Even though it felt like winter lasted forever, last week marked the official start of the spring season! The only downside? The bright sun shines down on your dirty gutters, damaged roof shingles, and dead plants in last year’s flower bed. Now is the ideal time to get your house back in supreme shape by taking care of routine home maintenance tasks, so you can go out and enjoy the sunshine.View our tips for undoing winter’s damage to your home:
Examine Roof Shingles
Check your roof to see if any shingles were damaged or have fallen off. Shingles that are cracked, buckled, or loose can make your roof vulnerable to leaks and should be replaced. Areas around skylights, chimneys, and plumbing vents need to be examined to determine if any repairs are needed.
Examine the exterior of your chimney for signs of damage such as cracks or leaking. Hire a professional to clean the chimney flue. Getting rid of creosote buildup in your fireplace will help to eliminate chimney fires. Leftover firewood should be stored at least 2 feet from your home structure.
Check the Gutters and Downspouts
Clean out your gutters so they are free of debris, and while doing so check to see if they are loose or leaky. If you live in a colder area, your gutters will expand and contract during the winter. Make sure there are no sags or dips. Ensure downspouts drain away from the home foundation, because improper drainage can lead to water in the basement.
Inspect the Concrete
Inspect concrete and asphalt driveways for cracks and check for any movement. The climate will affect how often you need to seal your driveway, but spring is the ideal time to do so. Power-wash concrete patios, pool decks, and driveways. Fill concrete cracks with filler or silicone caulk.
Check outside Faucets
An outdoor water faucet is especially vulnerable to the cold. Be sure to check outside faucets for freezing. To do so, turn the water on and place your hand over the opening. If this stops the water flow, it is likely the pipe is damaged and will need to be replaced.
Service the AC Unit
Change filters and clean air purifiers on a regular basis. Have your air ducts professionally cleaned every 3 – 5 years. This not only makes your indoor air quality healthier, but your furnace will also run more efficiently. Have a HVAC contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioner. This helps the coils operate more efficiently.
Weatherproof Windows and Doors
Seal gaps around windows and doors to prevent air leaks. Place blinds on windows that face south and west to prevent sun from shining in and causing your A/C unit to continuously run. Clean or replace screens on windows and doors. This will improve the airflow throughout your home, which will especially come in handy if you do not have air conditioning.
Sump Pump Operating Correctly
Make sure your sump pump is working and install a battery backup pump to kick on when the electricity goes out. If your sump pump fails an alarm will go off to let you know the backup pump is running. This could save you thousands of dollars in water damage. Do you know what water damage is covered in a homeowners policy? Check out our blog on Water Back Up and Sump Overflow Coverage to learn more.