It’s time to put away the snowblower and break out the shorts and sunglasses – springtime is nearly here!
After a long cold winter, it’s important to give your home (both inside and out) a once-over for any damage caused by the elements.
This includes your roof, foundation, basement, and a lot more.
Not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up 10 key tasks to help you get ready for the spring months ahead!
Let’s get started:
Spring Maintenance Tip #1: Inspect Your Roof for Damage
Your roof is one of the most important features of your home. It’s your first line of defense against the elements – wind, rain, snow, heat – so it’s really important to make sure it’s properly maintained and insulated.
This is especially the case in the spring.
The winter season can take a major toll on your roof, damaging your shingles, gutters, and even causing roof leaks.
So as soon as the snow and ice begin to melt, it’s a good idea to inspect your roof for any issues before they become major problems.
Keep an eye out for shingles that are cracked, buckled, loose, or missing altogether. Check your gutters for damage. And look up at the chimney for signs of wear.
If you do notice anything that raises concern, you should call in a professional to have it inspected and repaired.
Spring Maintenance Tip #2: Replace Smoke & CO Alarm Batteries
With the seasons changing, it’s the perfect time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and change the batteries.
As long as you’re comfortable getting on a ladder, replacing your alarms’ batteries is pretty simple. Here are a few tips:
First, turn off the main power at your circuit breaker to avoid any electrical shock.
Next, remove the cover (some models may require a screwdriver) and replace the batteries.
Once the new batteries are in, press and hold the test button on the alarm. It can take a few seconds to begin, but a loud, ear-piercing siren should sound.
If you’re looking for that extra bit of peace of mind, you should also consider placing a Notion Sensor by your smoke alarms so you can know when they’re going off even while you’re away.
As soon as the Notion wireless sensors hear your smoke alarm sounding, you’ll get a notification sent to your smartphone so you can take action.
Spring Maintenance Tip #3: Get Your AC Serviced
As the winter cold makes way for warmer, sunnier days, it’s a great time to make sure your AC is in working order.
While we’re all for DIY inspections and repairs, it’s best to hire a qualified heating and cooling contractor – especially if your AC gets a lot of use in the spring and summer months.
During the inspection, the contractor should clean and service both the inside and the outside of the AC system.
By servicing your AC unit on an annual basis (and cleaning your filters at least once a month while it’s being used), you can lower its energy consumption by 5% to 15% and help it last longer.
In fact, according to AQuality HVAC, it isn’t unusual for air conditioners to last 20 to 25 years when they’ve been properly maintained.
Something to keep in mind!
Spring Maintenance Tip #4: Inspect Your Sump Pump
If you're new to homeownership or you’ve just never heard the term before, a “sump pump” is a system used to remove the water that accumulates in a water-collecting sump basin, which is commonly found in people’s basements.
Not all homes have them, but if yours does, it’s really important to have it checked annually!
The last thing you want is to come home to flooding or water damage that’s caused by a malfunctioning sump pump.
So before the snow melts away, have your sump pump inspected and drained by a professional.
This is also another area where Notion sensors can really come in handy. Simply place Notion’s smart water leak sensors in your basement or next to the sump pump and you’ll be notified when a leak is detected.
Spring Maintenance Tip #5: Clean Gutters & Downspouts
With winter coming to an end, there’s a good chance your gutters are full (and possibly clogged) – especially if you live in a neighborhood with lots of trees!
During the winter season, snow and ice can accumulate in your gutters, which, if left unchecked, can cause leaking and damage to your home’s foundation or roof. Here’s how to fix it:
First, before you begin, make sure to check the perimeter of the house to make sure nothing has broken loose or detached from the house.
Next, get the ladder out and put on some working gloves to avoid any accidents.
From there, remove any debris from the gutters and patch any hole or cracks with exterior grade caulking.
It’s also important to make sure your downspouts are clear and free of debris and are directing water away from your home, as improper drainage could lead to damage to your foundation and basement flooding.
Remember: If you don’t feel comfortable getting on a ladder, there are plenty of local contractors who can do this for you.
Spring Maintenance Tip #6: Clean Lint Buildup
Next up, check your dryer for lint buildup.
After a long winter of drying sweater, blankets, and other cozy items, your dryer is bound to need a quick tuneup!
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year, more than 2,900 home fires are started by clothing dryers and the leading cause of these fires is lint buildup.
While removing the lint from the removable filter is a good place to start, it’s also important to clean your dryer vents and have your dryer inspected annually for other issues.
If you plan to clean the vents yourself, use a brush kit that’s designed specifically to fit in your dryer duct!
Spring Maintenance Tip #7: Inspect Exterior Faucets
Before you get those hoses ready for gardening season, it’s important to check your exterior faucets for any freeze damage.
If you live in a colder climate, you’ll also want to confirm that your pipes weren’t damaged by the winter freeze.
You can easily check this by turning on the water and placing your thumb over the spout. If you’re able to stop the flow of water, it’s likely that your pipe inside the home could be damaged and will need to be replaced.
While you’re checking the exterior faucets, make sure to also check your garden hose for any leaks, cracks, or dry rot.
Spring Maintenance Tip #8: Inspect Facade & Foundation for Water Pooling
While you’re outside checking the faucets, it’s also important to inspect the exterior of your home for any cracks in the foundation or water pooling.
Keep in mind that not all cracks are problematic! But a good rule of thumb to remember: if a dime can fit in the crack, it’s best to have it inspected.
And with the snow thawing, we recommend installing Notion sensors in areas of the home that are more prone to water damage such as your basement.
This way, you’ll be notified when a water leak is detected, which could be the difference between a small mess and long-term expensive damage.
Spring Maintenance Tip #9: Clean the Grill
Everyone, rejoice! BBQ season is almost upon us!
It’s been a long winter, and there’s no doubt your BBQ has accumulated some grime, dust, and dirt – stuff you definitely don’t want near your burgers!
So before you fire up the grill, make sure to give your BBQ a deep clean.
Start by putting a pair of work gloves on to protect your hands from any metal splinters.
Next, remove the grill, grates, and grease pan and wash them with soapy water. Use a metal-bristle grill brush to scrub the hood and anywhere else you dirt building up.
Finally, take a towel to dry off the entire BBQ – it should look good as new!
Spring Maintenance Tip #10: Test the Sprinkler System
Last but not least, it’s also a good time to check that your sprinkler and irrigation systems are ready for the summer months ahead.
During the winter, snow and ice buildup can cause cracks to develop on your sprinkler system. These cracks can cause water leaks, so it’s a good idea to check that your system is working properly.
The first thing to do is walk the property and keep your eye out for any obvious signs of damage. Make sure that none of the sprinkler heads are broken or damaged.
Also, when checking the sprinkler heads, make sure they are pointing away from your house as that could cause moisture problems. And avoid wasting water by making sure the heads aren’t pointing towards the street, sidewalk, or porches.
If you’re unsure about whether or not your sprinkler system is working properly, it’s best to call in the pros and get a second opinion – in the long-term, it can help you save a ton of money on your water bill!
We hope you learned a few new ways to get your home ready for spring months ahead. Thanks for reading!