Ah, the telltale signs of spring: trees in bloom, slightly warmer weather, allergies flaring—and a long list of chores to tackle around the house.
Before you pause to savor the sunnier days, it’s important to make sure your home is ready for the season. Here’s what experts say you need to include on your spring home maintenance checklist.
Check For Leaks And Water Damage
Between winter storms and spring showers, this is a key time to check for water damage around your home and prevent small leaks from growing into major headaches.
Walk around the house, and check the rubber seals or metal flashings around vents, flues, and chimneys. “When these seals begin to crack or rust, water will start to seep into the home,” says Craig Gjelsten, vice president of operations at Rainbow International Restoration. “If this issue isn’t resolved right away, you may experience mold and water damage throughout the home.”
You should also check window seals to see if any need to be replaced. “Dampness around the edges of windows or on window ledges and cracking are signs that window seals may be deteriorating,” says Jason Metzger, senior vice president and head of risk management at PURE Insurance.
Spruce Up The Yard
Now is the time to tend to your outdoor space, including any trees or foliage that are looming a little too close to the house or power lines. These trees can pose risks, including “infestation of bugs [and] foundation issues from the tree roots getting too close to the house and becoming a fire hazard,” Gjelsten says.
Plus, if you live in an area prone to hurricanes or tornadoes, heavy winds could bring a tree down, which is dangerous if it gets close to the house.
Pick a pleasant day, head outside, and get to work. “Clean up the yard, and get rid of any dried-up bushes or dead plants, as those could be a fire hazard down the road,” Gjelsten says.
Deep-Clean Your Carpeting
Between the coronavirus pandemic and harsh winter storms across the country, most of us have been staying inside more than ever––and all that time indoors is taking a toll on the carpet.
“Deep-cleaning your carpets is a home maintenance task that might be more popular this year than others, with homes doubling as classrooms, offices, and rec rooms for an entire year now,” Gjelsten says.
For a big job, Gjelsten suggests hiring professionals rather than renting a carpet cleaning machine from the hardware store. “By the time you purchase the cleaning solutions, this entire process would have cost you more money and time than what you originally thought.”
Plus, portable machines aren’t as powerful as professional equipment. The cost to hire carpet cleaners depends on the size of the space and starts around $100, Gjelsten says.
Check On Your Sump Pump
April showers bring May flowers—and flooding, if your sump pump fails. “It’s easy for sump pumps to fail during severe storms, so it’s crucial to test yours quarterly to check for any concerns or backup,” Metzger says.
Keep your sump pump clean and free of debris to keep it working properly. “You may want to consider connecting it to a backup power source or installing an alarm to prevent emergencies,” Metzger adds.
Flush Your Water Heater
Don’t take your long, hot showers for granted. “If you have not been flushing your water heater yearly, now is a great time to start,” says Mike Mushinski, president of bluefrog Plumbing + Drain. “The liner in your tank expands and contracts, especially during the winter, if it is in an area that is not insulated. This expansion and contraction can cause sediment to break free.” Over time, gunk builds up in the water heater, and you need to flush it out periodically to keep it running smoothly.