Spring Maintenance Checklist for Homeowners
Spring has sprung! And now it’s time to see how rough winter was on your home. Once freezing temperatures disappear, it’s a good time to prepare your home for the warmer months. Be sure to check inside and outside your home for damage, as well as evidence of any unwanted guests such as wildlife or rodents. Also, walk the property to make sure everything is where it should be, and do a long-range as well as close visual inspection of the house.
Here’s how to begin de-winterizing with a quick Maintenance Checklist for Homeowners:
Inside the House
- Washer and Fridge hoses.
- Washing machine hoses are the #1 cause of water damage in homes. Inspect washing machine hoses & refrigerator hoses and replace any hoses that show signs of cracking, wear or leakage.
- Look into automatic shut off technology to prevent small leaks turning into huge problems. Check out our article on Leaks Happen for more details.
- Electrical outlets.
- Inspect outlets and cords for potential fire hazards, such as frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs.
- To avoid a potential fire, be sure not to overload electrical outlets, fuse boxes, extension cords or any other power service.
- Examine current home insurance coverage.
- It’s a good time for you to connect with us to make sure you have the coverage you need for potential spring weather damage. For many people, their home is their biggest asset, so examining your current home insurance coverage is important as the severe spring weather season approaches.
- If you renovated or remodeled your home, it may alter your insurance. Find out by giving us a call and read this article 5 Renovations that can alter home insurance.
- Don’t forget to schedule jewelry or other valuables.
- Doors and Windows.
- It is good practice to check the locks on your doors and windows each season to make sure they are secure. Do this by opening the doors and make sure they close and latch properly.
- Check all window locks to ensure they all function correctly. Check window and door screens for any holes.
- Air vents.
- Check your dryer vent. Dryer fires are the #1 cause of fires.
- It’s easy to forget they’re there, but wipe down those dusty air vents. This will keep your home tidy and can help relive allergy and asthma symptoms this spring.
- Clean or replace your furnace filter to reduce any fire hazard. Likewise with your dryer vent and lint trap, as well as the space under your dryer.
- Carefully inspect your toilet.
- Look for the leaking or issues with the toilet float valve, and check all pipe connections.
- Keep an eye out for water leaking or pooling at the base of the toilet.
- Have your roof inspected.
- This is especially important if you notice any leaks, loose shingles or metal. The freezing and thawing that was common this winter can create big splits out of small cracks.
- Moisture problems can lead to mold or mildew build-ups, so fix them quickly before you have a bigger problem on your hands.
Professional Tip: Turning on the Water – Having extra people will help when turning on the water so that you can spot leaks quickly. Turn the water on slowly at the main water supply. Let the water in a tub run if you can. Turn the water on to each fixture and let it run for a few minutes. It is safer to do this one fixture at a time. Once the air is out of each line the leaks, if any, may begin to show up so keep coming back to check.
Outside the House
- Caulk to leak-prone areas.
- Expansion and contraction can cause openings that will let April rains seep in.
- Seal it up by applying exterior caulk to leak-prone areas like windows and areas of the siding where walls join.
- Yard safety.
- If you have a swing set, trampoline, fire pit or other backyard entertainment on your property, inspect it for any potential dangers such as rusty bolts or sharp edges, and make sure it is in good condition and operates properly.
- Check the locks on gates and fences. A pool gate that doesn’t lock is a liability.
- Gutters and downspouts.
- Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Reattach gutters that have pulled away from the house.
- Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drainage. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.
- Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing.
- Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.
- Window and door screens.
- Clean screening and check for holes. If holes are bigger than a quarter, that is plenty of room for bugs to climb in. Patch holes or replace the screen. Save bad screen to patch holes next year.
- Tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint.
- Replace broken, worn, or missing hardware. Wind can ruin screens and frames if they are allowed flap and move so make sure they are securely fastened.
- Tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.
- Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for cracking, heaving, or deterioration.
- If a significant number of bricks are losing their mortar, call a foundation professional. If you can slide a nickel into a crack in your concrete floor, slab or foundation call a professional immediately.
- Deck and porches.
- Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for rot or other deterioration, and repair or replace any rotted or loose boards and protruding nails.
- Decks and wood fences need to be treated every 4-6 years. If your deck is looking worn-down, have it pressure washed and resealed.
- Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushes from structures. Limbs and leaves can cut into your home’s paint and force you to have that side of the house repainted. A little trimming can save a lot of money and time.
- Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly working sprinkler heads.
- If there is an area of your yard that collects too much water or doesn’t get enough, run the sprinklers to figure out the problem. If it’s not something you can fix yourself, call a professional before your lawn needs the water.
- Consider resealing your driveway.
- A lot of water seeps into driveways during the winter, which can create cracks when it freezes and then thaws. If you notice a lot of cracks, consider having it resealed to prevent further cracking.
Professional Tip: Keep Checking – Run plenty of water at each fixture and check every drain. Take your time by running water everywhere and double checking that everything is ok. Not all problems are visible right away so keep checking back. If you can check under the house do a crawl and make sure nothing is leaking under there. Have water pipes in the attic? Then check up in the attic and make sure you do not see any water leaking. Never rush when dewinterizing a house.