Maintenance comes with owning a home—whether you’re doing your own landscaping or paying someone to paint your exterior. Outdoor maintenance can be some of the most labor-intensive, but if you organize it throughout the year, you may be able to cut down on some of the heavy lifting.
Doing the little things to keep your home in good shape can save you time, money, and headache for many years to come. We’ve compiled a handy schedule of outdoor maintenance tasks that you should check off your checklist every year.
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Your outdoor home maintenance in Texas will vary significantly based on the weather. There is one thing you should make sure to do at least once a month to make sure your home stays in tip-top shape:
- Walk around your home’s exterior. On this monthly stroll around your house, you should check for issues like foundation cracks or pooling water. In a perfect world, everything should look great. But if you notice something, you’ll be able to take action quickly before any minor problems turn into major repairs.
Every Three Months
While Texas doesn’t have four seasons, there is a stark difference between summer and winter, and maintenance is needed in between, too. Consider these tasks at least once every three months:
- Pest control. In Texas, cockroaches never give up. To keep your home free from these and other insect pests, it’s a good idea to hire a professional pest control service to come out and spray your grounds at least every three months. You can do it yourself—just make sure you’re using the right chemicals, at the right doses, in the right places.
- Clean your gutters. It’s essential to ensure your gutters are clean and clear of any debris they may have accumulated to prevent water damage to the roof and siding of your home. A major clean out is in order before the rain starts to fall in the spring. Complete another touch-up sometime during the summer, just to make sure everything is running clear. In the fall as the leaves shed, check your gutters to make sure they aren’t getting clogged. Once the trees have shed their leaves in the fall, do another major clean out. If a Texas winter storm comes through, you want to be sure you don’t have any debris that could freeze and block drainage.
Every Six Months
Most bi-annual outdoor home maintenance tasks need to be completed in the spring and fall, as you and your home recuperate from the extreme temperatures and weather events of winter and summer.
- Service your sprinklers. Austin and the surrounding areas can get blazing hot during the summer months. Checking and servicing your sprinkler system (if you have one) in the spring is recommended to make sure your grass and garden plants don’t die of thirst during the heat of summer. Conversely, the freezing temperatures that sometimes accompany Texas winters could cause severe damage to your sprinkler system if you don’t prepare. In the fall, shut off your irrigation system and insulate any valves, sprinkler heads, and above-ground pipes.
- Inspect the roof. Spring and fall are excellent times to check your roof for any loose or damaged shingles or tiles. If you find any damage, it’s best to get it repaired before the extreme weather of the summer or winter.
Once a Year (By Season)
Now we’ve arrived at the fun stuff—all the maintenance tasks you only have to do once a year! Here we’ve broken all the tasks down by which season they need to be completed, allowing you to easily remember what needs to be done and when.
- Refresh your deck. Your deck probably doesn’t see a lot of use in the cold winter months, so it may have built up a layer of grime. With the onset of warm weather, it’s a good idea to clean, repair, and refinish your deck to keep the wood in good shape.
- Clean your patio furniture. You’ll likely want to take advantage of the beautiful spring days in Central Texas, so this is a good time to clean off the gunk that’s accumulated on your patio furniture throughout the fall and winter.
- Get the air conditioning inspected. You don’t want to come home from work or school one day to find the inside of your home as hot as the outside. Preventive maintenance on your A/C is the best way to ensure you don’t suffer through any hot and sticky days with nothing but ice packs and ceiling fans for comfort.
- Clean windows and window screens. Since you may have to open the windows to clean them, it’s best to get them cleaned while the weather is still pleasant.
- Plant any new landscaping plants. Spring is the best time to plant new landscaping plants, giving them time to establish roots and a better chance at surviving the heat of Texas summers.
- Clean house siding. Once the rainy season in Texas is over, there’s less chance that mud and dirt will sully your outdoor siding. Use a pressure washer to remove any residue that may have built up on your home’s outdoor facade during the year.
- Plant trees and perennials. The cooler temperatures are ideal for planting trees and perennials to create a beautiful landscape come spring and summer.
- Rake leaves. Fall has its name for a reason. Now is when the leaves fall off the trees and pile up in your yard, along with other outdoor debris. Rake up the leaves and throw them in your compost pile (if you have one).
- Check for cracks in windows and doors. With Arctic blasts becoming a regular occurrence in Central Texas, fall is the time to check your home’s windows and doors for cracks. This will help keep temperatures high and your heating bill low during winter.
- Cover plants. There’s not a lot of outdoor maintenance to do in wintertime in Texas—except for protecting all the work you do throughout the rest of the year. Inevitably, winter weather comes with at least one or two freezes, so be sure to cover any perennials, shrubs, and trees that can’t survive the cooler temperatures without some additional help.
Little Tasks Add Up
By performing routine maintenance on the exterior of your home, you can prevent damage that could result in more costly repairs down the line. However, life happens. If you discover the need for renovations or repairs during your regular home maintenance, know that Amplify Credit Union is here for you. We offer competitive home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) that can help you finance any necessary repairs or renovations to keep your home in excellent shape and enjoy it for many years.