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6 Outdoor Home Maintenance Tasks That Should Be Tackled in the Spring

6 Outdoor Home Maintenance Tasks That Should Be Tackled in the Spring

Mike Holmes is one of HGTV Canada’s go-to contractors and the host of Holmes and Holmes and Holmes: Buy it Right.


It’s finally spring and with that comes all kinds of weather. Some days will be unusually warm and others will be bitterly cold. We’ll have rain one day, sunshine the next, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a couple more snowfalls! When I talk about home maintenance, most homeowners only think about the inside of their home, but the outside needs attention just as much (if not more). Remember, it’s what you do on the outside that will protect your home on the inside.

1. Painting

The best time to paint is in the spring to early summer or in the early fall. The peak of summer is maybe the worst time to paint outdoors–next to winter.

You need dry warm days, with temperatures around 20-27 C. Once the humidity in the air builds past 40 per cent, paint begins to rebel. Paint or stain simply will not dry in high humidity. In extreme heat, the paint will dry too fast and the wood can warp from the paint drying unevenly. Tackle your outdoor paint jobs now!

2. Check the Condition of Your Decks, Fences and Other Outdoor Structures

I love entertaining on my deck, but I also know that if I don’t maintain my deck and steps someone could get hurt. Your deck’s structure doesn’t have the same amount of protection as your house. It’s always exposed to the elements, therefore it’s more prone to wear and tear. When checking your deck, look for any signs of deterioration, whether it’s cracking or decay along any wooden components, rust or corrosion on any hardware, or missing and loose connections, especially along stairs, railings, joists and deck boarding. If you need to bring in the pros, start looking now so that your deck is ready for entertaining in the summer.


3. Clean Your Eavestroughs

It might seem small but it makes a big difference when it comes to protecting your home from water damage. Removing debris from your eavestroughs long before winter is best. This helps prevent ice damming and water from backing up underneath your shingles and getting into your roof’s structure. A good way to prevent clogging is by installing a screen guard that sits over the eavestrough. This prevents any leaves or debris to fall in. It also eliminates the chore of cleaning the gutters for you.

4. Inspect Your Roof

Most homeowners notice they’ve got a problem with their roof when they have a leak.

Spring is a great time to repair your roof. Start with a visual inspection. Look for peeling or missing shingles. That is a sign it’s time to reroof.

5. Check the Caulking Around Your Windows

Walk around your home and take a look at the caulking around windows and doors. If it’s cracked or missing, replace it. I always recommend a rubberized exterior caulking because it moves with the window framing as it expands and contracts in changing temperatures, so the seal doesn’t break.

6. Check Your Water Level and Sump Pumps

We get a lot of precipitation in the spring, so we need to think about how the increase in moisture levels will affect our homes. If your basement floods every spring, you should seriously consider getting a heavy-duty pump that can handle the flow.

We also have to think about where the water from the sump pump is being directed. I see a lot of sump pumps draining the water outside, right next to the foundation wall – which is pointless. The water that was pumped out of the basement will just work its way back in. The water needs to be pumped several meters away from your foundation wall – and your neighbours.

If you are thinking of doing any outdoor projects that will require hiring a contractor, like interlocking or re-grading, do not waste another minute. Start looking now before their schedules fill up!


Images courtesy of The Holmes Group

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