Homes are an investment and maintaining them is a must. As many homeowners know, however, it isn’t always easy to know what needs to be done. Spring has officially sprung, making it the perfect time to inspect for winter damage and prepare for the warmer months to come. Share this checklist with your insureds to keep spring cleaning simple.
- The Gutters: Inspect gutters and downspouts for damage and debris. Clogged gutters can cause a roof to leak or water to infiltrate your house. Ensure that gutters work properly and divert water away from your home’s foundation.
- Decks: Chances are your deck has a layer of winter grime across it. Sweep off major debris and check for signs of cracked or rotting wood and loose nails. Repair or replace damaged wood and pull-out debris from between the boards. Finally, give it a nice thorough clean and maybe even a new coat of sealant or paint.
- Lawn Maintenance Equipment: With winter snowstorms behind you, it is time to swap out your snowblower for your lawnmower. Before stowing away the snowblower, be sure to drain the fuel and clean the motor and parts. Next, pull out the lawnmower and send it out for a tune-up if necessary. By the time the grass gets too long, you will be all set.
- Trees and Shrubs: After a winter and snowy winter, it is likely that your trees, shrubs, and other plants will need a bit of a haircut. Trim your trees and shrubs to prevent damage to your home and ensure a summer of healthy growth.
- Sprinkler Heads: Snowplows and cold weather have been known to damage outdoor sprinkler heads. Before you start planting new grass, look for damage, such as leaking valves, and verify the watering schedule on the control panel.
- HVAC Systems: For homes with central heat and air, start scheduling your biannual checkup and servicing. A technician will need to check for damage, change HVAC air filters, and clean out your vents and ducts. If your home has steam heat, drain your boiler to clear out any sediment that might have accumulated.
- Window Screens: Mosquito season will soon be upon us, and who likes bug bites? Inspect window screens for damage and repair or replace when necessary to keep unwanted pests outside of your home.
- Sump Pump: You know what they say, April showers bring May flowers. The spring is known for its rainstorms, so make sure your sump pump is draining properly to avoid flooding your house.
- Leaks: As the snow thaws and rainstorms arrive, check for leaks in the basement and crawl space. Moisture in any part of the home can turn into costly repairs so it is best to spot the problem early and act fast.
- Plumbing: While you might have avoided a catastrophic pipe burst, there might be tiny cracks that went unnoticed. Check under sinks to make sure there are no signs of leaks and check the house for signs of water damage. Make sure your toilet’s flapper hasn’t worn out and your faucets aren’t dripping too. Don’t risk making the situation worse; call a plumber for help.
Routine home maintenance can lower the risk of any unwanted surprises popping up. Stay on top of things to keep your home running like a well-oiled machine.