With the onset of spring, it is time for your home’s annual spring-cleaning. It’s also a good time to give your home a check-up and do a little home maintenance to protect the value of your home and keep it operating efficiently.
Make sure your gutters are cleared of leaves and other debris and are firmly attached with no newly sprung leaks. Check to see that downspouts direct water away from the house's foundation and that underground drainage systems are flowing freely. (Running water from a garden hose through the underground piping is a good method to test for blockage).
Inspect your foundation before the spring rains. Look for low areas where dirt may have settled near the foundation. These areas might pool water during a heavy rain and direct water toward rather than away from the foundation. Level any depressions by filling them with compacted soil. Tend to any other "ponding" areas around the yard, too, because after a hard rain, standing water can develop and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Check patio decking for, any sharp edges, splintered wood, or rotting wood and for rusting nails or nails that have become loose. Be sure to check railings and stairs to confirm that they are structurally secure. Inspect the wood for stains, discolorations, or warping and consider resealing the deck if necessary. Most deck-sealer manufacturers recommend resealing annually. Check the finish of your deck and it’s resistance to moisture by pouring a little water on it; if the water beads up, you can probably wait until next spring to reseal your deck.
To help lower your energy bills and ensure that your HVAC system is running at its manufacturer-rated efficiency, schedule your HVAC contractor to give your air-conditioning system a tune-up. He should inspect your system's condensate hose to make sure that it is draining properly and has not become clogged with mold and sediment.
Test your sump pump to make sure it is in good working order, and has a battery backup in place if necessary. It is also a good time to look around the base of your water heater for evidence of rusting or leaking. If water leakage or rust is found, the water heater should be replaced. The average lifespan of a water heater is 8-12 years.
Check your attic for any potential “critter” invasions during the cold winter months. Also, inspect the underside of the roof and the attic insulation closely for any discoloration, deterioration or dirt stains, or other signs of leaking.
Your home is your greatest investment. Routine maintenance is essential in protecting that investment. While you’re into your spring cleaning, check for maintenance issues. Detecting possible problems early will minimize potential damages and save on the cost of repairs.
Have a wonderful spring!