Spring is the perfect time to give your home a good deep clean and to do some maintenance tasks that you may have been putting off. Now that spring is in full swing, it's time to get your Rhode Island home in order for the warmer weather ahead on the classic coast. Check out our five spring home maintenance tips to get your house ready for the season. 

After a long winter, your home may need some TLC both inside and out. Our experts at Bruno Painting have helped many homeowners in Rhode Island make improvements to their homes and have compiled the most common spring home maintenance tips to focus on this time of year. 

 

Spring home maintenance checklist

 

1. Start with a deep clean.

Spring is the perfect time to do a deep clean of your entire house. This means getting rid of all the dirt, dust, and grime that has built up over the winter months. Don't forget to clean those hard-to-reach places, like ceiling fans, high shelves, and under furniture.

Window washing and carpet cleaning are great ways to brighten up your home. Removing dander and pollen buildup in these areas helps clean the air in and around your home as well as reduce allergic reactions that many people experience throughout the season.

2. Check windows and doors for drafts.

check your doors spring home maintenance

Letting in the fresh air and natural light with clean windows will do wonders for your home. But too much air can make your home feel drafty and uncomfortable. Cold air can seep into your home through cracks and gaps in doors and windows. If you noticed these types of drafts near windows and doors over the winter months, this will need to be a top priority on your spring to-do list. 

Drafty windows and doors not only make your home less comfortable, but they can also drive up your energy bills. Unwanted openings in these areas can cause moisture to accumulate, which can lead to costly damage to your home. To help prevent drafts, check all your windows and doors for any gaps or cracks. Re-caulk these areas to keep moisture out and help your home stay clean and fresh.

3. Inspect gutters and downspouts.

Clogged gutters can lead to water damage on your roof, ceilings, and even walls. During the winter months, ice dams can form which cause damage to your gutters and roof. So, it's important to inspect and clean your gutters and downspouts both in the fall and again in the spring to keep your gutters clear.

To clean your gutters, use a ladder to remove any heavy debris by hand and rinse any remaining dirt with your garden hose. If you notice any damage to your gutters, be sure to get them repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

4. Give your HVAC system a tune-up. 

Your heating and cooling systems work hard all year long to keep your home comfortable. So, it's important to give it a tune-up before the summer heat sets in. This ensures that your system is running efficiently and can help prevent costly repairs down the road. 

In addition to scheduling an HVAC tune-up, replace the air filters every three months or so to keep your system working properly and maintain the air quality in your home for everyday living.

5. Don't forget about your outdoor space.

Now that the cold weather is mostly behind us, your outdoor space should be the focus of your attention.
Now is the time to start prepping your yard and garden for the warmer months ahead. This includes tasks like mowing the lawn, trimming bushes and trees, and planting flowers.

Once your greenery is ready for the sunshine, cleaning your home’s exterior is the perfect way to boost your curb appeal. This includes power washing your deck or patio, your exterior siding and gutters, and touching up your siding and trim with a fresh coat of paint. By taking care of these areas now, you can enjoy your outdoor space all summer long.

 

 

Following these simple tips can get your home ready for spring and enjoy the season worry-free. Use this checklist as a guide for things that you should do around your home this spring. 

Many homeowners in Rhode Island have spring cleaning projects well underway. If you are looking to make any home improvement updates this season or need a helping hand with making your home look its best, reach out to our team of professional carpenters and painters. 

Our team has been upholding and caring for surfaces and relationships since 2004. This spring, we’re happy to help boost your curb appeal and keep your home in top shape!

Fall is quickly approaching here in Rhode Island. We know all too well that cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions that are soon to be here can possibly cause damage to your home. Thankfully, preventative maintenance in the fall can help keep your home protected all winter long. 

The cooler days of fall make working on your house easier than in the hottest days of summer or the coldest days of winter. Some fall maintenance projects can be done on your own, while others may require a professional. Here at Bruno Painting, we have compiled a list of fall home maintenance projects to help get your property prepared for the colder months ahead.  

