As the ground thaws and the snow melts, it is a good time to tackle the spring maintenance checklist. Doing a spring clean will help maintain the value and appearance of your home, reduce your long-term costs, and save you time in the long run. What can you do to maintain your home? This spring maintenance checklist will help you keep your home in tip-top shape after those long winter months.
Check the Roof
Your roof protects your entire home. Our Canadian winters can often damage shingles and the spring is a good time to check to see that everything is up to par. Look for lost, damaged, cracked, buckled, or loose shingles and replace these immediately. You don’t want a leak to happen in the rainy spring months. Also, look for shingles that are missing granules, this can be a sign that your roof might need to be replaced. Lastly, check the flashing around plumbing vents, skylights, and the chimney to ensure they’re in good order. You don’t need to go on to the roof to inspect these. A pair of binoculars should help you see your roof just fine from the ground.
Clean out the Gutters
Gutters are notorious for filling with debris. Make sure to get clear them to ensure proper waterflow and to prevent any water from accumulating on your roof or in your attic. While you’re cleaning, check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper draining can cause extensive damage to your home. Also, make sure that your downspouts are clear (running your hose through them can help with this) and that they are positioned at least 5 feet from your home and pointed away from your foundation.
Inspect the Chimney
If you have a chimney on your home, you’ll want to get the flue cleaned and have it inspected by a certified chimney specialist. Another task is to inspect the chimney’s masonry for damage. Check the joints between the bricks or stones to make sure everything is securely in place. Look for white calcium buildup on the masonry—this can be a sign that the joints are absorbing water. If you suspect your chimney is damaged, contact a repair specialist to get it fixed as soon as possible.
Check the Grading of the Soil
With all the snow melting it is easy to see where water is pooling in your yard. Soil should slope away from the foundation walls to prevent water penetration into the concrete. If you notice pooling, use compacted soil to fill in the low areas in the yard or next to your foundation. Don’t wait for the summer months to do this. Pools of water on your lawn tend to be favourite breeding spots for insects.
Inspect the Foundations
Along with your roof, the foundation is the most important part of your home. Unfortunately, foundations are prone to cracks and leaks. Walk around your home and do a visual check of your foundation to make sure there are no cracks letting in water, soil, and insects. Also, check your basement to ensure that there is no water coming in. If your basement is unfinished, check the base of poured-concrete walls for cracks and water penetration. If you find a leak, call in a professional. Problems in the foundation tend to accumulate.
Look for Plumbing Leaks
One of the first things you want to do once you know that there are no more freezing days is to check your pipes for possible freeze damage. Turn on your outdoor faucets and check for signs of damage. Check the plumbing under sinks and below bathrooms in the interior of your home too. There might be a problem you didn’t notice in the winter months. See if you have any staining on your basement ceiling, you might be facing a leak which you’ll want to repair before it becomes a big problem. Also, while you’re inspecting the plumbing, check your dishwasher, laundry machine, water heater, and sump pump to make sure everything is working well.
Do Wood Maintenance
You’re going to be spending a lot of time out on your deck once the summer comes. While it’s still too cool to enjoy daily, inspect your deck for warped, cracked, or missing boards and replace these immediately. If your deck is stained or painted, it might benefit from a new coat. Don’t leave any wood exposed—it can easily turn to rot. All these things apply to other wood structures you might have on your property including, fencing, pergolas, and trellises. If you have any wood trim on the exterior of your home, check for rot and cracked paint.
Inspect the Attic
Take a peek up in your attic to check for signs of critters nesting as well as mould and mildew. If you see any nests or black mold, call in an expert. Also, while you’re up there, check to ensure that you have adequate insulation and proper ventilation to help your home’s efficiency.
Service the AC Unit
Canadian summers get hot and there is nothing worse than having a broken or inefficient AC unit. Clean off any debris, vacuum off any dust, ensure all the connections and hoses are in good repair and change out any filters. If you noticed last year that your unit wasn’t working at its best, call in a service expert to check it out. It will save you from a costly repair or replacement down the road—something you don’t want to do in the middle of a heat wave in July.
If your house is surrounded by trees and shrubs spring is a good time to trim them back. You want to keep branches at least 5 to 7 feet away from your home to prevent extra moisture from accumulating on your roof and siding. On top of that, if the branches are further away, animals will be less likely to explore your roof and find a cozy place to nest.
While it might seem like a long to-do list, accomplishing these spring maintenance tasks will leave you with a safer, healthier, and more valuable home. By making these chores a seasonal routine, you will protect yourself from costly repairs and surprises down the road. One last thing you want to do to safeguard your home is to contact your insurance broker to go over your home insurance policy and ensure you have the coverage you need.