Making sure your house is ready for spring in North America is an important part of home ownership. Beyond the simple chores of vacuuming and washing the interior for example, most people don’t realize that most costly insurance claims and property damage can easily be prevented. Completing a few maintenance items around the property by having a simple checklist will drastically lower risks for future issues arising
Ask yourself, when was the last time the grade around the house was checked? How about the last time you cleaned the gutters?
Maintaining a healthy and safe home goes way beyond vacuuming and dusting. Make sure you look at other maintenance items to guarantee your home is safe from damage in the future.
1. Clean your gutters
In the spring, the very first thing that should be done is to check your gutters for debris. Grab a ladder, and remove as much as possible with your hands. Bring a hose after that, an wash out the remaining down the gutter. Also make sure that the downspouts extend at least 4 feet past the foundation wall. Doing this will make sure that water won’t build up along your home and prevent water damage with the spring thawing. I have seen this many times before, where clogged gutters can cause excessive water damage in your basement (especially older homes).
2. Check grade around the house
This leads to the second most important thing to do in the spring months; check your grade around the house. Make sure there is a natural, slightly sloped ground away from your home. This distance should be at least 4 feet. Preventing water from slipping down your foundation wall will save from potentially damages in the future. Water that sits against the wall for long periods of time can degrade the concrete and find its way inside. If you have grade issues due to snow or rain over time washing away soil, grab some top soil from a landscaping centre and fix the appropriate areas.
3. Clean out dryer vent, furnace filter, and range hood filter
At the end of winter, this is the most important time to check filters around the house. The furnace would have worked the hardest leading up to spring. Therefore, it will be clogged with airborne particles and put strain on the fan. This should be changed at minimum every 6 months.
While doing this feat, it is also a good time to clean out the dryer vent and range hood filter. This should be done yearly, and can prevent fan troubles down the road.
4. Clean the AC coil and wash exterior windows
If you have a AC in your home, make sure you wash out the coil every year. Outside, where your condensing unit is, the fan will collect debris every time it runs. You should go outside with a garden hose and spray the fan and unit down. This will increase efficiency and lower your electricity costs. While you spray down your AC coil, it is also a good time to wash the exterior windows. Cleaning the windows will increase solar absorption and lower electricity costs as well.
5. Test smoke and CO alarms
Last but not least, make sure your check your smoke and CO alarms every year. Although highly unlikely, doing this will protect you and your family if a fire starts in your home. Protecting yourself against CO is just as important. If the alarm doesn’t work, you can go buy a combination unit that provides protection against both CO and smoke. Dead batteries however are most likely the culprit of a faulty unit.