Power Washing 

There are many benefits to power washing your home. The most noticeable is how your home looks after. Powerwashing your home will make it look like it’s new again. It adds a clean crisp look to the exterior. Powerwashing your home regularly also helps you protect your investment. It cleans your house of any mildew and mold that has accumulated. It washes away the grime, dirt, and allergens that have built up over time.  

All homes should be power washed at least once a year, includes power washing the siding, roof, and any surrounding concrete or pavement. The question is, when is the best time to power wash your home? Just like painting, there is an optimal time to power wash the exterior of your home. 

Powerwashing must be done while the outside temperature is above freezing. If not, the water and cold temperatures can cause things to freeze. Between 45 degrees and 80 degrees, Fahrenheit is an optimal temperature range to powerwash the exterior of your home. 

Fall is a great time to schedule your home to be power washed. The temperatures are not as hot, which makes it easier for a crew to work. Any algae or allergens that have accumulated on your home’s exterior and roof can be washed away. Powerwashing not only helps prepare your home for the winter ahead, but it also helps prevent damage or wear on those surfaces.   

Powerwashing essentially can be done at any point during the day, as long as it is not dark outside. Shadows and cloud coverage can make it hard to see dirty sections of your home’s exterior. In addition, the sun helps to dry the water from the power washing. 

Clean Gutter

Check your gutters for damage and leaks

Roof and Gutters 

One area that should be checked and inspected during your fall maintenance is the roof. While it is important to power wash to remove the algae and moss that may have grown over the summer, it is also necessary to check for any cracks or leaks before winter arrives. 

Fixing a roof in the winter can be very challenging. A leaky roof can cause structural damage to your home. It can also cause problems with your electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. Having electrical or heating complications in the fall and winter can lead to a slew of other issues.  

Along with the roof, all gutters and drainpipes should be checked. If your roof and gutters are not draining correctly, it can cause problems. The water can accumulate, causing it to wear away the surrounding materials. This wearing away can eventually lead to a crack or leak. 

Gutters and drainage pipes should be clear of blockages in order to drain properly. Hiring a professional to remove leaves and other debris will help accomplish this task. 

To make sure your gutters and downspouts are draining properly, have them professionally serviced. This will ensure that there are no leaks and that your house is effectively draining off water from precipitation.  

Check Safety Devices 

Additionally, the fall is the perfect time to check your safety devices. Do all your smoke detectors have working batteries? Is your carbon monoxide detector plugged in and functioning? 

 

Driveway

Check your driveway for cracks before the winter months so they don't spread

Driveways

Lastly, if you have a paved driveway, you will want to make sure there are no cracks in your driveway. If there are, you will want to address that and plan to get them fixed or sealed. If water goes into these cracks and freezes, it can cause the pavement to expand, causing a more significant gap. What starts as a small crack can morph into a large pothole if not taken care of. 

Bruno Painting is here to help you prepare for the colder months ahead. We are not only a painting company … we offer a wide range of services, including house washing, roof washing, power washing, gutter cleaning, as well as a complete array of remodeling and carpentry services. Contact us today for a free estimate to see how we can help you with your Fall home maintenance to transition your home from today’s summer months to the colder months ahead.   

Summer is officially here and with it comes late nights and long weekends outside enjoying our incredible Rhode Island weather. Now more than ever our homes have become our central hub for work, play, and entertainment. However you enjoy your outdoor area, a great looking, well-maintained deck is essential for enjoying your view from your back deck.

Over time, decks begin to show signs of natural wear and tear that need to be addressed. Most importantly, taking care of your deck will help keep your home protected from damage. Thankfully, our experts at Bruno Painting have put together a list of signs to look for so you know when your deck needs to be repaired.

a deck being repaired by bruno painting in rhode island

Condition of Your Deck

The most common material for decks in Rhode Island is pressure-treated lumber. For many decades, this sturdy material was the default choice for builders on the classic coast. As with any natural building material, repeated exposure to the elements will cause wood to swell, split, crack, cup, and warp in humid, precipitous climates. Exposed screws or nails from splintering wood, fading or discolored boards, or boards that are soft and spongy to the touch are all clear signs that your deck needs to be repaired.

Deck railing and handrails are other common areas of your deck that require regular attention. Loose handrails can pose a serious hazard to you and your guests if left to weather and wear down over time. Railing is a key component to your deck’s aesthetic and to its function, most especially if you have a raised deck and the railing protects against a fall.

