The days are growing longer and warmer. Spring is here! It’s the season for cleaning, home improvement projects, and cleaning and repairs. While you were still getting used to losing that extra hour of sleep, we were busy putting together maintenance tips for your home.
Remember, you can always check out our annual maintenance checklist for a quick guide to once a year projects. For more detailed instructions, keep it right here. Don’t delay! Take a look at this list and note what things you need to do this spring season.
1. Check on your Trees
Ensuring your trees are healthy and well rooted can prevent a lot of future hassles and insurance claims. Believe us, having a tree fall on the house is not a fun experience. Here are a few steps you can take to making sure that your trees are healthy and ready for another season of shade.
01 Junk on the trunk
Taking a look at your tree’s base is often a good indication of health. There are a couple things to watch out for. First, pay attention to decay or rot. A rotting tree trunk is usually a good sign that the tree has seen better days. Next, consider the amount of mushrooms or conks on the tree. Usually there isn’t a problem, but when combined with other issues, it’s a tell-tale sign of a dead tree.
02 Brown Collar
A tree’s collar is where the trunk and roots meet the soil surface. Pull back the grass and take a good look at the collar. Notice any bark that might be missing or falling off, as this could be a bad sign. Finally, consider large cracks that could allude to structural weakness.
03 It’s a bird, it’s a plane, its a tree branch!
Sometimes, all it takes is looking up. Is your tree overly barren when it should be sprouting? Are there tree limbs falling into your yard? Those are usually bad signs.
If you’re noticing any or a combination of these things, call your local arborist and have them run an inspection on the trees in your yard. They’ll let you know if the trees need to be removed or if you’re safe.
2. Cleaning your Gutters
Clogged gutters can lead to ruined flower beds, saturated foundations and water damage to your siding or even interior. All of this can be prevented by making sure that your gutters are clean and well maintained. Realistically, you should clean your gutters twice a year and after every big storm.
We recommend wearing long sleeves and gloves. Often times when you’re dealing with metal, sharp edges can get the better of your skin. Above all else, protect yourself. Here are a few things that you might need to pick up to get the job done:
- Gutter Scoops
- High Pressure hose
- Extendable Ladder
- Tarp or plastic bag (optional)
02 Doing the Deed
If you’re trying to spare your lawn, be sure to have your plastic bag or tarp ready to capture the gunk you’re about to pull out. Stabilize your ladder, and put on your gloves. Once you’re up on the ladder, make sure you’re at a comfortable height, but can still see and reach the gutters. Using your gutter scoop, scrape out any debris and throw it down to the ground, or into your trash bag. Make sure you get dirt, sticks, leaves, and debris out of the gutter to allow water to flow along, down, and away from your home.
03 Clean Up
Once your gutters are cleaned out, take your hose and flush out any remaining dirt. Keep careful watch on the flow of the water, making sure that you can trace the water down and away from your home.
Remember to stay safe. If climbing ladders isn’t your thing, call a local contractor to do the job for you. Chances are, they can offer any repairs or improvements that you may not have an eye for.
3. Check for Pests
Once the days begin to warm up, be on the lookout for bees, ants, and other pests. Squirrels can be dangerous if they’re getting into your house. Raccoons can become aggressive and can lead to disease because of their fondness for trash. Bird droppings can cause serious damage to roofs and automobiles. So before any of these issues become a problem, nip it in the bud and contact your local pest control professional.
An especially dangerous pest for the spring time are termites. Termites are incredibly difficult to spot if you have other little issues in your home. If you aren’t sure, be sure to hire a pest control professional to inspect the home. Look for these 3 warnings signs if you think you have termites.
01 Discarded Wings
Termites have wings that they use to fly around from one colony to another. Once they’ve landed and establish a new colony, they shed their wings. What’s more, they will shed their wings in a single file line as the new termites enter their colony. You’re looking for a row or a line of small wings.
02 Mud Tubes
Termites need to live in very humid environment. The further North they get, the more likely they are to build mud tubes near foundations. This gives the termites a highway that’s humid enough to maneuver around your home. Mud tubes are pencil sized shafts (almost like small roots) that run up and down your foundation. A good way to identify if you have termites is to break the middle of one of those tubes. If termites pour out, that’s probably a bad sign. If they don’t, check back in a week or so to see if that tube has been rebuilt.
03 Wood Damage
Termites feed on wood and in the process, it weakens the structure of the wood; this is dangerous in homes for obvious reasons. It can be hard to spot because it’s often behind your wall. Look for small holes in your drywall, or wood damage outside, under, or above your home. If you think you might have termites, its best to take care of it as soon as possible. Termites cause billions of structural damage each year. Don’t be another victim.
Don’t consider this an exhaustive list, but we’ve compiled a few other things to check around your house when Spring rolls around. Be sure to inspect and replace if needed your…
- Smoke Alarm
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Windows and Doors
- Garage Doors
- Dryer Vent
Additionally, it might be beneficial for you to contact a local professional and get them to inspect a few other big items around the house:
Your heating and air conditioning unit needs regular maintenance. Be sure to replace your air filters regularly and get a professional to perform a system diagnostic at the turn of the season.
With the wet season comes mold and mildew, especially around basements, attics, and other areas where water collects. Remember that mold and mildew can be the source of really nasty illnesses. Be on the lookout for this around the house.
Snow, sleet and heavy rains can cause a number on your roof. Remember that most roof jobs come with substantial warranties. Don’t be afraid to keep an eye on the roof and call your roofer if you think something could be wrong.