Turning the page on Winter: Tips on Spring Maintenance
The Groundhog was wrong! It took a while but Winter has finally stepped aside and made way for SPRING.
With Spring sun and warm breezes comes Spring showers and an abundance of water and rain. As much as well all love Springtime, there’s a reason over 40% of homeowners experience water damage and this article will hopefully provide some basic maintenance tips to reduce that number during the upcoming wet months.
Here’s a checklist of items to maintain your home’s health and help prevent issues that could cost later on. Some of these are simple and can probably be done in 5 minutes… others may be more extensive but the time and money involved upfront could save you big in the long run.
Replace HVAC Filter(s)
Replacing your filter for your HVAC is one tip that should be done on a regular basis. Many experts recommend that this should be done every four to six weeks. Depending on the type of furnace filter you have may determine how often you should replace it.
Staying on top of this throughout the year can drastically help prolong the life of your unit and also help your HVAC run more efficiently. So, if you haven’t done it in a while – now is a good time to get it done.
Clean Gutters & Downspouts
Have you gotten ready for the spring showers? This time of year, tends to have more rainfall than any other season. Did you know that for every one-inch of rainfall on a 1,000 sqft roof will collect 600 gallons of water. That is why so many homeowners across the U.S. have chosen to install rain barrels to take advantage of this great resource and use it for their landscaping.
However, if you do not have a rain barrel and a poor gutter system, it is important that you have this corrected to make sure the rain coming off the roof is being properly directed away from the house and your foundation. Cleaning out your gutters and downspouts is a super easy home maintenance tip for you to complete this spring.</p>
Examine Roof Shingles
Examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter.
If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles.
Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.
Seal Worn/Cracked Driveway
Properly maintaining your driveway can help prolong the life and drastically improve the look. Also, if you are thinking about selling your home this spring – staining your driveway can significantly give the front of your house a whole new look. Depending on your driveway, this can be an easy to do task that you can complete over a warm, dry weekend.</p>
Address Chipped/Peeled Paint
Over time the paint around the exterior of your home tends to flake and peel away. When that happens, it leaves bare wood exposed. Typically, you see this around the exterior trim of windows and doors.
Prepping the surface correctly and repainting the areas can help protect the woods from being exposed to the outside elements and save it from being damaged or rotting.
By repairing and or repainting these areas this spring you can also brighten these areas up by making them look new again. Repairing chipping and peeling paint also can help eliminate bank appraisal issues. One of the most common bank appraisal issues is chipped and peeled paint.
Use Compacted Soil
Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage.
When water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.
Over time, old caulking can dry out and become hard. Causing drafty windows that make it difficult to cool your home over a hot summer.
Also, poorly caulked windows can cause other issues such as water intrusion. If it has been ages since the last time you caulked your windows and doors, now is a good time to do so.
When doing so, make sure you replace the old caulking by scraping or cutting it away before re-applying the new. This will help the caulking last longer and will help Improve the efficiency of your windows and doors.
Replace Smoke Detector Batteries
Making sure all of the smoke detectors in your home are working is extremely important. Most recommend testing each smoke alarm at least once a month to make sure that they are working properly.
It is also suggested that you replace the smoke alarms or replace the batteries every time change. Once in the spring and again in the fall.
Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home's foundation.
Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk.
When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.
Clean/Vacuum Behind Refrigerator(s)
Replacing a refrigerator can be a large and unexpected expense. The good news is that usually, preventative maintenance can help prevent from a premature lifespan on appliances. Before getting started on any kind of routine maintenance on your appliances, you can usually check the owner’s manual to learn more about how to properly care for the unit.
One of the easiest ways to improve the efficiency of a refrigerator, besides simply cleaning out old leftovers on the inside, is by pulling the refrigerator away from the wall and gently vacuuming behind it so it is getting enough air circulation and the coils are not running too hot.
Prep Lawn Equipment
Cutting the grass is right around the corner and will be here before you know it. Now is an ideal time to pull out all the lawn equipment out of the garage or shed and start getting them ready for the spring and summer months.
Simply unplugging the old spark plug, draining old gas and oil and removing the old air filter from the year before and then replacing it all with new – is an easy way to prep your lawn equipment.
You may also consider taking the lawnmower blades to a local shop to have them sharpened or even replaced if needed.
Check Outside Faucets
Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you're at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.
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 Air Conditioning Systems
Preventative maintenance is always a valuable approach to making sure that all of your units and appliances are running efficiently and correctly. Making sure you HVAC is properly serviced before the warm temperatures is a great way to prolong the lifespan of your unit.
Having your air conditioning go out in mid-summer when the temperatures are in the 90’s is definitely a dreaded nightmare.
Call a local HVAC licensed technician to come out and service your air conditioning before the warm temperatures hit.
Flush Hot Water Heaters
Depending on the water in your area may determine how often this may need to be done. Some recommend flushing out your water heater once a year – or even once every few years. Doing this is a great way to improve and extend the life of the tank and the water heater itself.
There are plenty tutorials available online to learn how to properly do it step-by-step. Or check your owner’s manual to learn how to service your hot water heater appropriately.
If you do not feel comfortable doing so, you can always contact a local licensed plumber to come out to service the water heater if it is an older unit.
Stain or Restain Decks
Another great tip if you are thinking about selling your home this spring is to enhance the look of your deck. If the weather and the temperature is just right you can simply prepare your deck for all the different elements throughout the year. Of course, this project can be time-consuming for a homeowner but it is a great home maintenance tip that produces great results.
Clean Garbage Disposals
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 All Siding
Improve the look of your home by giving your siding a good cleaning. Typically, we see that the north side of a home starts to form a green algae film where there is less sunlight hitting the home.
Depending on how much of an area that is affected, this can be easily cleaned off. A garden hose and a brush with a little bit of detergent can restore your siding so it looks like new again.
Clean/Replace Dryer Vent
Known as one of the leading causes of fires. Replacing or cleaning your dryer vent is a great spring maintenance tip that every homeowner should not neglect. You would be surprised the amount of lint build up that can gather inside a dryer vent. Don’t put off this home maintenance tip any longer.
Direct Ceiling Fans Appropriately
A lot of homeowners change the direction of their ceiling fan in the winter to better circulate the warm air. Now is a good time to change the direction of the fan to help cool down your house this summer.
After a rough winter and the fluctuation of temperatures, your chimney may be in need of a little TLC. Sometimes, brick chimneys will need to have damaged mortar removed and have new mortar put in. This is called tuckpointing and can usually be accomplished by a local handyman or bricklayer if you do not have the proper tools to do so yourself.
Hopefully these few maintenance tips will help protect your home from the ravages of time and weather, and save you from the expense of restoration, repair or outright loss.
Just remember Tri State Restorations is here for you should any of these unfortunate seasonal events happen. Call (866) 818-1949 any time.