With snow falling in the Lower Mainland this week, we’re sure many people are dreaming about spring and the warmer weather that comes along with the change of season. Although spring is still over a month away, we like to make sure our clients are well-prepared, so we’ve put together our comprehensive spring preparation checklist for you to get started on.
Spring is usually the time to assess how well your maintenance work held up over the cold winter months and to see what other work needs to be done. It’s also often the first chance homeowners have to review the condition of their roofs – after the ravages of snow and ice throughout the winter.
Obviously, you don’t need to go out and get started on all of these items today. Many of these tasks can’t be performed while we are still experiencing bad weather. That being said, it’s always a good idea to get a head start and prepare as best you can.
So please, while you’re daydreaming about spring weather, check out our list of home maintenance tasks to prepare for the change in season so you can enjoy the warmer weather without worrying about your home!
Spring Preparation Home Maintenance Checklist
- Using binoculars, if you’re not comfortable looking from a ladder, check for cracked, broken or missing shingles. Most roofers will be able to make any needed repairs.
- Pay particular attention to metal and applied flashings — the sheet metal/caulking used to waterproof around chimneys may have shriveled-up and/or peeled away, resulting in problematic damaging leaks. A roofing contractor can help and also check in your attic during a rain event (or immediately after).
- You may also find the mortar and brick or stone at your chimney to be a little worse for the wear after a long winter. This usually calls for selective brick/stone repair or replacement and a little mortar repair known as “re-pointing.” If you know or suspect you need work, consult a qualified stone or brick mason.
- Check gutters and downspouts for loose joints and secure attachment to your home. Clear any debris and ensure water only flows away from your foundation (not inside).
- Check upper ceilings for mould or water stains.
- Examine the foundation walls for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture and repair as required (cracks can easily let water in).
- If you have a crawl space, check to ensure it’s dry and critter-free as well as mould-free.
- Open valves to outside hose connections after all danger of frost has passed and re-connect garden hoses.
- Ensure any sump pump is operating properly before spring rains let all the water drain in toward the foundation and cause damage your insurance company will not appreciate (and may refuse to cover).
- Re-level any exterior steps, patios or decks that have moved as a result of frost-heave or settling.
- Clear all drainage ditches and culverts of debris.
- Check for and seal-off any openings on the exterior that could be an entry-point for small pests, such as rodents, squirrels and/or insects.
- Snow-clearing and ice melt can leave your concrete driveway and pathways looking like a war zone. When it comes to repairing concrete, the good news is that it is easy and fairly inexpensive. If you simply can’t live with the look of the repaired concrete, don’t go pulling out the jackhammer just yet. Consider applying a penetrating pigmented concrete stain for uniformity.
- Undertake spring landscaping maintenance and, if necessary, fertilize young trees.
- Clean windows, screens and hardware. Check screens first and repair or replace, as needed.
- Check caulking around doors and windows for air and water leaks.
- Clean and re-paint the exterior surfaces.
- Now is the time to think about re-painting decks and fences, after repairing.
- Check the movement of overhead garage doors and lubricate moving parts as needed. Tighten all hinge-fasteners for safety.
- Check your water heater – consult the manual – and check the temperature relief valve to ensure it is not stuck closed. CAUTION: this test will release hot water that can cause burns, so keep away from the discharge tube exit.
- Check smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms and replace batteries.
- Shut down and clean/service the furnace filter as well as HRV’s.
- Clean/replace the range-hood filter and clean your bathroom-fan grilles.
- Clean or replace all filters (if applicable). Have appliances serviced every year.
- Irrigation/sprinkler systems can also be re-set in preparation for spring.
- Get your lawn preparation ready and any overdue pruning.
Glenn’s extensive knowledge and experience will help you with all your home inspection needs and put your mind at ease!