Spring is known as new beginnings. Trees and flowers begin to bloom as the earth warms and comes to life. Spring is a great time to get your home in order, hence the term “spring cleaning.” Here is a list of six things experts say you need to do when it comes to your spring maintenance.
1. Check for leaks and water damage
Springtime brings the rain. Everyone has heard of spring showers and this is a perfect time to check-in and around your home for water damage or leaks. In order to do this, walk around your house and check the rubber seals, and the 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.”
Also, check the window seals to see if there is any damage or leaks. A good indicator that they need to be replaced would be finding dampness or cracking around the edges of windows or on window ledges.
If a leak is found, it is best to call in the pros. If your windows are still under warranty all costs should be free. If not, a professional could inspect and fix any seal problems.
2. Spruce up the yard
The outside of your house is coming alive again and it’s time to tend to your outdoor space. All the dead leaves and dried-up bushes need to be discarded. Another important area would be trees or shrubs that are too close to the house or power lines. These can cause risks that include bug infestations and fire hazards. If you live in an area that has hurricanes or tornadoes heavy winds can also bring down trees. If the trees are too close to the house, this can cause major damage.
If the trees around your home are big and/or tall, it’s best to leave the pruning up to a professional. “They can identify both hidden and visible health issues and weaknesses that could make a tree more vulnerable to the strong winds or excessive rains of spring and summer storms,” says Jason Metzger, senior vice president and head of risk management at PURE Insurance.
3. Deep-clean your carpeting
Carpets get the brunt of the dirt in our homes, especially during the stay-at-home orders. This winter Americans stayed in their home more often which took a bigger 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,” says Craig Gjelsten, vice president of operations at Rainbow International Restoration.
This job is usually best left to the pros. You can rent a carpet cleaning machine but by the time you purchase cleaning solution and rent a carpet cleaner you have taken the time and money, it would take to hire a professional.
4. Check on your sump pump
Spring showers can bring a lot of rain in a short amount of time which means flooding. If you have a sump pump and it overworks due to heavy rains it can fail. The spring is a good time to check your sump pump to make sure it is clean and free of debris.
“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.
If your sump pump does stop, you will want to call a plumber. HomeAdvisor says that repair costs will usually run between $300 – $700 dollars.
5. Flush your water heater
When a hot water heater acts up or breaks it can interrupt your whole living process in your home. Gradually gunk can build up in the hot water heater and will harm it if it is not flushed out periodically. Over time, gunk builds up in the water heater, and you need to flush it out periodically to keep it running smoothly.
“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.”
This can be a DIY project with an online tutorial, a bucket and a shop vacuum. If you do not have the time or ability then call a professional. Plumbers charge around $100 to flush a hot water heater.
6. Replace fire extinguishers
Each spring set a reminder to check your fire extinguisher. Each one has a tag that shows the last time the extinguisher was maintained and inspected. Also, make sure the gauge is on green.
“It is recommended that fire extinguishers are replaced every 10 to 15 years, as they tend to lose their charge,” Gjelsten says.