If your deck is attached to your home and has wood that is exposed, moisture can seep into joists, ledger boards, and siding of your home that is attached to your deck. This can ultimately expose your foundation to excessive moisture that may lead to larger issues such as mold, mildew, and decay. As long as your deck is cared for properly and regularly maintained over the years, your deck can support your home’s health, instead of causing damage to it. 

a faded deck is a sign that your deck needs to be repaired

Stain and Finish Peeling

A wooden deck shows obvious signs when it is time for a new coat of paint or stain. Previous coats of sealant will begin to fade and peel revealing exposed wood underneath. This can happen with heavy foot traffic, weather, and everyday life. 

Surfaces needing to be repainted or restained should be completely cleaned and dry before applying a stain. Due to the necessary drying time for stains, the forecast will need to call for clear, sunny days with warm temperatures and low humidity to allow the stain to set properly. Without these conditions, your stain may not bind properly and may need to be reapplied. 

Painting versus Staining

There are pros and cons to both painting and staining your deck. Some prefer stain because it allows the natural wood grain of your deck to show through. With stain, an all-in-one protective layer with a wood preservative is already incorporated. On the other hand, paint can provide an added layer of protection, as well as a different look and aesthetic.

Regular cleaning and treatment of your deck is a great way to extend the life of your deck. On average, decks are typically repainted or restained every two to three years. This can vary, though, depending on how much you utilize your deck space. 

a new deck by bruno painting rhode island contractors

Replace Your Wooden Deck

While pressure-treated wood is one of the more common materials for residential outdoor decking, many homeowners are opting for more durable, upscale alternatives such as exotic woods like ipe and tigerwood. Other homeowners are utilizing composite deck materials (sometimes referred to as ‘plastic wood’) to reduce deck maintenance needs and enjoy a more splinter-free deck experience.

When you see signs that your deck needs to be repaired, our experienced carpenters can remove your old decking and replace it with any of these newer materials. During our consultation with you, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type of decking material. This will allow you to choose what fits your design aesthetic and your budget.

Bruno Painting has been built on core values like integrity, humility, attitude, discipline, and excellence. These values are why the mission to uphold and care for surfaces and relationships is so important with every project and interaction our company has. We focus on building long-lasting relationships with our team and clients to provide the best service possible. No matter your home project, we desire to bring great service with trust, honesty, and dedication as if we were working on our own homes. Contact us today to set up a free estimate and let us transform your home this summer.

Spring is upon us. It represents a time of rebirth and fresh starts. As you make your plans for this season, be sure to include a refresh and reset of your home. Take the opportunity to evaluate the interior and exterior and prepare for the warmer days ahead. The experts at Bruno Painting have created a Spring Home Maintenance Checklist that goes beyond basic spring cleaning, detailing a variety of projects for homeowners. If you find you need a hand, Bruno Painting is here for you every step of the way!

Small Indoor Projects

It’s a good idea to take care of your interior projects during the cold and wet weather season. As soon as the weather breaks, many of us who’ve stayed inside because of the cold may find it difficult to spend time indoors working on and finishing up the projects we started. To ensure your interior projects are completed before the Spring weather arrives, check these small indoor projects to be sure your home’s interior is refreshed and ready.

Check Screen Doors and Windows

Inspect your screens to make sure there are no holes or gaps, especially since mosquito season is coming.

Check your window frames for the spring home maintenance checklist

Inspect Caulking Around Windows and Doors

Fluctuations in temperature and exposure to damp, humid air will break caulk down over time. Look for cracks, gaps, or discoloration around all windows and doors. If you’re unsure about the condition of the caulk, you can also gently pick at the edge; if it crumbles or easily separates, then the caulk needs to be replaced.

Safety First!

Every season you should test and dust all home safety products, including smoke, gas leak, and carbon monoxide detectors. Be sure you have backup batteries on hand. Nothing is more annoying than a smoke detector whose battery is low and then, not having the ability to change out the old battery right away.

Make sure your fire extinguishers are in good condition and haven’t expired. If your extinguisher requires professional inspection or recharge, contact the manufacturer or your local fire department for help.

