Ok, so here in Toronto, it really doesn’t feel like spring. I actually shovelled snow from my drive way on Monday. Not cool. But even though it doesn’t feel like spring, it’s important that we remember to schedule our spring home maintenance tasks. To make your life a bit easier, here’s 10 things you can do to keep your home humming this spring (when the the weather permits, of course!).
1. Examine roof shingles.
See if any were lost or damaged during winter. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced.
2. Clean and check gutters.
Check for loose or leaky gutters. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris. This is number one on our home maintenance list. Fair warning, it’s a NASTY job (luckily, I’m never the one that does it).
3. Examine the chimney.
Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by someone who is certified.
4. Move firewood.
Firewood brings bugs, mold, spiders, and dirt and in some extreme cases can present fire hazards. Don’t store firewood near your home, it should be at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet away.
5. Check exterior faucets.
Check for freeze damage, to do this turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, the pipe inside your home is likely damaged and will need to be replaced. This happened to us last year, tough lesson learned. But this year we made sure to prevent this by turning the valve off in the winter and removing the hose.
6. Inspect concrete.
Look for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home’s foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete.
7. Check air conditioning system.
Change or wash the filters, which should be done monthly. Clean the coils and wash the condenser outside, if needed. Trim away any shrubs from the unit, and make sure its drain line isn’t clogged. While you’re at it, change your furnace filter so it’s ready for fall.
8. Fertilize lawn.
Clearly you won’t be doing this anytime soon, but as soon as the weather cooperates, use a basic push fertilizer spreader, and fertilize your lawn. Your summer BBQ will thank you.
9. Clean your refrigerator coils and dryer vent.
If you have a coils under your fridge, or on the back, it’s a good idea to clean them periodically. To do this, you can use a long skinny attachment on your vacuum, and if you have one, use a refrigerator coil cleaning brush. The brush is really the only good way to get back between the coils. I recommend googling a video on how to do this.
Just do it. You’ll feel liberated. Don’t just focus on the main floor, do your whole house, including that nook in the basement you never step foot in (check out my basement declutter above, everything has its home!) and if you’ve got a garage or shed, get in there too.
So there you have it, a simple spring checklist! You’re house will be happy you gave it some TLC. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to go have heart to heart with mother nature about this snow business.