Spring is here, which means it’s time for a thorough, semi-annual maintenance check of your home. Many of these simple tasks can add years to the life of your home and prevent major repair headaches. Invest a little time now, and you’ll save money on repair bills and have more time to enjoy the summer!
1. Get started by inspecting the outside of your home for water leaks.
Key areas include overhangs, awnings and exposed siding where snow and water might collect and cause materials to decay. Repair or replace any areas showing water damage. During the next storm, watch how the rain rolls off your roof and out your gutters. Be sure the water empties a good distance from your foundation and flows away from your home.
2. Take a look at all of your windows and doors for drafts and air leaks.
Caulk any seams and re-glaze windows if needed. Clean all of your windows, inside and out, including the screens. Replace worn weather-stripping around doors and you’ll help keep cool air in the house and your electric bills down.
3. Spring is the right time to service your air conditioner.
Don’t wait until it breaks down during a heat wave. It’s a good idea to shade the outdoor part of the air conditioner from the sun, clean the unit and inspect the filter. Furnace filters should also be checked and replaced as needed.
4. Now it’s time to tackle the roof.
Using a sturdy ladder, climb up to eye level to inspect the flashing around vents and chimneys. Look for visible cracks, nesting animals or other signs of damage. Use this opportunity to have a professional chimney sweep clean your chimney. Re-tar any cracks and repair or replace any shingles that are buckled or broken. While you’re at it, clean out the gutters and downspouts and sweep the shingles free of sticks, leaves and other debris.
5. Back on the ground, inspect the stair railings, steps and sidewalks around your home for ice damage that may have occurred during the winter months. If your walkways or steps have settled or shifted, consider hiring a professional to repair them so that no one gets injured on your property.
6. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.
Most alarms use a battery as either the primary or back up power source. Batteries should be replaced twice a year. Remember, whenever you change your clocks, change your smoke detector batteries!