Medium Indoor Projects

 Check for Leaks

Inspect faucets, under sinks, around dishwashers, and under and around washing machines for standing water or evidence of leaks. Look for discolored pipes, water spots, peeling paint, soft wood, mildew, or mold. Contact a contractor or plumber immediately if you suspect a leak.

Consider Upgrades

Check to make sure lighting, appliances, and other essentials are running effectively. Also, consider conducting an energy audit to evaluate your energy consumption. If replacements are necessary or would cut future utility costs, research the cost-benefit of newer energy-efficient models.

Replace Intake Filters

Plan to replace your central air filters every three months. New, unobstructed filters ensure your system is both running efficiently and pumping in cool, clean air.

Large Indoor Projects

Interior Painting

After spending winter inside, staring at the same walls, you may decide it’s time for an update. Check out our blog for some inspiration for your next painting or carpentry update.

interior painting for the spring home maintenance checklist

Check for Evidence of Termites

Termites are typically a nuisance between March and June. If you notice a large number of winged insects flying out of one location this spring, it’s time to call pest control experts. After the infestation is addressed, look for a contractor to replace the rotten wood and prevent future problems.

Small Outdoor Projects

As the weather breaks, there are several outdoor inspections you’ll want to make to ensure your home is in the best condition possible.

Inspect Roof

While inspecting a roof sounds like a task requiring a roofer, an initial roof inspection can be done relatively easily – no ladders required. Simply use binoculars or take a photo on a smartphone and zoom in to inspect your roof. You want to make sure there is no damage to your shingles, chimney, or vents. Take note of any debris or grime left over from the winter and contact us to wash your roof if needed.

Clean Outdoor AC Units  

Winter weather and disuse can lead to a buildup of dirt and debris on and around outdoor AC units. Make sure all sides of your unit are clear and free of debris or landscaping that might inhibit sufficient airflow. Use a broom or brush and a hose to clear accumulated dirt on the grates. 

Medium Outdoor Projects

Clean Gutters and Downspouts

Clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to rot, which can further snowball into multiple problems including bug infestations and rotten wood trim. Check this project off your list as quickly as possible to prevent problems from fall buildup and to prepare for spring rains.

A gutter that needs to be cleaned per the spring home maintenance checklist

Reseal Exterior Woodwork 

Utilize warmer spring days to reseal exterior wood such as fences, decks, and railing. Resealing every year or two will help your outdoor structures last longer and look better.

Large Outdoor Projects 

Exterior Painting

Winter is a great time to plan and Spring is a great time to schedule exterior painting projects. The fresh colors of Spring offer great inspiration for a new exterior color. Consider scheduling the painting projects for your Spring home maintenance checklist with your local residential painter now to beat the impending warm-weather rush.

exterior painting for the spring home maintenance checklist

Pressure Wash

After harsh winter weather, your patios, decks, driveways, walkways, outdoor furniture, and siding could all use a thorough cleaning. While your home is getting pressure washed, make note of any irregularities and address problems or damages before they grow.

Inspect Deck

Check decks and wooden walkways for loose nails, rotten boards, discoloration, and buildup of debris between boards. Routine care will extend both the life and beauty of big-ticket items like a deck. Simple care like hammering down loose nails or sweeping in between boards, up to larger tasks, such as replacing individual planks, can significantly increase a deck’s longevity.

 

Finally coming out of our winter hibernation can feel exciting, but that initial enthusiasm may wane when we start going over our spring to-do list. While a homeowner’s top priority is providing regular maintenance and care for their home, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. If your schedule is already full or you feel a project is beyond your ability, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We have expert designers, carpenters, and painters on staff to help you with all of your needs for your Spring home maintenance checklist.

At Bruno Painting our mission is “Upholding and Caring for Surfaces and Relationships.” Whether you need a team of excellent  painters or expert carpenters, we are ready to help you with all your home’s maintenance and updating needs!

Our perfect summer weather in Rhode Island has seen many of us spending lots of time entertaining and dining outdoors, soaking in as much of the summer sun and air as possible. No matter where in our great state your home is located, a nice, well-appointed deck is a must for enjoying your yard, whether it backs up to a forest or to the sea.

