Your Outdoor Spring Home Maintenance Guide

By MNR News posted 04-13-2023 11:32 AM

We're waving goodbye to the third snowiest winter in Minnesota on record and welcoming the season of renewal. Local pub patios, bikeways, and parks are overflowing with Minnesotans shaking off the dregs of winter and soaking up the sun.

As temperatures continue to rise across Minnesota this spring, and our gray clusters of snow finally vanish, homeowners are seeing parts of their property that have been hidden for months—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Your home’s exterior might look especially haggard and unkempt following the four-month barrage of ice, snow, and cold it received from Old Man Winter. Spring is the time to pick up the pieces, get out the work gloves and restore your home exterior’s luster. You might look around and wonder where to begin. We’ve got you covered with our outdoor early spring home maintenance checklist.

Up, Down, and Around
  • Inspect your roof, chimney, gutters, and siding for any noticeable damage from wind, snow, and ice. This could be blighted shingles or roof leaks, split bricks, chipped stucco or dented downspouts. Keep an eye peeled for raised nails in your shingles, which can allow leaks. If you notice water stains on the exterior, it likely means your gutters are not holding roof runoff properly and will require repair.
  • Address any safety issues or major home hazards immediately. For serious situations like basement flooding or roof water damage call a professional right away because you can bet other homeowners are leaving voicemails with their favorite contractors as we speak. 

  • As part of your structural checks, make your way around the house examining windows, window wells, and your foundation for any masonry cracks. Inspect windows for air leaks caused by ruptured caulking or mangled weather stripping. Also look for any condensation inside the glass, which is a sign that a weather seal has been compromised.  

  • You may choose to power wash all siding and exterior windows during the inspection stage to save time, as soon as you open the outdoor water valve and re-attach the garden hose. 

  • For less pressing repairs or improvements, keep a log prioritized by the importance of the project. You can chip away at one or two bigger projects per summer to stay within budget. 

Clean and Clear Your Yard

  • Your yard is likely full of all kinds of bramble and fallen branches, pools of water, and trash that blew in from the street. Pick up and properly dispose of any unsightly objects. 
  • Clear drainage at the ground level, including storm drains, downspout extensions, and other rainwater management systems with a hose or if needed, a plumbing snake. 
  • Rake up leftover leaves and other organic materials, bag, and set them aside for pick-up—but avoid aggressive raking, which can tear up emerging grass and create bare spots on your lawn.  

  • Clear yard waste from inside and around your A/C unit to ensure it’s ready to operate whenever the humidity takes hold. 

  • Flush out all gutters with a garden hose. For tough jams, you may need a high-pressure nozzle or the help of a professional.  

  • Get out the pitchfork for the muddy or wet spots. One of the least expensive solutions is to aerate the soil in these swampy areas by simply poking a few holes in the earth. Aeration can reduce soil compaction and allow water to drain. If mud is more widespread, fresh sod may be required. 

  • With your favorite pair of work gloves, get down into those window wells to remove leaves and debris and check for signs of water entry near your foundation. 

  • Trim shrubs, prune brushes, and look for any compromised landscaping. Before your plants have fully bloomed, early spring is a good time to use your imagination to plan for landscape improvements you want to tackle this year

Set Up Your Outdoor Space 

  • Power wash and sweep away debris from your porch, deck, or outdoor entertaining area to prepare for springtime shenanigans.  

  • Pull out and arrange the patio furniture, knocking the dust off long unused pieces by washing pillows and vacuuming outdoor area rugs. 

  • Bring out, stock up, and strategically hang the bird feeders to attract your favorite winged spring visitors which include robins, cardinals, blue jays, field sparrows, and more.  

  • Unfurl and hang late-night lighting for sundown gatherings.  

  • Buy and stack firewood and inspect your backyard firepit to ensure it’s ready for another busy season of roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. 

  • Get out the grill and give it a thorough scrubbing before use. Nobody wants their burger to taste like the inside of a garage. Speaking of the garage… 

De-Grunge Your Garage

  • Follow the steps above by inspecting the roof, exterior walls, and then clearing eaves and downspouts before moving into the belly of the beast.  

  • Back out the cars, crank up the radio, and give yourself a full day to de-grunge your garage. Start by sweeping and washing out the floor, then move to the decluttering phase.  

  • Stow away snowblowers and shovels, then rearrange your lawn care tools, mower, and other machines you’ll frequently use during the spring and summer months. 

  • Check for pooling water or leaks around the inside of your garage foundation and walls.  

  • Wipe down, organize, and bring forth your lawn games or kids’ toys.  

  • Make a donation pile for any outdoor gear that’s no longer fun or functional for your family. 

  • Replace busted bulbs and organize extension cords. 

Most importantly, after you’ve completed these outdoor maintenance tasks, kick up your feet on your sparkling deck and enjoy a cold beverage in the warm spring sun.