Are you ready for the arrival of spring? Perhaps you’re already thinking about what to plant in your garden and when to organize the kitchen just in time to try a few spring recipes. Another thing on your to-do list should be to prepare your home for spring. Consider a few suggestions.
Frost Melt Down, or Wet Basement Walls
This can happen in winter when moisture inside the concrete walls releases in to the warmer environment of the basement, causing water to run down the walls onto the basement floor. Frost meltdown is a part of regular homeowner maintenance because it’s a natural event not caused by a defect in materials or labor. If frost meltdown occurs, remove the polyethylene sheeting and insulation from the foundation walls until they’re dry. Keep personal belongings away from the walls, and if possible, install a dehumidifier.
Basement Walls and the Foundation
These items of your home are subject to a variety of stresses. The soil upon which the foundation is placed may settle slightly causing surface cracks to appear in the concrete walls. These cracks do not affect the strength of the wall and needn’t be repaired. If a crack develops it should not leak or exceed 1/8″ in width.
Clear the Drain Spouts
With the spring season comes a lot of rainfall. So, one task on your maintenance to-do list should be to ensure the downspouts around the outside of your home are clear of leaves, mud, and other debris so rainwater can flow away from your home’s foundation.
Remove Your Storm Windows
If you put up storm windows to keep the winter winds from entering your home, it’s time to take them down with the arrival of spring. Put your single or double paned windows back into place for the warm weather months. As you do this task, take the opportunity to clean the window sills with a clean cloth, mild soap and water. You may want to put up lighter window coverings as well!
Change the HVAC Filter
This should be near the top of your list of spring maintenance tasks. During the winter, your HVAC filter takes in pet hair, dust particles, and other airborne debris swirling around inside your home. Starting off a new season means putting a new filter into your HVAC system so you can filter the air while cooling it. Changing the filter on a regular basis can actually help lower your energy bills!
Reconnect the Garden Hose
Taking the garden hose off the outdoor spigot is a task you should always do before winter arrives. Keeping your hose attached to the outdoor spigot through the cold weather months can result in frozen pipes inside your home. However, when the warm weather months arrive, it’s safe to reattach the hose so you can start to use it for yard work.
Look for Plumbing Leaks
Spring is the time to check for leaks in the pipes beneath your bathroom and kitchen sinks. Also, examine the area around the faucet for dripping or leaks. If there is water leaking in any of these areas, it’s a good idea to call a plumber before anything is damaged underneath the sink.
When looking for leaks, don’t forget your water heater. Look for any signs of leaking around the tank, pipes and hoses. It’s best to find a small leak in a water heater before it turns into a big one.
Clean Out the Cobwebs
During the winter months, spiders seek places to live inside a home to avoid the cold. So, one of your springtime tasks should be to sweep the cobwebs out of the corners of windows, away from pipes located in dark corners and out of the corners of rooms. Look for less visible areas in your home.
Examine the Backwater Valve
The backwater valve prevents sewer water from flowing into your home. So, you want to make sure the backwater valve is clean and properly sealed, so it can serve its purpose. Use rubber gloves or work gloves when cleaning this valve.
Check the Dryer Vent
A clothes dryer has a vent that allows gases to move out of your home. Take some time to check the outdoor vent to make sure its free of debris and dryer lint. Turn on your dryer to determine whether there is a strong flow of air escaping through the vent.
It’s important to allow these gases to escape the interior of your home. So, if you see that the vent is not allowing gas to escape, call a professional to clean out your dryer vent.
Check Out Your Sump Pump
Make sure your sump pump is working properly before the arrival of the spring rains. First, open the lid of your sump pump. Next, fill a bucket with water and pour about a third of the water into the sump pump pit. Your sump pump should click on, drain the water and turn off.
In addition to testing the sump pump, look to see if its plugs and wires are intact. Also, check the outside drain and clear away any debris blocking its proper operation.
Preparing your home for springtime doesn’t have to be done in one day. Take some time to complete a few tasks per week so you won’t feel rushed to complete the entire list before March 20th.