Prepping Your Home for the Spring Melt
Check Gutters & Downspouts
After a long winter, snow, ice and leaves can build up in your gutters and downspouts. It is very important to ensure that they are cleaned out and cleared to avoid leaking. The biggest element during this process is safety. Before you climb the ladder, you should check all the gutters from the ground. A visual check will prevent you from coming across a loose or broken gutter while you are on the roof. Too much pressure or weight on a loose gutter can be very dangerous. Also, ensure that your ladder is on steady, level ground before climbing it. Having a spotter on the ground to hold the ladder is always the safest bet.
While you are up on the roof of your home, this is a great opportunity to also check your shingles. If any appear to be loose or have cracks or chips, you must replace them ASAP to avoid roof leakage. Our last word of advice for this step is BE CAREFUL
Windows & Doors
With heavy snow melt in the spring always comes leaks. To ensure that your home is safe against them, an important thing to do in the spring is check all the caulking on your doors and windows. If there are any cracks or chips in the caulking, fill it immediately.
This step will also prevent any insects from entering into your home through the cracks or holes. The melt brings out droves of different types of insects that you want to keep out of your home. Also check your weather stripping on windows and doors. If it is damaged then it must be replaced to prevent leaks.
Check All HVAC Units
Your Air Conditioning unit and ventilation are the two most important HVAC systems to check in the spring. Your heat has likely been going all winter long so you know if it is working or not. However, your AC has been on standby all winter and even though you won’t need it until the summer heat comes, checking it in the spring is always a good idea.
By checking these systems in the spring it will benefit you in 2 ways:
1. It will prevent you going without AC on a very hot day when you really need your house to stay cool. If you test your AC on the first hot day of the summer and realize then that it isn’t working, you will have to go without it until it can be fixed. Which brings us to our second point
2.HVAC Mechanics and Plumbers will be more readily available in the spring. One of the busiest times for these professionals is during the first hot week of the summer. This is because all the people who didn’t check their AC in the spring are all discovering their Air Conditioners are broken. By testing your home’s AC in the spring you are giving yourself time to fix it without waiting for a service call during the busiest time of the year.
Another suggestion for the spring time is, even if your AC is working when you test it, having it serviced is a good idea to maintain the upkeep of the unit.
It is important during the spring melt to move away excess brush, bushes, or lumber from your home. Once the temperatures begin to heat up, the moisture from these plants and wood become breeding grounds for insects.
Clear away any leaves and tree branches that have accumulated over the winter as well as around your home, in your gardens and on your lawn.
To avoid lawn flooding, compact soil into any low areas of your garden or lawn so that the water drains and does not build up in areas.
To avoid basement flooding you can also use compact soil in any areas around your foundation where water naturally pools. Water pooling around foundation also attracts insects so compact soil will help with this issue as well.
Check Exterior Faucets and Hoses
With the cold temperatures during the winter months, moisture in hoses can freeze and split the lining. Run the hose and examine the entire length of it to ensure you are not wasting your water when using it.
The same issue can arise in exterior faucets. If the pipes freeze during the winter damages can occur and cause leaks. To check if exterior faucet pressure is okay place your finger over the mouth and turn water on. If the pressure alone doesn’t move your finger than the pipe is likely damaged and you should call a plumber to avoid any potential leaks.
Season changes are always a great time to change out your homes many filters! These include: water filters, range hood filter, air vents and dryer filters.
Filters should always be changed every 3-6 months, which is why seasonal transitions provide a great opportunity to add it to your “To Do” list.
An important note on dryer filters. Yes, you should clean the interior ones after every use, however, changing them regularly is best to prevent possible house fires. Also: DON’T FOREGET ABOUT THE EXTERIOR FILTER. The exterior dryer filter also needs to be cleaned/changed to ensure the safety of your home from fires.
Another task to add to your “To Do” list that doesn’t take long, but the payoff is huge is checking those alarms.
Smoke and Carbon Dioxide alarms need to be tested often to ensure they are working correctly. Check batteries and run a test for any type of alarms you have in your home. Doing so could save your home and family.