To-Dos: Your April Home Checklist

Kick spring cleaning into high gear, and troubleshoot cooling and irrigation systems for the warmer months ahead

By Laura Gaskill / Courtesy of Houzz.com

With lengthening days and milder temperatures in many parts of the country, April is a wonderful time to freshen up the home inside and out. From windows that sparkle to a clutter-free garage, here are 13 tasks to make the most of the first full month of spring.

Clean gutters and downspouts. Having your home’s gutters and downspouts cleaned (and repaired if necessary) is one of the first important tasks to schedule this season. Clogged gutters during a rainy spring can cause water to pool, potentially damaging the roof and siding.

Wash siding. Using a regular garden hose, attach a siding cleaning kit (available at most home improvement stores) to clear away winter grime from your home’s siding.

Spruce up the front porch.Clean the porch floor, exterior windows, windowsills and front door. Wipe cobwebs from the ceiling and high corners. Lay down a fresh doormat and plant a pot of flowers. If you have porch furniture, clean it off and wash the cushions.

Inspect paths and driveway. Repeated freezing and thawing can take a toll on asphalt and concrete. Check your driveway and paths for cracks and schedule repairs as needed.

Boost curb appeal. Spring is a wonderful time to make upgrades to your home’s exterior, and even small changes — like putting up bold house numbers and a shiny new mailbox — can make a big impact. If you’re planning to put your house on the market this spring, boosting curb appeal can help lure in potential buyers, making it especially important.

Wash windows. Welcome the spring sunshine by clearing dirt and grime from windows inside and out. After cleaning the glass, take an extra moment to wipe the sill.

Check screen doors and windows for tears. Before putting up window screens and screen doors, inspect each one for holes and rips— even small tears can let in mosquitoes! If you find any holes, pick up a screen patch kit (available at most hardware stores) and repair them.

Clear clutter. Create more space in your home by clearing out unloved items. If you have a lot to get rid of, set a date to hold a yard sale. Or contact a local charity to schedule a pickup — some will send a truck free of charge if you’re donating large items like furniture. If you have a lot of one type of item (for example, books or baby clothes), look for a consignment shop in your town where you may be able to sell them.

Schedule cooling-system maintenance. If you have central air conditioning, be sure to schedule professional maintenance before the start of summer. A properly maintained system cools better, uses less energy and lasts longer.

Clean the garage. Can you park your car in your garage? If not (or if it’s a tight fit), it may be time to make some more space. Clear out the junk, and schedule time to take unused paint, motor oil and other hazardous items to a recycling center that accepts them. (If you’re not sure where to go, searchEarth911 to find a center near you.) Once your garage is cleaned out, consider adding wall-mounted storage to keep things neat and off the floor.

Test sprinklers and irrigation system. Don’t let the first sign you have a malfunctioning irrigation system be a drooping garden! Take the time this month to test each part and adjust or repair as needed.

Keep mosquitoes at bay. Having warmer weather and longer days means we’re entering mosquito season. Take preventative measures by regularly checking your property for standing water and emptying it. Any open containers (empty flowerpots and saucers, a wheelbarrow) can become mosquito-breeding grounds when filled with rainwater, so store items like these upside down or in a shed.

Maintain wood decks and fences. Keep outdoor woodwork in top shape by staining or resealing each spring. Check gates, fencing, decks, railings, pergolas and other outdoor structures, and make repairs as needed.