Owning a home in California comes with countless perks, the spring weather being one of them. While spring is a beautiful time of year, it also tends to carry some extra homeowner responsibilities. Of course, there is never a wrong time to take care of some of our spring cleaning and maintenance suggestions below, but spring is the transition period. Going from fall and colder winter weather into spring, you’ll likely notice a few things around the house that could and should be addressed before the summer heatwave sets in. For homeowners in Sonoma & Napa Counties, it’s especially important to take care of outdoor areas before wildfire season picks up.
What Should You Keep in Mind for Spring Home Care?
Whether you just bought a home or are thinking about investing in a new home in the region, make sure you have a designated spring checklist for maintenance and cleaning ready to go. Don’t have the time to come up with your own list? Great news — Annadel Builders, Inc. has you covered! We are proud to be leading luxury home builders in Sonoma, CA and serve homeowners throughout the area.
We know what it takes to properly maintain high-end homes and properties in Northern California! That’s why we’ve compiled a quick spring checklist that you can easily personalize the list to your specific property needs.
1. Get Your Outdoor Landscape in Line
Living in Northern California means learning how to maintain a defensible space for your home, especially as wildfire threats expand to nearly all times of the year.
Your outdoor yard clean up checklist could include the following suggestions and more:
- Clearing any dead or fallen foliage, from leaves to wilted plants and trees
- Cutting back new spring growth to a healthy and happy state (to prevent overcrowding and maintain a defensible space)
- Properly removing weeds and tall grasses that may easily burn up in the summer heat and create brush fire risks
- Checking for signs of pest damage or infiltration, from voles and rats to termites and roaches — and sealing up any potential entry areas and removing debris that could be used as hiding spots
- Trimming tree branches and shrubs that are encroaching on your house or defensible space limits
- Assessing outdoor living areas, such as decks, stairs, BBQ grills, pergolas etc. for any winter damage
- Adding in drought-resistant landscaping wherever possible — from succulents and other tolerant plants to rocks and other materials to minimize water usage
If you keep your outdoor space manageable, it is easier to do regular upkeep that doesn’t take too much sweating. On the other hand, if yard work isn’t your thing or you’ve let your landscaping become a little neglected, consider calling a landscaping company to ensure everything is taken care of and your home is ready for the warmer weather.
2. Plan for Springtime HVAC System Maintenance
California is blessed with mild weather, which means the heating and cooling system is not used as much throughout the year for most homeowners. Still, there are definitely a few months when the weather heats up enough to need some nice refreshment from a home cooling system. While the springtime can be beautiful and moderate, the coming summer months can often put more of a strain on a home’s AC unit. Ensuring your unit is ready to go after a cooler winter is important, especially since you likely haven’t used it since early fall of the previous year. Now is the ideal time to schedule maintenance and an inspection if you are having any problems at all. The last thing anyone wants is to be without air conditioning during a hot Sonoma County summer! You may also consider maintenance for other areas in your home, from changing out vent filters to installing water conservation appliances.
3. Assess Your Windows & Energy Efficiency
In addition to your home HVAC system and other appliances, you may also want to assess your home’s windows and weatherstripping. Of course, during the winter months, you may not have noticed your home feeling colder than usual or hot air escaping, but during the summer months, the strain on your AC system (and your electric spending) can make window efficiency issues much more obvious. If your windows are older and you feel like your home isn’t as well-insulated as it could be, a simple way to fix that could be investing in new weatherstripping, re-caulking areas around the windows that have been damaged, or even installing more energy-efficient windows for long-lasting results. When the summer heatwave hits, you’ll be happy you took care of your window upgrade during the more mild springtime and saved yourself from having to replace your worn-out AC system as well.
4. Check Your Gutters & Roof for Debris & Damage
California is in serious need of more rain, which can make thinking about your gutters a secondary thought. Without the regular rains, gutter maintenance may be something at the bottom of your spring cleaning list, however, uncleaned gutters can pose more than a heavy rain risk.
When the weather starts warming up, you’ll want to either schedule gutter cleaning and repair or take care of any debris build-up yourself. Clogged gutters can easily lead to wood trim / eaves rot, open up entry points for unwanted critters and pests, and most concerning, create a fire hazard. Dried leaves, pine needles, and other dead foliage caught in gutters or around a roof are considered dangerously combustible materials. While your gutters remain out of easy sight, the risk may go overlooked if you don’t add regular gutter cleaning to your spring checklist. A fire that starts in the gutter with so much combustible debris could quickly spread to the attic, exposing a home and leading to serious fire damage. If you don’t already have metal flashing at the edge of the roof, consider adding this as well to mitigate fire risk. This is also a good time to have your roof inspected for any winter damage.
Whether you tackle everything on the list yourself or leave some of it to the professionals, we hope our spring maintenance tips help you care for your Sonoma or Napa County home.