It seems winter may finally be gone and it’s time to think spring. Now is the perfect time to prepare your home for the outdoor season by repairing any cold weather damage. Snow and ice can wreak havoc on your home’s infrastructure, and it’s important to address issues quickly. If you get it done now you’ll have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor this summer.
“Spring is an ideal time to inspect in and around your home for any safety hazards,” Dave Dusendang of Dusendang Custom Homes says. “Spring is also the time to make sure all your warm weather necessities, such as air conditioning units, and windows are working properly after the cold season.”
Here are some quick tips to maintain your home and keep it in great shape:
- Water damage can mean big insurance claims, so check for leaks in pipes and faucets as well as in hoses leading to dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators. It’s always a good idea to know the location of the main water shutoff valve for your home. A damaged hose or a burst pipe can send water racing into your home. You will save yourself time and money by knowing where this valve is located and how to use it to shut off the water supply.
- Ice can do serious damage to cement and exterior walkways around your home. Inspect concrete for shifting cement or for cracks, which should be filled with caulk or concrete crack filler.
- It’s no fun waking up to water dripping from your roof, and the cost of repairs can cause major headaches. Check for roof damage, including missing shingles, leaks, and general aging. Dave Dusendang Custom Homes has roofers that can help you with any damage that needs to be fixed.
- Clean out any leaves or debris that may have accumulated in the gutters. Check to make sure the downspout directs water away from the foundation, and add extensions if necessary to keep the water away from your house. You may even want to install gutter guards. These will protect your gutters from clogging and ensure that water does not accumulate on the roof.
- If you didn’t already handle this task when the time changed, while you’re prepping your home for spring, make sure all smoke detectors have fresh batteries and are working properly.
- Windy severe winters have been known to create damage to the seals on your windows and doors. Check caulking for decay around doors, windows, corner boards, and joints, and recaulk as needed. Be sure seals are tight to improve insulation and prevent water damage.
- The grass will soon be growing so it’s a good idea to get your lawn equipment ready. Replacing your engine oil will increase the life of your machine, and a sharpened blade will make yard work easier.
- Basements bear the brunt of water damage so it’s a good idea to check this area regularly. They’re also a prime location for mold. If the air is too dry, consider a dehumidifier. If you have standing water, figure out whether the problem is on the interior or the exterior of your house.
- You don’t want to wait for a hot day to test the air conditioning units. Spring is the right time to change the filters, clean the system, and make sure everything is working to maximum efficiency. Clean filters will also prevent your air conditioner from straining. Hire a contractor who can clean and inspect your mechanical systems.
- Check your washer and dryer for fire hazards. Lint can escape a dryer hose that has been poorly connected and can then build up against the wall, causing a fire hazard. Household appliance fires are one of the most common reasons given for homeowner insurance claims.
“It’s impossible to prevent every problem that can arise,” Dusendang says. “But, with regular maintenance and a little elbow grease, you can ensure your home is a safe and comfortable place to enjoy the warm weather months ahead.”