Maintaining a home is a year-round job. Fortunately, there are smart decisions you can make in the spring to prepare your home for warm summer months and assess any damage that may have occurred during winter. Here are some chores to get done on a lovely spring day.
1. Clean the gutters
Gutters are important when it comes to keeping water away from your house. Find a ladder and check your gutters for debris or clogging. Remove what you can while wearing gloves, and use a hose to clear out the rest. If the project is larger, you can consider using a leaf blower, wet/dry vacuum, or power washer to clear gutters.
2. Examine the roof
Annually examining the quality of your roof can save you money down the road. Check for cracked, buckled or loose shingles and determine if you need to start a budget for replacement. Watch out for tree limbs that may touch your roof and damage it. Moss is a concern, because it can result in holes in your roof and cause leaks. If you’re comfortable working on a roof, then it’s not too difficult to replace shingles and caulk flashing yourself, but it’s important to recognize when a professional might be necessary.
3. Get air conditioner ready
Utilize the mild spring weather to check your air conditioning unit before it gets blazing hot. Make sure it works properly and that there is no debris or leaves around, on, or near the outdoor unit. Change the filter and perform any other maintenance tasks necessary to keep you cool in the summer. If you notice ice forming on the unit, call a professional as soon as possible.
4. Check seals around windows and doors
Low temperatures can cause seals around windows and doors to loosen, harden and crack. Make sure to inspect these areas for damage, because drafty windows make it harder and less efficient to heat and cool a home. With regular cleaning, caulking and glazing, you could save money on summer cooling costs in addition to keeping water out of your home.
5. Fix leaks
Leaky faucets, clogged drains and sweaty pipes are hazards for corrosion. They often start small, but can quickly become costly on your water bill and with repair costs. Examine under your sinks, in the laundry room, around your hot water heater, and in other areas of your home where water is prominent, to ensure that connections are sealed. If you are unsure if a leak has occurred, check your water bill. If it has gone up significantly without reason, there could be a leak.
6. Check smoke detector batteries
It might seem small compared to other home repairs, but checking the batteries in your smoke detector is an easy and potentially life-saving task. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year.
7. Clean out the dryer vent
Prevent another potential fire hazard by regularly cleaning out your dryer vent. Check for warning signs of buildup such as laundry taking longer to dry, the dryer becoming hotter to the touch, or a burning smell. Prevention tips include: regularly sweeping the area around the dryer and removing the lint trap filter and cleaning it before every cycle.
8. Examine your grill
After sitting idle in the winter, your grill probably needs a bit of TLC. Make sure there are no clogs, that connections are secure, and that the unit is free of ash and grease residue. There are many steps to properly cleaning your grill, including scrubbing it down, cleaning the grates, and wiping down burners and replacing anything with rust. Cleaning your grill is a good habit to adopt throughout the grilling season to prevent hazards.