In a couple of months from now, spring will arrive and pansies, lilacs, and bloodroots will bloom in your garden. There will be indoor games and events galore. It’s like waking up from hibernation after months of intensely cold weather.
However, even if you dread it, you need to find motivation to scramble up roofs, walls, and balconies to find all that is not right with your home! The gutter may be blocked, the caulking may be missing from your windows, there may be deposition of soot in the furnace and fire heaters, lint might have collected in the dryers and the light bulbs may require replacement.
Routine maintenance checks
- Roof shingles: After a frigid winter, the roof may be invariably one of the most damaged parts of your home. The shingles may develop cracks, may buckle or come off as the fasteners have failed. The shingles may also develop warps. Also look for the flashings around skylights, plumbing vents, and chimneys. If the flashings fail, water may seep through and damage the roof further. It could also affect HVAC vents and your inner walls.
- Gutters: Gutters protect your roof and home by allowing the accumulated water to flow out away from the home’s foundation. After months of winter, debris, leaves, and dirt may accumulate and make rainwater stagnate or seep through. This could lead to expensive upgrades and replacements after the spring rain.
- Windows and doors: Check the windows, doors, basements and chimneys for cold or hot drafts. If you leave those gaps, during the summer months when your AC would be on, it could work at reduced efficiency, affecting not only its performance but also requiring early replacements and pushing up energy costs. Check the caulks and replace the ones which have come off. Also, check for failed caulks on the siding and exterior walls.
- Dryer vent: Check and clean your dryer vent. Lint accumulation is common and can lead to higher costs as the dryer would take more time to dry your clothes as the vent may be plugged.
- Water pipes: One of the easiest ways to inspect the water pipes is by placing your hand or thumb at the outlet of a hose faucet outside your home. If you can stop the water from flowing out in its entirety, there may be a problem in one of the pipes and requires a repair.
- Electrical cords and outlets: Check the wires and electrical cords inside and outside your home for any potential fire hazard. This is often created by frayed wires, loose-fitting plugs, loss of insulation. If you aren’t confident, get a trained electrician to do the inspection for you.
Timely intervention could not only increase the life of your home but also protect you from costly replacements and repairs later on during summer.