Spring is the perfect time to take steps to protect your home from damage, such as water damage, fire damage, and foundation damage. Many of these threats are preventable, but unfortunately, many homeowners overlook their importance until it’s too late. By taking a few proactive steps this spring, you can ensure that you don’t have to invite a restoration expert into your home in the future. Here are 30 things you need to do this spring to ensure you and your family are safe and secure in your home.
1. Inspect the Roof and Check for any Loose Shingles or other Signs of Wear and Tear:
A faulty roof is one of the most common causes of water damage. Inspect the roof regularly for any signs of missing or damaged shingles and any other evidence that the roof may need repair.
2. Clean out your Gutters and Downspouts:
Clogged gutters can cause water to pool around your home, leading to foundation and flooding issues. Make sure to clean out your gutters and downspouts regularly to keep water flowing away from your home.
3. Check Windows and Doors for Drafts:
Drafty windows and doors can cost you money in higher energy bills, but they can also allow water or fire into your home. Check all windows and doors regularly for drafts and take steps to seal any openings.
4. Install a Smoke Detector Near each Sleeping Area:
Smoke detectors are one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from fire damage. Ensure you have a smoke detector installed in each sleeping area that works properly.
5. Test all fire Extinguishers:
Fire extinguishers should be tested regularly to ensure they are up-to-date and can put out fires if necessary.
6. Have an Emergency Exit Plan in Place:
In case of an emergency, such as a fire, it’s important to have an escape plan prepared, so everyone knows what to do and where to go in case of an evacuation.
7. Check for any Signs of Pests:
Pests, such as termites, can cause serious damage to your home if left unchecked. Look for any evidence of pest activity and take steps to address it immediately.
8. Have your HVAC System Serviced:
A well-maintained HVAC system is essential in keeping indoor air quality safe and healthy. Ensure a qualified technician inspects your system regularly to ensure it works at its best.
9. Clean Out Air Vents and Filters:
Dust, debris, and other particles can accumulate in air vents over time, which can reduce airflow in the home or even spread allergens through the house. It’s important to clean out the ducts and filters regularly.
10. Inspect the Foundation for Cracks or Other Signs of Wear and Tear:
Foundation damage can be a costly repair if left unchecked. Check your foundation regularly for signs of cracking, settling, or shifting to prevent further damage.
11. Check for Signs of Water Damage:
Water damage can be caused by many things, such as a faulty roof, clogged gutters, or even a broken pipe. Inspect the walls and floors of your home for any evidence of moisture or staining, and take steps to address any issues immediately.
12. Make Sure all Plumbing is in Good Working Order:
Plumbing problems can lead to water leaks that could cause major damage and expensive repairs. Have a qualified plumber check your pipes regularly for any signs of corrosion or wear and tear.
13. Trim Trees and Shrubs away from the House:
Trees and shrubs that are too close to the home can cause water damage due to excess moisture buildup around the foundation. Keep any trees or shrubs trimmed away from the house and walls.
14. Check for Signs of Mold:
Mold can cause serious health issues if left unchecked, so it’s important to check your home regularly for any evidence of mold growth. Look in the dark, damp places such as basements and attics where moisture may be present.
15. Look for Signs of Pest Infestation:
Termites, rodents, and other pests can cause serious damage to your home if left unchecked. Keep an eye out for any evidence of pest activity and take steps to address it immediately before major damage can occur.
16. Have a Qualified Electrician Inspect the Wiring:
Faulty electrical wiring can create a fire hazard. Have a qualified electrician check the wiring in your home regularly to ensure it is up-to-date and safe.
17. Make sure all Carbon Monoxide Detectors are Working:
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause serious health issues if left unchecked. Install carbon monoxide detectors near any fuel-burning appliances and on each level of your home, and make sure they are working properly.
18. Clean Dryer Vents:
Lint buildup in dryer vents can create a potential fire hazard if not addressed promptly. Clean the vents every few months to reduce the risk of a dryer fire in your home.
19. Check for Signs of Roof Damage:
Damaged or missing shingles can lead to water leaks that could cause serious damage. Have a qualified contractor inspect your roof regularly for any signs of wear and tear, and take steps to repair any issues promptly.
20. Test fire Alarms and Smoke Dtectors:
Fire alarms and smoke detectors save lives, so it’s important to ensure they work properly. Test them regularly and replace the batteries every six months.
21. Clean Gutters:
Clogged gutters can lead to water pooling around your home’s foundation and potentially damaging the structure over time. Clean out your gutters at least twice a year, once in early spring and again in late fall, to keep them functioning correctly.
22. Inspect Windows and Doors:
Check your home’s windows and doors regularly for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracked seals or broken locks. Make sure to repair any issues promptly before they lead to bigger problems.
23. Have a Professional Inspect your Chimney:
Creosote buildup in a chimney can create a potential fire hazard if not addressed promptly. Contact a qualified chimney sweep to have them inspect and clean out the inside of your chimney every year or two, depending on how often you use it.
24. Seal Foundation Cracks:
Cracks in the foundation can cause water leaks that might require expensive repairs if left unchecked. Fill any gaps or cracks with a sealant to prevent any damage from occurring.
25. Look for Signs of Termite Infestations:
Termites can cause serious structural damage if left unchecked, so it’s important to watch for any evidence of their presence in your home. Look for mud tubes and wood that sound hollow when tapped.
26. Have your HVAC System Inspected:
Make sure to have your heating and cooling system checked by a qualified technician at least once every year or two to ensure it runs efficiently and safely.
27. Check Attic Insulation:
Poorly installed or damaged insulation can lead to higher energy bills and water damage due to inadequate protection against snow and rain. Have a professional inspect your attic’s insulation to ensure it is up-to-date.
28. Clean out Window Wells:
Window wells can be an inviting place for pests and other debris, so keeping them clean is important. Remove any debris from the window wells and regularly check for signs of damage or wear and tear.
29. Trim Trees and Bushes:
Overgrown trees and bushes near your home can create potential fire hazards and impede airflow into your windows. Prune any overgrown vegetation regularly to reduce the risk of any problems occurring in the future.
30. Have Plumbing Checked:
Faulty plumbing can cause water leaks, leading to extensive damage if not addressed promptly. Have a qualified plumber inspect your pipes, fixtures, and other plumbing system components annually to ensure everything works properly.
This list of tasks should help you keep your home safe and in good condition this spring without needing a restoration expert. Taking care of basic maintenance can go a long way toward preventing potentially costly repairs or damage. Check off each item on this list at least once yearly to ensure that you don’t have any surprises when it comes time for spring cleaning!