Spring Maintenance Tips
1. Check your exterior drains
Will rainwater flow away from the house? Poor or inadequate drainage can cause water damage to your home. Ponds should not stand around your home for more than 24 hours. If water stays or moves toward your foundation, you have a few options. First, check your gutters. It could be a bad spout or a loose connection there. Second, you can grade the area around your home yourself with some dirt. Third, for pavement, you can have professionals come out and raise it so it drains away from your home.
2. Clean out ducts and gutters
Clean debris from all gutters and ducts. They probably have accumulated fall leaves, dirt and sediment from snow and/or winter rains. Check for loose or leaking gutters and make sure the ducts are laid so that water drains away from the foundation of your home.
3. Check the edges of windows and doors
Cold weather can cause the seals around windows and doors to loosen, harden and crack. Examine seals and slats around doors and windows to see if they are broken or damaged. Look for cracks in window glass and around panels. Check for cracked paint and other signs of wear on window and door frames and bases, usually in the lower corners. Check window action for clogging points. Repair as needed. Another important point is to verify that the drainage holes at the bottom of window frames have not been sealed with insects, debris or bugs as this inhibits water drainage, which can cause water to fill the channel and spill into the interior of the house. To see if the drainage system is working, you can pour a glass of water on the rail or spray the outside of the window with a garden hose. If you don’t see a steady stream of water coming out of the drain hole, you can try to clean it by spraying with compressed air and trying to remove the debris in the holes.
Maintaining window and door seals will help reduce summer air conditioning costs and keep water out of your home.
4. Inspect the interior and exterior walls of your home
On the outside of the house, Is there cracked paint? Is any part of the siding damaged in the winter? Is there a hole in the brick? Also check that there are no cracks in the foundation. A good silicone/caulk can fix a lot of your problems. In short, take a deep look around the whole house and make any necessary repairs.
If your house was built before 1978, you should pay special attention to cracked paint and particles that may come off. Many homes and apartments built before 1978 have lead-based paint. Lead in paint, particulates, and dust can be a serious health hazard if not handled properly. In this sense, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) makes some recommendations to keep your home in good condition and reduce the risks associated with lead:
- Regularly check your home for chipping, peeling, or deteriorating paint, and address issues promptly without excessive sanding. If you must sand, sand the minimum area needed, wet the area first, and clean up thoroughly.
- Regularly check all painted areas that rub together or get lots of wear, like windows, doors, and stairways, for any signs of deterioration.
- Regularly check for paint chips or dust – if you see some, remove carefully with a damp paper towel and discard in the trash, then wipe the surface clean with a wet paper towel.
- Wipe down flat surfaces, like window sills, at least weekly with a damp paper towel and throw away the paper towel.
- Mop smooth floors (using a damp mop) weekly to control dust.
- Remember to test for the presence of lead and lead hazards by a lead professional – this will tell you where you must be especially careful.
You can get more information and recommendations by visiting https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-exposures-lead#homeleadsafe
5. Prepare the air conditioning system for summer
Consider hiring a maintenance service approximately one month prior to regular summer use.
6. Clean plants and shrub, weeds, etc.
This can be considered a gardening tip, but if you didn’t trim the trees and shrubs in the fall, it’s advisable to do it now. Plants can make their way through cracks and holes on the outside of the house, causing damage and affecting the longevity of the house. Also, make sure tree branches are not interfering with power lines. If necessary, hire a professional to do the work of cutting them.
7. Inspect for roof damage, leaks, or seeping
The roof of your home is one of the vital elements that must be maintained to avoid damage inside your home. Visually inspect the roof; the most common signs that a repair is needed are deformations, cracks or loose shingles. Also, examine coatings around chimneys and vents. If you can’t see high ceiling areas, hire a certified professional to inspect and make necessary repairs.
8. Clean window unit air contioners
Window air conditioners often store a lot of debris, dust, dead insects, or mold after winter storage. Many of these particles may contain health threats, so it is recommended that before reinstalling in the window, vacuum all surfaces, especially the cover on the outside of the unit. Also remove the cover panel, vacuum and clean the foam filter. This cleaning will also help maintain the efficiency and performance of the air conditioning equipment.