod in the spring.
❏ Plant Flowers
After a long winter, planting annuals and spring perennials is a great way to brighten up your garden. It’s also a good time to prune existing flowers and shrubs and remove and compost any dead plants. Make sure to know your Denver plant hardiness zone when planting flowers and trees, you can use an interactive map like this one.
❏ Mulch Beds
A layer of fresh mulch helps to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and moderate soil temperature. However, be sure to strip away old mulch at least every three years to prevent excessive buildup.
❏ Fertilize Lawn
Depending on your grass type, an application of fertilizer in the spring may help promote new leaf and root growth, keep your lawn healthy, and reduce weeds.10
❏ Tune-Up Lawn Mower
Send your lawn mower out for a professional tune-up and to have the blades sharpened before the mowing season starts.
❏ Inspect Sprinkler System
If you have a sprinkler system, check that it’s working properly and make repairs as needed. Sprinkler professionals recommend turning your sprinklers on after May 5th in the Denver area, this is typically when we are well past our last freezing temps. Make sure to book ahead, most companies are already filling their schedules for the season.
❏ Check the Deck
If you have a deck or patio, inspect it for signs of damage or deterioration that may have occurred over the winter. Then clean it thoroughly and apply a fresh coat of stain if needed.
❏ Prepare Pool
If you own a pool, warmer weather signals the start of pool season. Be sure to follow best practices for your particular pool to ensure proper maintenance and safety.
There you have it, The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist for Denver Area Homes. If you need referrals for anything on this list, please don't hesitate to reach out to one of our Real Estate Professionals so they can refer you to someone they use and trust.Posted by Ryan Penn on