Depending on your feelings about the seasons, spring can be anything from the best or worst time of the year. Some people like the coming of flowers, birds, and other beautiful sights. Others are saddened that they must wait to engage in many of their favourite winter activities. Many people are happy the inconvenience of all the snow is gone, and the cold winter weather has been replaced with warmer temperatures. Regardless of your feelings, part of the seasonal change involves getting some work done.
Regardless of how you feel about switching from the winter months to springtime, we want to help make the transition to warm weather easier for you. Our Morison Insurance team has created a spring home maintenance checklist with tips on preparing your home for spring.
Prepping for spring brings feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction. You're not rushing to get your outdoor furniture out or track down an air conditioning expert when it's already warmer weather. Following our spring home maintenance checklist, you'll be ready for the season.
Keeping your home in good shape with regular maintenance protects one of your largest financial investments— your home. A well-maintained home provides you with a nice place to live and, if you choose to sell in the future, may fetch a higher price if you sell in the future.
A well-maintained home is also a great way to manage the cost of home insurance. For example, an insurance broker can get competitive quotes with preferred rates if your roof is maintained, your furnace is less than 20 years old, and your plumbing and electrical services are current.
If you follow our spring home maintenance checklist, you should be able to build and maintain the value of your home, while also making your day-to-day life more comfortable.
You might not think cleaning up indoors would be much of a priority when spring has sprung. After all, the snow from winter storms was (hopefully) all kept outdoors. However, a home takes a lot of maintenance, and no matter how much work you put into insulating your home, you'll never fully be able to protect it from the elements, general wear and tear involved with having people living there, as well as the inevitable march of time. As a result, many items on your spring home maintenance checklist will be indoor work.
While it may seem silly to clean out your fireplace in the spring. After all, you might not be using it for months. However, leaving your fireplace to rot over several months can lead to several negative impacts when you start to use it again next year, so it's essential to have this as an item on your spring home maintenance checklist. A dirty fireplace not only looks messy, but it can lead to an overabundance of smoke, the creation of carbon monoxide, or cause a fire. While the steps in cleaning a wood-burning, electric and gas fireplace are all different, you should consult the manual on how your fireplace is best cleaned. It is always best to remember you should wait until the fire has been out for at least an hour before you begin to clean it.
Another item on your spring home maintenance checklist is checking your basement for signs of leaks, cracks, or moisture, as these are all signs of underlying issues you should address sooner rather than later.
Moisture can weaken your walls, and cracks can often signify pests. Whether it be a rodent or two that dodged your traps or a swarm of insects that were able to get inside and get at your stuff, you now have some unwanted guests helping themselves to the snack in your cupboard when you're asleep. Checking for signs of leakage and other damage and filling in any holes should be your priorities. If you find any holes that you think pests might have used to get in, calling pest control might be your best bet.
There's a lot to your HVAC systems, meaning this entry on your spring home maintenance will likely require a lot of steps.
Unless you had an unusually warm winter, your air conditioner almost certainly hasn't been used in the past few months, so it's best you test it. You might not need it right away, but you don't want to wait until it's 30 degrees out before you notice that something's wrong with it, especially if you don't feel comfortable fixing it yourself and feel you should call a professional.
Spring is also a great time to change your dirty air filters. This should be done every few months, and the beginning of spring is a great time to do so. Cleaning out the filters can make the system run 5% more efficiently, which can also help you save on your hydro bill this coming summer. You'll also want to dust off things like a ceiling fan and any other secondary device that assists in keeping your home cool.
Even though you've cleaned out your fireplace, there are other ways these dangerous substances can enter your home. Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms should be tested, and their batteries should be replaced if they are not working. This is often a simple step on your spring home maintenance checklist, but since it could be a life and death issue, you must pay attention to it.
While going the extra mile in dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping might seem routine enough to most people, it's still an important part of your spring home maintenance checklist. Take the time to look in places you don't usually look. Get into every nook and cranny and remove all the little pieces of debris. These things add up fast, and if you're not careful, it will seem as if the dust bunnies have started breeding. Don't let spring cleaning fall by the wayside as you engage in the nitty gritty.
While you probably love all your possessions right when you get them, there might be some things you have that you don't love anymore. Maybe you have an instrument or other hobby device that you haven't touched in years. There may be some toys your kids have gotten too old for. There's probably a handful of things in the garage that you don't need to have lying around anymore, waiting to get stepped on. Going through your spring maintenance checklist is a perfect time to sell it in a garage sale, give it to friends and family, or donate it to someone who can use it.
Let's face it: they don't make them like they used to. Stuff these days is meant to have a limited shelf life, so you must replace it. As a result, you'll have to switch out your old, burnt-out lightbulbs for fresher, newer ones. Going through your spring home maintenance checklist gives you an excuse to go out and buy a whole bunch, replacing your old ones all at once. It's also recommended that you buy a few extra bulbs, just in case some burn out throughout the year.
