Saturday, March 5, 2016

Spring Maintenance for Your Home

Spring is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to take care of some routine home maintenance to keep your household running efficiently through the summer. Winter wind and rain can take a toll on your home. Now is a good time to assess what needs to be cleaned or repaired both indoors and outdoors: 

  • Clean all gutters. Poor or improper drainage can cause water damage to your home. Check for loose and leaky gutters and ensure downspouts are positioned to drain away from your home's foundation. Clear debris from all gutters and downspouts.
  • Inspect the roof. Visually inspect the roof, looking for signs of warping, moss, cracking and loose shingle or tiles. Examine flashing around chimneys, skylights and vents. Damaged covering and flashing should be replaced. For roof areas too high to inspect from the ground, hire a licensed roofer to perform the inspection and make necessary repairs.

  • Check seals around windows and doors. Cold weather can cause seals around windows and doors to loosen, harden and crack. Inspect these areas for damage and make repairs as needed. This will help reduce summer cooling costs and keep water out of your home.

  • Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure.

  • Service your home's cooling system and change HVAC filters. No one wants to be caught in the dog days of summer without air conditioning. It's a good idea to have your home's cooling system checked yearly, about one month prior to regular summer usage.

  • Clean your dryer vent. Not all lint gets caught in the lint trap; some makes its way into the dryer vent. A clean vent will save you money by reducing the time your dryer has to run, while a plugged vent not only wastes money but could cause a house fire.

  • Check the washing machine fill hose. A leaky hose under pressure can cause major damage in a short period of time, so you want to look for cracks that could become leaks.

  • Spring cleaning for the disposal. When you think about everything that goes down the kitchen sink, a good yearly cleaning for the disposal is definitely in order. Simply feed a tray of ice cubes through it while running cold water.

  • Clean decks, driveways, fences and other outside surfaces. With moss and debris build up over the winter, a pressure washer makes this job easier. If you don’t have one, borrow one from a neighbor or consider renting one from a home center.

  • Check smoke detector batteries. This is an easy and potentially lifesaving task. Take time now to change the batteries in all your home's smoke detectors. Better safe than sorry.