Spring Into Action – Keep Your Home in Shape
Spring cleaning gets all of the attention this time of year, but spring maintenance is just as important to keep your home working properly, so we’ve created our free Spring Home Maintenance Checklist.
After a long winter, it is a good idea to spend time on preventive measures to help maintain your home and property. Making sure all the elements of your home are in good working order can help keep your family safe and your maintenance expenses lower over the long run.
Do these things now & you’ll be able to spend those summer weekends relaxing!
- Service your AC Unit (Yes, this is somewhat self-serving, but it really is important to do.) Before summer arrives, make sure you have a maintenance agreement in place.
- Clean out around your outside AC unit by removing leaves, dust, overgrown shrubbery and debris.
- Change your interior AC filters now and on a regular basis throughout the warm weather.
- Furnace: This is a good time to clean or replace your furnace filter.
- Check for signs of water leaks around toilets, under sinks and around the dishwasher.
- Check all the caulking in your home around sinks, tubs, showers, and toilets to ensure it is in good condition. Be sure to check that there are no leaks, gaps, seepage or mildew.
- Inspect Grout & Joints in bathroom tiles for any discoloration and crumbling. Grout protects flooring, shower enclosures and countertops from water damage, and it costs much less to replace than any of those items.
- Check your water heater for leaks and corrosion.
- Don’t forget to make sure the sump pump is working properly before spring and summer storms hit.
- Check outside hose faucets and their pipes for freeze damage.
Home Safety Devices
- Change the batteries in all your smoke detectors and test each one to make sure they are working.
- Check your electrical outlets for potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Make sure outlets, fuse boxes and extension cords are not overloaded.
- Inspect your fire extinguishers, including the hose, nozzle, and other parts, to make sure they are in good condition. Also, check that the pressure gauge is in the “green” range.
- Clean out the dryer vent: Dryer lint can build up inside the vent pipe, causing a fire hazard. To clean it, disconnect the vent from the back of the machine and use a dryer vent brush to remove lint. While your back there, clean up all lint, dust, and anything you find behind the dryer. Outside your house, remove the dryer vent cover and use the brush to remove any lint from the other end of the vent line.
- Inspect Laundry Room water-supply hoses each spring for cracks.
- Vacuum behind the refrigerator: One of the easiest ways to improve the efficiency of a refrigerator is by pulling the refrigerator away from the wall and gently vacuuming behind it to make sure it’s getting enough air circulation and the coils are not running too hot.
- Clean your garbage disposal: To remove any food particles left on the blades, simply feed a tray of ice cubes through it while running cold water. To eliminate any bad smells, you can run a mixture of baking soda and vinegar through the disposal.
Windows & Doors
- Check seals around windows and doors: Cold weather can cause seals around windows and doors to crack or loosen, letting air leak in and out of your house. Repairing any problems you find can help increase your home’s energy efficiency and reduce your cooling costs.
- Check & clean screen doors and windows: Before putting your screens in, be sure to carefully check each one and repair any holes or tears, no matter how small, so bugs can’t get in. You can find screen repair kits at most hardware and home improvement stores.
Attics & Basements
- Don’t overlook your attic: Search for signs that indicate insects or animals have made your attic their home. Also, look carefully for mold, which often takes the form of gray or black blotches that look like staining. Proper insulation and good ventilation will deter mold growth in the attic, especially in the heat of the summer.
Roof, Chimney & Gutters
- Inspect your roof: Check for damaged shingles, which can make your roof susceptible to leaks.
- Examine the exterior of Chimney: While you’re looking at your roof, be sure to check out the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage.
- If you have a wood burning fireplace, then have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
- Clean and examine gutters: Clean leaves and other debris from your gutters and downspouts to keep water flowing and reduce the possibility of water damage. Multiple freezes and thaws during the winter can result in sags and dips so be sure to check for those and get them fixed so water doesn’t drip onto exterior wood like fascia boards.
Wood, Brick & Patios
- Inspect brickwork and stucco: Check for chipping, deteriorated mortar, and unsightly deposits.
- Inspect driveways and paths: Freezing and thawing are rough on concrete, asphalt and other hardscaping materials. Take a walk around your property to look for damage to walkways, paths and driveways, and schedule repairs as needed.
- Inspect Wood Decks, Railings, Windowsills and Steps: Check the wood around your home for any rot that took hold during the winter months. If boards become soft or splinter, they create an unsafe situation for you and your family.
- Probe the Wood Trim: Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings, and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood.
- Repair Paint: Keep painted surfaces in good shape by scraping off any chipped and peeling paint and spot painting exposed surfaces. The worst thing you can do is leave wood exposed because that’s when it will begin to rot.
- Check Foundation Vents: A house with a crawl space has vents along the foundation walls. The vents provide air circulation that helps dissipate excess moisture and prevent mold growth. The vents have screens that keep critters from taking up residence under your residence. The screens usually are recessed and become blocked with leaves, twigs, and debris.
- Trim Overgrowth: Spring is a good time to trim branches of shrubs and trees away from your house. Keep branches 5 to 7 feet away from your house so they can’t conduct moisture onto your roofing and siding. You’ll also help discourage squirrels and raccoons from exploring ways to nest in your attic.
If you’ve found any HVAC, plumbing or electrical issues that you can’t fix yourself, just give us a call at 804-358-9333. Also, don’t forget to call us to have one of our experienced HVAC technicians come out to Inspect and Tune-up your Air Conditioning System before the hot weather hits. Visit JamesRiverAir.com for more information.