Spring Cleaning & Maintenance Tips

To Prevent Insurance Claims

Although it may seem like the winter weather is never going to end this year, spring weather is just around the corner. As temperatures rise and the outside becomes more habitable again, it is time to conduct a little home maintenance. After a long winter it is always a good idea to spend time on preventative measures to keep your home safe and secure throughout the rest of the year.

You can think of home maintenance like homeowners insurance --- a great way to protect what is yours. 

Outdoors

Inspect your roof- Check for any damage from snow or ice. Make an necessary repairs to reduce the possibility of leaks. 

Clean your gutters- Clean out the leaves and other debris that have collected in the gutters and downspouts. Make sure the gutters are safely attached and that they haven't sprung any leaks. Also check to make sure the downspouts are positioned to direct water away from your home's foundation. 

Fix cracks in foundation and driveways- Inspect all concrete, asphalt, and stucco for cracks. Repair any cracks or uneven surfaces with caulk or filler to prevent any accidents on your property and to ensure that every slab is draining away from your foundation. 

Examine screens and windows- Inspect caulking and seams around windows to ensure no moisture is entering and causing damage. Replace any old or dried out caulking. Ensure that all window screens are intact so summer bugs aren't able to mosey in and enjoy your home too!

Clean up dead trees and yard material- Dead trees and branches not only present a fire hazard, but they can also damage your lawn's health. Remove any materials on the lawn, cut down dead branches, and tidy up shrubbery. If you are storing the branches and trees for fire wood, store them away from utility wires and keep the pile at least two feet from any structure. 

Indoors

Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors- Functioning detectors can literally be the difference between life and death, yet for some reason we choose to ignore their maintenance. Spring cleaning is the time to change that! Change the batteries in every unit and test them to be sure they are working properly. There should ideally be at least one smoke detector on each floor of your home. Be sure to test each detector monthly. 

Inspect and maintain furnace and air conditioner- Before flipping the switch from heating to air conditioning, considering having a professional inspect your system to ensure it's in proper working order. Make sure to inspect your system's drain hose. This hose can become clogged with algae and sediment. You can avoid extra costs by checking this yourself and suctioning out any blockages with a wet-vac. This is also a good time to make sure you have been maintaining your filters. 

Examine your dryer- Dryer lint can build up inside of the vent pipe and collect around the duct. Clean the dryer vent and the space under the dryer. Having a clogged hose not only costs you money by having to run the dryer cycle more than once, it is also one of the leading causes of house fires. 

Inspect your water heater- Look around the base of the water heater for evidence of leaks. If rust or water leakage is found, the water heater should be replaced. If you live in an area with particularly hard water, you may need to drain the water periodically to remove any sediment buildup. 

Look through the basement and attic- Does your basement or attic smell musty? Check the attic for evidence of leaks from the roof. This can be seen through discoloration, deterioration, or dirt stains in the insulation or on the underside of the roof. Check the basement walls, floor, and trim for water stains or any signs of seepage from the foundation. Also, keep a close eye on your sump pump, making sure it is in good working order and that you have a backup in place if necessary.