Take a walk around your property in early spring. Look around, consider and assess the condition of your home's exterior. Are your roof shingles curling? Is the backyard fence sagging or needing a new stain or paint? Below are some exterior spring home maintenance checklist items to consider.
These are some of the least obvious things on your spring home maintenance checklist since they're not at eye level. However, taking care of these yearly would be best so the damage doesn't build up over time.
This is especially true after winter, as there is a good chance that your roof has been holding up snow and ice for a large amount of time or has taken lots of heavy wind. A single shingle being out of place can cause leaks in your home the next time it rains, and unless you're a roofing expert, it's almost impossible to tell which missing shingles are most critical.
Your chimney might have had a similar strain on it if you were using your fireplace a lot during winter, and it has plenty of the same dangers mentioned earlier when discussing dirty fireplaces. Roofs and chimneys have specialized professionals who can handle them, meaning that if you spot a problem, there's no reason to feel pressured to fix it yourself if you don't know how.
A screen door can be a great addition to a home. It can let in plenty of fresh air and provide a great view while keeping out bugs. However, it can't do that last part if there are rips, holes and tears, so fixing any tears is an important item on your spring home maintenance checklist. These tears can be barely noticeable; even a small one can let in many insects. There are plenty of simple ways to fix a screen door that's been damaged, meaning that this fix could very well be a simple one.
With many large components of your HVAC system, such as your furnace, vents and thermostat indoors, it's understandable to overlook that the machine that controls your air conditioning system is outdoors. This can leave it exposed to the elements, which is especially bad at the end of fall or during winter.
Something can still get through even if you take steps to cover up or otherwise protect the unit. Falling leaves, snow, dirt, dust, mud, ice, stones, insects and many other things can get all over the unit, clogging it up. A clogged-up air conditioner will run less efficiently, increasing your power bill, and might even stop running entirely. Getting it fixed later or wholly replaced is much more expensive and time-consuming than getting to work and conducting a simple cleaning every year. Cleaning it as part of your spring home maintenance checklist will lower your hydro bill this summer and could also save you the possible hassle of calling a pro to repair it and prevent you from having to deal with braving part of summer without air conditioning.
Plenty of things you own and keep outdoors might be wooden. This includes your deck, fence, chairs, tables, etc. These things can be beautiful, but they can each be prone to damage if not properly maintained. While you can perform simple repairs on your own and are encouraged to do so if you can, what's even better is to prevent this from happening in the first place. You can, however, drastically reduce the chances of this and the amount of potential damage that can be done by protecting this wood.
Sealing the wood can act as a layer of defence to help protect it from water damage, stains, and general wear and tear. Sometimes, using a simple sealant designed to do this will be adequate since all you want to do is provide some protection. Other times, you'll want to paint over it, which provides you with all the same benefits and can provide a new aesthetic to your yard, which can be nice if you want to change things up slightly.
This item on your spring home maintenance checklist can be fun if you let it. If you choose to paint, you can choose the colour(s) you want, allowing you to make a small change to make your home feel truly yours.
If anything was left in your gutters before the winter, it's going to be left there afterwards. Leaves, twigs, stones and other general debris left there before winter will remain in the spring. It's also possible that other stuff has transformed in a sense. Dirt, for example, may have turned to mud after being exposed to snow and ice for so long. A clogged gutter can lead to pests, flooding, roof damage, and water damage. Doing a little work now will save you from having to make costly repairs later, making this an important item on your spring home maintenance checklist. A home with clogged gutters could be more appealing aesthetically compared to one with clean gutters.
Yet another part of your home that can get damaged by winter weather is your driveway. A damaged driveway can have potholes, cracks, and other damage. These have the noticeable impact of damaging your vehicle's tires, as well as damaging its suspension. Cracks and potholes look bad and can lead to weeds, which furthers the lack of appeal. If things aren't that bad, you can check this off your spring home maintenance checklist after you clean debris off your driveway. However, if your driveway is getting out of hand, and you don't know how to properly fix something, you can always schedule repairs from pros.
This item on your spring home maintenance checklist is essential for those who place a high value on gardening or value their lawn. However, even if this isn't you, it would be wise not to overlook this step. Run your faucets to ensure they work, and check your garden hoses for cracks. If you plan on using your sprinkler to water the lawn, make sure that each of your sprinkler heads is in working order. It's best to replace them now instead of when, a couple of months down the line, you would need an immediate fix.
Although there are plenty of items on your spring home maintenance checklist, it's important to remember that there’s now a lot of work that you no longer have to do. You don’t need to shovel snow after any precipitation, brush off your car before every drive, or add salt and sand to your driveway yet again. This added time give you an opportunity to get your home ready for warmer weather.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information in this article, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.