With the days lengthening and weather warming, spring is a good time to get outdoors and tackle some larger home projects. Now that the threat of winter storms has passed, you can look for damage and make any needed repairs, as well as prep your home and garden for summer.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
After the last frost has passed, it’s important to have your gutters and downspouts cleaned and repaired.
Having your gutters and downspouts cleaned early in the season can also help prevent damage from spring rains. Gutters and downspouts should be clean and running free. If your downspouts are installed properly, water is diverted away from the house so that no water collects around your foundation.
You have been cranking the heat for months, and now it’s time to switch over to air conditioning. Just like with your heater, things can happen while the AC sits unused for a long period of time.
Change out the filter and consider having a professional come by to service it, especially if you are having any trouble with the AC unit. Don’t wait for an air conditioning emergency – the sweltering heat of the summer will arrive before you know it, so ensure your air conditioning is working!
Spring is a great time to make sure all your appliances are in good working order. In the laundry room, check that your washing machine water hoses are not cracked. Clean out the lint trap and vent for lint build up in the dryer — this can cause a fire! Since warmer weather is coming, it is also a good time to practice energy-efficiency habits with your laundry appliances to keep energy bills down throughout the hotter months.
Check all the safety features in your home. This includes changing out the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and ensuring the needle on your fire extinguisher is in the “green” zone. If you have home security devices, review their settings for open windows.
Attics and Basements
Head to the top and bottom of your home to look for signs of moisture, mold, or unwanted critters. These are all drawn to dark, damp places such as the attic or basement, so make sure you are getting enough ventilation. Also look for cracks in the foundation and walls, which can be caused by too much moisture.
Exterior Wood and Siding
Wood decks, fences, railings, trellises, pergolas, and other outdoor structures will last longer and stay in better condition if they’re stained or resealed every year or two. Checking that there is no rot or damage can help prevent injury to your family.
Check on your siding, as well, as many types of siding can become faded or stained over time. Spring may be a great time to clean and refresh your home’s siding.
Inspect the Roof
Winter storms can take quite a toll on the roof. When spring arrives, start by making a simple visual inspection of your roof. Look for missing shingles, metal pipes that are damaged or missing, or anything that simply doesn’t look right. If you notice anything that needs closer inspection, call a roofer.
Inspect Driveways and Paths
Freezing and thawing is rough on concrete, asphalt, and other hardscaping materials. Take a walk around your property to look for damage to walkways, paths, and driveways, and schedule repairs as needed. Asphalt can often be patched, but damaged concrete may need to be replaced entirely.
Check Sprinkler and Irrigation Systems
Checking your sprinklers or irrigation systems in the spring can save water – and save your plants.
Tips for checking your watering system:
- Run the system through all the zones manually and walk the property.
- Make sure none of the heads are broken or damaged.
- Adjust any heads that are spraying the house, especially windows, as this can cause moisture problems.
- Adjust heads that are spraying the street, sidewalk, or porches to avoid wasting water.
If you don’t know how to maintain your sprinkler system, call a professional to do it. You’ll save money on your water bill and protect one of our most valuable natural resources.
Check Screen Doors and Windows
Screens are designed to let the breeze flow in and keep bugs out — but they can only do their job if they’re free from holes and tears. Before setting up your screens for the warm months ahead, be sure to carefully check each one and repair any holes or tears, no matter how small. You can find screen repair kits at most hardware and home improvement stores.
Information provided courtesy of Jennifer Mathes – The Mathes Agency: Allstate Insurance.