With warmer weather slowly moving in, now is the time to start readying your home for the plus temperatures to come. Have your home spring and summer-ready with the help of these outdoor AND indoor maintenance tips.
Outside Your Home
1. Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Even if you’ve already checked your gutters and downspouts according to our Fall Maintenance Checklist, snow and ice can create an additional build-up of dirt and debris. With spring rain and runoff, especially, you’ll want to make sure water can move freely from the roof and away from your home.
2. Take a Closer Look at Your Shingles and Chimney
As you’re investigating your gutters, take the time to visually inspect your roof and chimney. Look for any shingles that may have been lost or damaged over the cold winter months. Your chimney’s damper and cap should show no signs of distress (and the masonry work should be intact, if you have a brick chimney).
Note: If you own a wood-burning fireplace, consider getting it cleaned.
3. Inspect Your Air Conditioning Unit, Faucets and Outdoor Lights
Having your air conditioner inspected before firing it up will both guarantee it’s in working order and prolong the life of your unit. We also recommend checking outdoor faucets for signs of ice damage and/or leaks and, for safety purposes, see that all exterior lights are functioning correctly.
4. Check Your Exterior Windows and Doors
It’s not uncommon for caulking and weatherstripping to become brittle and cracked due to Edmonton’s frigid temperatures. Replacing any worn or damaged weatherstripping around your exterior windows and doors will keep the heat out come the hotter months. Bonus: You’ll save money on your utility bills.
5. Build Up Shallow Areas
As the snow melts, it slowly erodes the soil and grading levels around your home’s foundation – causing water to pool and (potentially) leak into your home. Look for any low spots around your foundation and build them up with compacted soil, taking care to grade the soil away from your property.
6. Check For Cracks
Winter can be exceptionally tough on masonry and stonework, causing dangerous cracks, chips and loose fragments. Visually inspect your foundation (cracks can cause water ingress) as well as your sidewalk, driveway, patio and other paved/stone areas around your home’s exterior.
7. Give Outdoor Equipment a Tune-Up
Although it may still be a few weeks until you can break out the lawnmower, giving your outdoor equipment a tune-up now will prevent any problems and/or frustrations when you need them most. Clean and sharpen cutting blades, drain and replace any old gas or oil, replace old air filters and spark plugs, etc. And don’t forget to clean your grill, you’ll need it soon!
Inside Your Home
1. Service Your HVAC System
Servicing your HVAC system won’t just save you money on your utility bills, it will also improve your family’s air quality. Because your HVAC system has been working double-time during the winter, now is a good time to replace the filter and/or have your ducts cleaned and, if necessary, sealed.
2. Clean Your Dryer Vent and Exhaust Fans
Like your HVAC, your dryer vents and exhaust fans are prone to an exceptional amount of build-up over the winter months. Ensuring your dryer vent is free and clear of lint will prevent any potential fire hazards, while checking your kitchen and exhaust fans will help put a stop to moisture issues.
3. Replace Damaged Screens
Ripped or torn screens don’t just take away from your home’s overall curb appeal, they’re an invitation for unwanted dirt, debris and pests. Screens have even been proven to reduce heat transfer, thereby assisting with your home’s overall energy efficiency.
4. Test Smoke Alarms and Other Safety Equipment
As you tackle other tasks on your spring maintenance list, we recommend giving your home a safety check. Consider testing and checking your smoke and C02 detectors and install fresh new batteries. Other safety items to address may include replacing outdated fire extinguishers and replenishing any supplies in your emergency/first-aid kit.
5. Investigate the Attic
Check your attic for any signs of water ingress from the roof. Even if your roof appears to be in good condition (according to your visual inspection above), wet or mouldy spots in the insulation could be a sign of a bigger problem. Take care to remove any obstructions from attic vents to improve airflow (and help with cooling costs) and, if needed, replace any depleted insulation to enhance your home’s overall energy efficiency.
6. Inspect the Basement
As your basement is especially prone to water, mould and yes, even insects, it’s essential to check for cracks around your foundation inside as well as outside. Even If you have a finished basement (and you can’t visually inspect the poured concrete walls), a high humidity level may suggest inadequate ventilation, cracks and/or water ingress. Note: A dehumidifier may help reduce excess humidity, though if it persists, be sure to contact a professional.
7. Maintain Your Sump Pump
As the snow and ice melt, the groundwater around your home begins to rise, causing your sump pump to work overtime. Experts recommend checking and maintaining your sump pump at least once a year to ensure it continues to do its job – expelling water away from your property and keeping your basement dry.
For more seasonal home maintenance tips and other helpful home-related advice, check out The Terry Paranych Real Estate Group Blog.
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