Here it is the first week of Spring and the temps are going to be in the mid-60’s. Winter is finally over, we hope! That means no more cabin fever. At least for this weekend, that is.
It is hard to believe that spring is here. So how can you take advantage of the warm weather and get a head start on your spring home maintenance?
Here are a few ideas:
Clean your gutters and downspouts. Although most of the leaves have fallen at this point, you would be surprised at how packed your gutters may be. Cleaning them now will avoid that nasty “spill-over” surprise when we get the first spring rain and your gutters look more like a waterfall than a gutter.
Change your furnace filter. We have had some pretty cold temperatures recently and your furnace has been working hard. Give it a little treat by changing the furnace filter. It will run more efficiently and you will improve the air quality in your home at the same time.
Check your sump pump (if you have one). Double check your sump pump to ensure that it is operational before the spring rains come. More often than not, your sump pump does not get used much during the winter and sometimes the lack of use can cause it to fail. If you google “how to test your sump pump” you will find numerous articles and videos on how to test it properly.
Inspect your roof. Snow and ice can wreak havoc on a roof. Now that the snow is a thing of the past, it would be a good idea to walk your roof and check for any cracked or damaged shingles. Damaged shingles can allow for water penetration if they are not repaired. While you are up on the roof, you might as well check out your chimney crown. That is the concrete cap on top of your chimney. Over time this can crack and allow water in as well.
Inspect the caulking around your windows and doors. This one speaks for itself. This is a tedious project and a necessary one. And not just for older homes. Depending upon how extreme the exposure is, your windows and doors and take a beating both from wind, rain and snow, and sun. Caulking and glazing on windows can prevent a much bigger problem like water finding its way into your walls.
Clean out your garage. I am not really talking about organizing your garage. I am talking about sweeping and mopping or spraying out your garage to get rid of all of the salt and sand that had been brought in by your vehicles. The products used to melt ice on our roads and walkways can be pretty hard on your floors and carpets when tracked in from the garage.
Check your water hose connections. I admit that I have left a hose hooked up outside all winter long before. In my youth, of course, when I did not know any better. If you have a hose still hooked up outside, disconnect it this weekend. Trust me. Not only might you save the hose from splitting, you might prevent your exterior hose bib from freezing and cracking and causing a leak if we were to have another cold snap.
Check smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. These items don’t typically get paid attention to until it is too late. Take this weekend to change the batteries and test your smoke detectors. Also double check the pressure in your fire extinguishers. It is far better to be safe than sorry when it comes to house fires.