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Spring Maintenance Tips

for Your Minneapolis Home

Spring has finally arrived in Minneapolis, and as you watch the last remnants of winter melt away, it's time to think about giving your home a little TLC. Your home has been through a lot during those cold, snowy months, and it's essential to ensure everything is in tip-top shape to avoid costly repairs as we head into the warmer months. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to tackle this list of essential spring home maintenance tasks we've put together just for you. From inspecting your roof to prepping your garden, let's guide you through the process to ensure your home stays safe and looks its best.

Inspect Your Roof

After a harsh Minneapolis winter, you must check your roof for any signs of damage, such as loose, curled, cracked or missing shingles. Watch for damaged or loose flashing around vents, chimneys and skylights, which can lead to leaks.

If you notice significant damage or are unsure about the condition of your roof, consider hiring a professional roofer to perform a thorough inspection and make any necessary repairs.

Clean Gutters and Downspouts

The Minneapolis area gets snow and rain throughout the year. Your gutters can easily get clogged during the winter; removing the debris will ensure they work the rest of the year. 

Look for ice dams or signs of them and repair any you find the best you can. Check your gutters and downspouts for other potential issues while cleaning the debris. Using water and a hose to clean gutters and flush waste from downspouts is a good idea. 

Remember to follow safety standards and ask for professional help if needed.

Check Your Plumbing

After winter, checking the plumbing around your home is a good idea. Inspect every pipe and fixture you can and take note of anything you notice. 

Look for leaks, inspect your water heater and faucets and investigate outdoor plumbing for issues. Repair any worn-out washers or leaky fixtures. Remember to shut your plumbing off before any big fixes, and call a professional if you need help with plumbing issues. 

Check Your Sump Pump

With spring thaw and the potential for heavy rain, ensure your sump pump is in good working order to prevent basement flooding and water damage around the home. 

Start by visually inspecting the sump pump for any signs of damage, rust or wear. Ensure the pump is upright and securely positioned in the sump pit before removing debris, such as leaves, dirt or gravel. 

It's wise to test your sump pump every three to four months. Test its functionality by pouring a few gallons of water into your sump pit. The pump should automatically turn on, drain the water, and shut off when the water level is low enough.

It's also an excellent idea to check that the float switch can move freely and isn't obstructed (as it triggers the pump to activate at certain water levels). Examine the drainage pipe for leaks and cracks to ensure no water leaks or pools around your home's foundation. 

As always, be careful during the inspection and call a professional if the job is outside your comfort zone. 

Service Your Air Conditioning System

While Minneapolis winters are harsh, summers can be brutal. Clean your system during the spring to avoid summer problems with your A/C unit or furnace. 

Start by cleaning or replacing your air filters, and remember to inspect your system and ductwork for any potential problems. Next, turn off the power to your HVAC system and clean the outdoor unit by removing any debris, cleaning the coils, fixing any bent fins and checking the system for damage. After you finish working on your outdoor system, turn the power back on. 

Ask a local HVAC professional to perform a spring tune-up if this sounds complicated. 

Inspect and Repair Your Window and Door Screens

Inspecting and repairing window and door screens is a vital spring maintenance task for Minneapolis homeowners, particularly after enduring a harsh winter. Winter weather can cause wear and tear on screens, leading to holes that may allow insects and pests into your home.

Check each screen for any signs of damage, like tears or frayed edges. If you find any damage, repair small tears using a screen repair kit (available at most hardware stores). For larger holes or extensive damage, consider replacing the entire screen. Lastly, clean each screen with a soft brush and mild soapy water to remove accumulated dirt and debris. 

Prepare Your Lawn, Bushes and Garden for Summer

After months of being stuck under snow, your lawn and garden need a little extra TLC before the warmer summer months. Depending on the size of your outdoor space, it may be where you'll spend the most time.

The best place to start is by raking up any remaining leaves, twigs and other debris left over from the winter months, allowing sunlight to reach your lawn and promoting healthy growth.

With the frigid temperatures compacting the soil, one of the most critical tasks is to aerate your lawn, which allows water, air and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the ground to promote healthier grass growth.

Finish off your lawn prep by applying a slow-release fertilizer (to provide your lawn with essential nutrients for the growing season) and overseeding any thin or bare spots to encourage a thick, lush lawn.

Your trees, shrubs and plants will also require some attention. Make sure to trim back any dead or damaged branches from trees and shrubs to promote development. Similarly, remove any plant that looks beyond repair to make room for new growth and prevent pests.

Lastly, spring is the best time to plant new vegetation, including annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. Consider plants' specific needs regarding sunlight, water and soil, and begin planting cool-season flowers before preparing to transplant warm-season plants when the risk of frost has passed.

Inspect Your Deck, Porch, and Patio

Speaking of outdoor space, another area of your home that may have been adversely affected by the harsh Minneapolis winter is your deck, porch or patio area. It pays to inspect it and take remedial action should you find any issues.

Start by looking for signs of wear or damage, such as loose or warped boards, splintered wood or cracked concrete. Pay close attention to areas exposed to the elements, like handrails and steps. Inspect supporting posts, beams and joists for any signs of rot, decay or damage. Make sure all the connections and fasteners are secure and in good condition. Tighten loose bolts or screws, and repair or replace damaged or weakened sections.

Lastly, thoroughly clean your deck or patio using a specialized cleaning solution for wood or concrete surfaces (or one suited to your specific construction material). This treatment should remove any built-up dirt, mold or mildew to prevent further damage. Depending on the nature of your outdoor space, you can pressure-wash it or scrub it by hand to clean it up. Once the surface is clean and dry, apply a sealer or stain to protect wooden surfaces (if you have any) from moisture and UV damage.

As with any other task on this list, be safe, fix what you can and ask for professional help when needed. 

Remain Prepared for Late Season Snow

Even though it's spring, late-season snow is not uncommon in Minneapolis. The Twin Cities average April snowfall average has tripled in the past decade.

So while many of your tasks will involve remediating damage from the winter season, you should still prepare for the possibility of snow and avoid making the mistake of packing away your winter gear.

Keep your snow removal equipment, such as shovels and snow blowers, within reach for easy access, and stay vigilant about weather forecasts. Be ready to clear snow from walkways, driveways, gutters and around your home's foundation to prevent ice buildup or damage.

By staying prepared, you can tackle late-season snow and ensure your home remains safe and accessible throughout the spring.

Wrapping Up Your Minneapolis Spring Home Maintenance

As the seasons change and spring arrives in Minneapolis, it's crucial for you as a homeowner to tackle essential maintenance tasks. From inspecting roofs and servicing air conditioning systems to prepping lawns and gardens, these steps can help ensure a safe, comfortable and beautiful home throughout the year.

By addressing any issues caused by the harsh winter and preparing for the warmer months ahead, you can fully enjoy your Minneapolis home and outdoor spaces, confident that you've invested the time your property needs for long-term health and value.  If you need more help with these recommendations, look online for articles and videos from experts about each task above.