By Paul Myk
No one likes to be nagged, but if you haven’t tackled your spring maintenance chores yet, now is the time.
The shift into spring is the perfect time to think about your home’s seasonal to-do list. And having a regular schedule of maintenance needs can put a stop to the most common – and costly – problems before they occur.
While regular maintenance should be done throughout the year, spring is the time to assess any winter damage to your home, start repairs and prepare your space for the warmer months.
Here is a handy checklist of tasks that should be done each spring (and some that should be done year-round).
- Have fireplaces, wood stoves and chimneys cleaned and serviced as needed.
- Clean or replace furnace air filters to close out the season. (This should be done monthly when heating your home.)
- Shut down, drain and clean your furnace humidifier; close the damper on units with central air conditioning.
- As the warmer weather sets in, turn on power to your air conditioner and check the system. (It should be serviced every two to three years.) Clean or replace the filter.
- Check your dehumidifier and drain. Clean if needed.
- Turn off gas furnace and fireplace pilot lights where possible once you no longer need to heat your home.
- Test well water quality. (You should test for bacteria every six months.)
- Check smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms, and replace batteries if you didn’t when the clocks changed.
- Test your hot water tank’s temperature and pressure relief valve. Caution: It can release hot water that can cause burns. Check your manual before testing.
- Clean windows, screens and hardware. Replace storm windows with screens (repair or replace where needed).
- Once all danger of frost has passed, open the valve to your outside hose connection.
- Walk the perimeter of your home, checking your foundation walls for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture. Repair as needed.
- Make sure your sump pump is working. Check that the discharge pipe is connected and drains water away from the foundation.
- Re-level any steps or decks that moved due to frost or settling.
- Check for and seal any holes in your exterior cladding that could allow in small pests.
- Clear your eavestroughs and downspouts of debris, and check for loose connections. Make sure water will flow away from the foundation.
- Clear all drainage ditches and culverts of debris.
- Once it warms up, repair and paint fences where needed, but allow wood fences to dry before tackling.
- Start your spring landscape maintenance; fertilize young trees if needed.
If you don’t feel comfortable tackling some of these tasks, consider hiring a qualified professional to help. Many companies have a dedicated home care team to handle home upgrades, maintenance and repairs. They can assess and provide a maintenance plan that will help you avoid costly damage and repairs if left unattended.
TIP: Make sure you take pictures of anything you might want to share with an expert for advice or to monitor or remind you of a situation later.
Paul Myk is a project manager in the Home Care Division at Amsted Design-Build. He has more than 20 years of construction experience working throughout North America and Europe.