The 7 indispensable maintenance jobs in and around your home this spring
Spring is the ideal time to give your house a check-up and make any important repairs. This “7 tasks of spring” checklist will get your home ready for the rest of the year.
We’re all well aware of the damage water can cause, so checking the plumbing is an obvious priority.
Start by inspecting the fittings on the dishwasher, washing machine, sinks and toilets.
Don’t forget your water-using appliances such as the water cooler, fridge, freezer or coffee machine.
To avoid water damage, change the fittings at the first signs of wear or cracking.
Certain replacements are imperative:
- Washer fittings every 5 years
- The hot water-tank every 10 years
Also check and clean the fittings of your clothes dryer all the way to the exhaust vent. Your clothes will dry all the faster for it.
Finally, check the state of the safety valve on your water main and change it if it’s showing signs of fatigue.
Preventing sewer backup
To protect against sewer backups and floods in your basement, clean the check valve once a year, clearing it of all debris.
Also examine the gasket and replace it if necessary.
A blocked check valve is a job for a plumber.
Abandoned to its fate during extreme winter temperatures, the roof must be thoroughly inspected every spring to identify any problems likely to cause serious and expensive damage.
Examine the shingles and change any damaged or missing ones or ones that are curling up.
The roof structure must be in perfect condition and show no signs of vulnerability. If you notice any, contact a roof specialist to get the problem quickly seen to.
Take your pruning shears (or a chainsaw) to any branches that rub against the roof.
While you’re up there, remove any mould from the shingles to make them last longer.
If you have a fireplace or wood stove, check the chimney, especially seals between sections.
Don’t forget the attic
Be on the lookout for signs that your roof insulation needs attention:
- Icicles hanging from the roof in winter
- Patches on the roof where there’s no snow
- Variations in temperature inside the house
- Damp patches or mould on the walls
- Flaking, discoloured or cracked paintwork
During your inspection, keep an eye open for and check:
- Dampness and abnormal smells
- Patches, fungi and mould
- The presence of water after a heavy rainfall
- The condition of the mineral wool or polyurethane foam
- The structural framework
If you don’t feel up to inspecting your attic or roof space, call on a professional for help. But don’t put the job off, because 30% of your home’s heat escapes via the roof space.
Cleaning out the gutters is an essential part of the spring cleaning routine. And it’s not just a question of removing dead leaves, but all the other debris that has gathered in there over time.
To make sure the gutters are working properly, take out your watering can and check that the water drains properly and away from the foundations.
Make sure gutters and downspouts are properly secured just like leaf guards, if you have them.
4. Doors and windows
While you’re cleaning your windows and putting up the screens, inspect the state of your windows, especially the seals.
When it comes to doors, check the frame and oil the hinges.
Clean out any window wells where leaves and snow collect during the fall and winter; the water will drain better.
Get cracking on any cracks this spring! The longer they are and the more they extend down to the ground, the more potentially worrying they are.
Why? Because cracks in the foundation spell possible water infiltration.
Once you’ve identified them, fix them.
6. Aeration system
Before it starts running at full capacity during the summer, equipment like air conditioners, heat pumps, air exchangers, ventilation systems in bathrooms and stove hoods must be inspected and cleaned.
Clean built-up dust and dirt from all filters.
In some cases, you may have to call in a professional to clean these systems but it is worth it for the improved air circulation in your home.
7. Exterior siding
What you will need to look at here will depend on the type of exterior siding of your home.
Whether it’s wood, prefabricated wood (Canexel), vinyl or fiber cement, make sure your siding is not separating, split, broken or discoloured.
Brick or stone siding and the joints must show no signs of crumbling.
Whatever the material, make sure that there are no openings large enough for a rodent to be able to pay you a visit next winter. Seal the gaps if you find any.
It is important to carry out any repairs because damage to the siding can invite water in.