Spring is sneaking up on us! While this is great news, it also means it is time to check off a few household maintenance tasks:
1. Inspect your smoke detectors. A good time to remember to do this is during daylight savings time. Check your smoke detectors and make sure they are in good working order. Change the batteries!
2. Check your air conditioning. Disconnect electric power to the outdoor condenser on your air conditioner and clear it of leaves and debris with a vent brush, power blower, garden hose, or the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If the cooling fins are exposed, be careful not to bend them. (If your yard has lots of trees and plants, wrap fiberglass mesh around the condenser coil to capture pollen and leaves. Replace the mesh as needed. Don’t allow debris to block airflow.) Vacuum the grille and register inside the home to ensure good airflow.
3. Check your gutters. Clear gutters of debris and check them for corrosion, joint separation, and loose fasteners. Flush out downspouts and unclog leader pipes. Leaders should extend at least 5 feet to direct water away from the foundation.
4. Check your hot water tank for leaks or corrosion to make sure your hot water tank is still in proper working order. Having a set time of the year to do this task makes it easier to remember.
5. Check and/or replace your furnace filter. This should be done on a regular basis to make sure the proper airflow is leading into your furnace for efficient burning.
6. In your yard, remove all dead trees and branches. With winter wind, it’s most likely that you’ve lost some branches from trees, or have damaged bushes. Dispose of any debris that might have fallen. Trim bushes back away from power lines, but be careful not to touch, or cut the lines!
7. Safely store gas and oil. Spring means bringing out the power equipment, such as lawn mowers, chainsaws and weed whackers. Keep the oil and gas used for this equipment in a well vented but locked area.
8. Check your deck areas. Look for water stains where the deck ties to the house. Ongoing water leakage can lead to wood decay, weakening the deck structure and the house. If you have any doubt about the structural integrity of the deck, call us to investigate. Rid your deck of moss and mold. Pressure washers are effective.
9. Check your roof. Leaks typically occur around an inadequately flashed chimney, skylight, or other opening. They’re easiest to spot in the attic; inspect the rafters for water stains. Patching leaks is best left to a professional. Examine the siding under roof eaves, and the ceilings in the rooms below, for water or discoloration, indications that ice dams might have created leaks along the roof edge. Inspect the roof for cracked, curled, or missing shingles. Asphalt shingles typically last 20 years.
10. Check your garage doors. To check that the door is balanced, release it into the manual mode and lift it by hand. The door should lift easily and smoothly and stay open on its own about 3 feet off the ground. If it doesn’t, by hire a garage-door technician to counterbalance its overhead spring. Next, set the reversing force on the opener as low as possible. Place a 2×4 board on the ground under the door, wide side down. The door should pop back up when it hits the 2×4. If it doesn’t, call a garage-door pro. Test the photoelectric eyes by holding the 2×4 between them. The door should reverse direction. If it doesn’t, have it checked by a pro.
11. Inspect your foundation. Hairline cracks in foundation walls might be the result of concrete curing or minor settling and aren’t automatically cause for alarm. Mark them with tape and check them again in a few months. If they’ve worsened, call a structural engineer. If they’re stable, fill them with an epoxy-injection system.
- Check that the ground around the foundation slopes away from the house (about 1 inch per foot).
- Fill in holes in siding and foundation walls with expandable foam.
- Look for pellet-shaped droppings or shed wings from termites.
- Clear the area of leaves, in which rodents can nest.
Give us a call if you need assistance; we’re here to help! And enjoy the warmer weather once it finally gets here!