Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
Spring is usually a very busy time of year for most, it is tax season so some are reevaluating their finances. The snow is melting so there is more mold and dust in the air than usual, making it allergy season as well. We are starting to think of summer vacation and what time off work might look like for the upcoming months. Oh yeah, and the infamous big spring clean! While in this midst of all this spring commotion it would only make sense to touch on a bit of general home maintenance in regard to the changing of seasons. Here is a list of things often overlooked because of our busy schedules but should be considered to be just as important as everything else we have on the go.
Mechanical Devices – Generally speaking we can expect our devices to work a bit harder during the colder months to try and keep air quality high and temperature levels comfortable. Usually a good time to replace the furnace filter, this time of year there is a lot more in the air with everything drying up outside. Dependent on the type of filter in the furnace but more often than not we should be replacing every 3 months. The HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) is often missed or left longer that the filter in our furnace. This has a fresh air intake which should be made clear of any snow, leaves or debris that may have accumulated against the screen this will be a vent on the exterior of your house. Your HRV should be checked often (recommended once a month), the filters should be vacuumed, and the exchange core should be washed with soap and warm water and the duct ends should be wiped down of any dust/build up. The owner’s manual will have all the information needed to keep the devices running to not only their full potential but full life as well. This is a good time to test all your smoke and CO2 detectors. Humidifiers should be cleaned and water heaters should be checked for leakage. Water heater anode rods should be changed at minimum once every five years. Although it doesn’t hurt to change ahead of time and doing so will prolong the life of your water heater. It is crucial if there is a sump pump installed in your home to make sure it is operational, once the weather warms above freezing the discharge hose should be reattached. It is also recommended to put a splash pad beneath the discharge pipe so that when the discharge hose is detached the water is being dispersed away from the foundation of your home.
Exterior – With snow starting to melt we can start to see if the cold winter has done any damage to our homes. Living in Saskatchewan we can expect the outdoor elements to be a bit harder on our home and property, this can make general wear to be a bit more prevalent than in other climates. With such extreme temperature differentials and the type of soil we have it is expected to notice a bit of shifting and movement in between seasons.
– When safe to do so the eaves should be checked and cleared of any leaves that may have collected there in the fall. Make sure to check all down spouts where they attach to the underside of the eaves trough and the opposite end where they expel for blockages. Check seams and corners for leaks, over time the caulking might deteriorate or loosen and have to be reapplied.
– Check shingles for damaged, curled or even missing tabs. If there are any exposed nail heads they should be covered with roofing tar. Check around all vents and stacks to make sure there is no damage around the roof penetrations. It would also be a good idea to take a look inside the attic and make sure there is no visible moisture on the trusses. If there is, it is easier to centralize the problem area and investigate it from the outside and see what may be causing the leakage.
– Weather stripping around windows and doors should be checked as well to make sure there is still a complete seal. Outside water lines can be turned back on once overnight temperatures are above freezing.
Vinyl siding should be washed down to rid of any dirt which can create mold. Check caulking and weather stripping around any penetrations in the wall to ensure there is no gaps where water, insects and dirt can enter.
– Grades should maintain a decent slope away from the foundation of the house to ensure the sump pump isn’t being overworked. If no sump pump it is even more important so that ground shifting and movement is minimized. Sidewalks and driveways should be checked for frost damage.
These are all important things that should be checked so that we are protecting which to most is the largest investment we will ever make. Regular maintenance is crucial to really protect the longevity of our homes. It is very easy for unnecessary bills to start piling up when there are simple things we can do to make sure the components of our home are working as they are intended too. Catching one of these potential issues before they become an actual problem can save a lot of money in the long run.