Each home in Rhode Island is unique and each has specific needs for their deck and outdoor entertainment areas. While many people take advantage of the Spring weather to make exterior updates, it’s also very doable to update or even build an entirely new deck during the Summer and Fall months. These are a few examples of options for you to consider for your home’s decking needs.

 

Maintain your Deckspace to Keep Your Deck and Your Home Healthy

Some may think that a worn deck is just a sign of a well-loved home or that there isn’t a real need to replace those splintering boards. However, decks left to wither can cause damage to your home and potentially cause you to have to make costly repairs. 

Depending on how your deck is attached to your home, wood rot can set in the joists, ledger boards, and even your siding. If moisture seeps into your foundation, other larger issues such as mold, mildew, and decay will start to take hold. These major areas of repair can be avoided with a deck that is sealed and maintained regularly over the years.

 

Replace Your Existing Deck with Newer Materials

It is no secret that we see quite a bit of moisture and humidity throughout the year. Most decks in Rhode Island have been built with pressure-treated lumber, as that was the go-to choice for deckbuilding for many decades. Pressure-treated lumber decking is affordable, readily available, durable, and easy to stain so it is no surprise that it is prevalent on the classic coast. Unfortunately, constant exposure to the elements causes pressure-treated wood to swell, crack, split, warp, makes it a relatively high maintenance home amenity in our climate. Annual pressure washing and restaining every one, two, or three years is recommended for this type of decking to keep it looking its best.

An alternative to wood for decking is composite and PVC. This mixture of recycled plastic and wood dust creates composite decking which is a synthetic, yet refined-looking, deck material that many Rhode Island homes are turning to for its many benefits.

These decks are virtually maintenance-free, weather-resistant, and come in a variety of colors and finish looks. If that isn’t enough of an advantage, they are also easy to clean and won’t splinter, warp, or rot. While this type of decking can cost about three times as pressure-treated wood, it can potentially save homeowners in the long run.

 

Pressure Treated Decks

If you love the look and feel of real wood, consider the following options some Portsmouth and Newport homeowners have used to satisfy their desire for a ‘real wood’ deck. Note that some decks are constructed using cedar, exotic woods, and some really amazing, high-end real wood products. Be sure to ask your contractor and their team of carpenters to show you all of the many, many choices of real wood that are available to you if this material is your preference for your next deck.

This multi-level low platform deck makes great use of this backyard space. The real wood deck and benches next to the garden create the feeling of a privately enclosed, secret garden. An oasis, a backyard paradise.  

This wooden deck in Newport had new boards installed which were sanded, stained, and reinforced to create this beautiful aesthetic. The railing and stairs were replaced to keep the deck structurally sound.

A raised pressure-treated deck in Portsmouth was completely transformed into a closed-in porch. The contractors built the overhang and installed windows to give this homeowner a completely new three-season space to spend their time.

A back door landing repaired and painted to match this beautiful home. Even small spaces deserve a good looking deck and staircase.

This unique stone home in Portsmouth went under some repairs including the porch area. The original wood was protected from the elements, sanded, and painted a beautiful grey.

 

Composite and PVC Decks

An old wooden deck in Middletown was replaced with composite decking and a new PVC railing. The colors match perfectly to the shingles of this home.

An elevated deck boasting a beautiful view of the water off of a roof is featured here complete with a bench. The railing is constructed from  PVC and composite wood for the deck boards as well as the lovely bench. 

This larger composite deck boasts a privacy fence installed for these homeowners to entertain and enjoy the beautiful weather in a secluded area.

 

Regardless of the material, your deck and porch can, not only look its best but also be maintained regularly for the rest of your home’s protection. If you done your deck maintenance in the spring, take advantage of this time to update your existing deck or create a whole new backyard oasis.

Our mission at Bruno Painting is “to uphold and care for surfaces and relationships.” The carpentry and painting divisions that make up our team have some of the most skilled and caring professionals in all of Rhode Island. We look forward to the pleasure of restoring your deck this Summer or Fall for you to enjoy all year long. Call us or email us to discuss your deck, painting, or other home improvement project.

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