Spring cleaning is far more than an opportunity to get those windows sparkling again; it's a chance to give your home a check-up and make sure that every part of it is well-kept and running smoothly. After all, a small issue can lead to future structural damage.
Over the winter, many home safety features can become compromised, ice and snow can damage gutters and roofs, and foundation cracking can begin. Taking a few hours to go over every foot of your property and fix any maintenance issues will mean a safer, more efficient home, which can help you cut down on home insurance claims. Take a look at these spring cleaning tips from HomeAdvisor to get your home in top shape.
Roof and Gutters
Over time, your roof and gutters can become damaged by the weather, rodents or aging. Use the early days of spring to investigate the roof fully, walking around the roof or using a ladder to scan for any obvious maintenance needs. Be sure to look at the gutters while you're up there and remove any plants or debris that may have gotten trapped.
Then, inspect the roof from the attic, which allows you to see holes in the roof more easily and can display signs of critters that have moved in or caused damage. If there are no obvious maintenance needs in the roof, bring a hose up and spray everything down, watching for leaks in both the roof and the gutters. Fix any holes that you find or call a contractor for help.
Doors and Windows
Take a look at the doors and windows both inside and outside your home, paying attention to the caulking surrounding them. Over time, and especially in dry areas, caulk can become dry or start to crumble. Fill any holes or leaks with new caulk for energy efficiency and weather safety.
While you're investigating the caulk situation, check the screens on doors and windows as well. Any holes can let in bugs, and large holes can provide access rodents or birds, so be sure to patch them well. Tighten any loose screws, handles, or fixtures while you're at it.
As far as doors are concerned, don't forget to inspect your garage door. Check the motor to ensure all screws are tightened, and clean around the sensors so that they are able to communicate properly. Now's a good time to look around and make sure there aren't any critters hiding in the garage, either.
Once the winter snow clears, you may be able to see new or bigger cracks in walls around your foundation or in your basement. These are an indicator that your foundation is moving, according to HouseLogic, and should be investigated as soon as possible. Step outside and check out your deck if you have one. Any changes in a deck or sloping may indicate a shift. You don't have to hold a level to the deck or floorboards to look for changes; a visual inspection on each level of your home should be enough to monitor for changes or issues.
Your cellar is one of the first places you can often see these cracks, both in the walls and in the flooring. Take a look around the entire lower level of your home for any signs of damage. While you're down there, check for mold or mildew, and clean it promptly to avoid anyone in the home getting sick. Look around to find the source of water causing mold or mildew so you can prevent it from building up in the future.
Cleaning isn't just so you can have a sparkling home again; proper cleaning of your large home appliances can keep them running well and help you avoid bigger issues, like fire or flood. Examine your air conditioner unit, boiler or hot water heater, heat pump, and furnace for loose parts and dust that can pile up and present a fire risk. Clean out anything that doesn't belong and tighten screws and loose parts to help maintain the appliance's life.
Taking precautions early to keep up on your home maintenance will save you time, money, and stress all year long.