Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Home
There is nothing like spring weather, it's invigorating. You get to open the windows, clean out the cobwebs and start that cleaning. It is the only season associated with cleaning, maybe because of the fresh new flowers, grass and the newly budding trees. Or maybe, it's because it's a season that makes you feel alive after being trapped inside all winter. But, for homeowners, it is also a season that if you ignore the maintenance on your house, you can lead yourself down a dangerous expensive path. To help you protect your most valuable possession, follow this helpful home maintenance checklist. After you're done you'll have more peace of mind and you can spend more time doing the things that you love the rest of the year. Check off this list as you go.
These are the quick maintenance procedures that you can do very quickly:
- Check all smoke detectors to make sure that they are working and that they do not need fresh batteries, There should be one on each floor of your house. And, they should really be tested monthly.
- Check your multi-purpose fire extinguisher for accessibility, make sure that it is filled and ready to go. If you do not have one, you should buy one to keep for small fires in cases of emergency.
- Go outside to your clothes dryer vent. Clean all of the lint and debris that has built up over the winter. If possible clean the tubing from your dryer to the wall and underneath your clothes dryer.
- Clean or change your furnace filter, depending on what kind you have.
- Check water heater for leaks and corrosion.
- Remove all dead trees in your yard, and keep healthy trees and bushes trimmed back. Be careful to stay away from utility wires.
- Check Carbon Monoxide detector to make sure it is in working
These maintenance procedures may take a little more time. So between those April showers work on this list so that you can enjoy those May flowers,:
- Cracks in the Concrete No one likes to trip and fall on the concrete. Most concrete cracks in the winter when water gets under it. When water freezes, it expands. If it has no place to go, it will lift your concrete and cause cracks. So, how do you fix these cracks? For most cracks less than 1/4", applying concrete caulk is the best way to make repairs. Just clean the crack out with hose with high pressure, let it dry and then apply the caulk into the crack. With larger cracks it is better to use concrete as a filler. Remember, if you don't repair the cracks, when water gets down in between the cracks it soften the ground causing more movement. And, when winter rolls around again, any small crack will become large cracks before you know it.
- Rain Gutters and Downspouts Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. If you have an area that is clogged with leaves, try using barbecue tongues first to pull them out. If that doesn't work, run a hose down the clog. Just know that you are probably going to get wet. Reattach gutters that have pulled away from the house buy using long screws instead of nails, they will hold a lot better and longer. Use the hose and look for leaks, if you find any you will need to dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.
- Air Conditioners If you feel comfortable doing this on your own then that's fine. If not, you might just want to have your air conditioner serviced by a Heating and Cooling company. Disconnect electric power to the outdoor condenser on your air conditioner and clear it of leaves and debris with a power blower, garden hose, or the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If the cooling fins are exposed, be careful not to bend them. Vacuum the grille and register inside the home to ensure good airflow. And change your furnace filter as stated earlier. Once finished, you can reengage the power.
- Wooden Deck Look for any structural decay where the deck is attached to the house. This could be due to ongoing water leakage. If you have any doubt about the structural integrity of the deck, call a professional to investigate. Next, inspect your deck for moss and mold. Pressure washers are effective for removal of molds. But be on the lookout for raised fibers on the wood, this could be damaged wood. Put more distance between you and the pressure washer when you see this or you could further damage the wood. There are also deck cleaners available. However, after using them, you may need to re-stain your deck due to the bleaching effect.
- Roof Check First examine ceilings on the inside of your home for any discoloration as this could be an indicator of a leak. You can also see from the street view if there are missing tiles or curled tiles. Asphalt shingles typically last 20 years. If you have roof damage it is best to have it repaired by a professional.
- Siding Clean siding with a pressure washer to get rid of or keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and chipping paint. If wood is exposed, start the repair by sanding the area and applying a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and follow the same directions.