Spring Home Maintenance
April 3, 2009
Spring is not only a time of renewal; it’s also a time of repair and maintenance when it comes to your home. As the snow continues to melt after what was a rather harsh winter in many Canadian provinces, we often find signs of wear and tear on our homes, whether it be damaged gutters, loose siding, or even expansion cracks in your homes drywall.
Inspecting your home on a regular basis and keeping up on maintenance is the best way to both protect your home, and keep up its curb appeal should you decide to sell it.
Establishing a maintenance routine is an easy way to keep your home in great shape with little effort, and can also help prevent potential problems or costly emergencies before they occur.
The following list contains some great tips on maintaining your home after a long winter season:
• Prolong the life of your hot water tank, by flushing it annually. First consult your hot water tank manual, carefully test the temperature and pressure relief valve to ensure it is not stuck. Caution: This test may release hot water that can cause burns. For reference, view the Hot Water Tank maintenance video in TheHouseSmart.com video gallery.
• Consider having a Mixer Valve, such as the Honeywell installed on your hot water tank. A mixer valve will prevent scalding by reducing the water temperature to 120 degrees F at your faucets, and increase both the output and life expectancy of your hot water tank.
• Check and clean or replace furnace air filters on a regular basis during the heating and cooling season. Also inspect your HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) or ERV (Energy Revovery Ventilator) if you have one and clean the filters every 2 months.
• Have fireplace or woodstove and chimney cleaned and serviced annually. Spring is really the best time for this as late summer and early fall can be a busy time to book these services.
• Shut down and clean furnace humidifier, and close the furnace humidifier damper on units with central air conditioning.
• Check your air conditioning and heat pump system and have serviced annually.
• Turn OFF gas furnace and fireplace pilot lights wherever possible. This will extend the life of your thermocouple. Believe it or not something this simple can save you 40 cents per day. Factor that over 6 months and you save yourself $74.00 annually.
• Have your well water tested for quality. It is recommended that you test for bacteria every six months.
• Check smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms and replace batteries annually.
• Clean windows, screens and hardware, and replace storm windows with screens. Check screens first and repair or replace if needed. For exterior window cleaning, and especially second or third story windows, use Shell Busey’s CV-9 window cleaner. There is no need to squeegee or wipe down the windows afterwards, simply spray on, scrub with a long handled brush and rinse off with your garden hose. You can also view the CV-9 video in TheHouseSmart.com Video Gallery.
• Open the valve to your exterior faucet once overnight temperatures are above zero degrees, or upgrade to a frost free outdoor faucet.
• Examine the foundation walls for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture, and repair as required.
• Repair and maintain your fences as necessary. If you have a cedar fence, install post guards inside the posts to prevent rot.
• Ensure your sump pump is operating properly before the spring thaw sets in. Have your homes perimeter drainage inspected annually, and flushed at least every 3 years.
• Re-level any exterior steps or decks which moved due to frost or settling.
• Check your gutters and downspouts for loose joints and secure attachment to your home, clear any obstructions, and ensure water flows away from your foundation. You can also upgrade your gutters to a seamless never-clog system like the LeafGuard
• Clear all drainage ditches and culverts of debris.
• Undertake spring landscape maintenance and, if necessary, fertilize young trees and your lawn.
If you’re not completely comfortable performing these tasks yourself, make sure you hire a qualified professional to do the work for you. Shell Busey’s HouseSmart Home Services Referral Network
has many qualified service and trades people throughout western Canada, available to service any area of your home.
Call Shell Busey's HousSmart Home Services Referral Network
at 604 542 2236
, toll free 1 888 266 8806
, or visit www.TheHouseSmart.com