After a long and cold winter for most, it’s finally time to welcome spring. Longer days and warmer weather make it the perfect time to take on home maintenance and improvement projects. Cold weather can be brutal not just for people, but also for houses.
Winter’s departure is the time to look for any damage it might have caused to your property, make needed repairs, and prepare for the warmer weather ahead. Even if you live somewhere that experiences mild winters, it’s good to get into the habit of inspecting your home to make sure that everything is in working order.
And, if you’re the type of person who likes DIY projects, it’s important to always make safety your top priority.
Not sure where to start? Check out these recommended home maintenance tasks:
- Schedule routine heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) maintenance and change HVAC filters, as needed.
- Perform routine checks of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Inspect air ducts for mold, allergen, or debris buildup.
- Check window caulking and fix any tears, gaps, or cracks.
- Clean, inspect, and repair damaged window screens.
- Inspect the attic, basement, and crawl spaces for moisture, since leaks in these spaces can turn into expensive repairs.
- Look for cracks in washing machine water hoses and for lint buildup in the dryer vent.
- Find and fix any leaky faucets, sweaty pipes, and clogged drains.
- Pressure wash your house to get rid of any residue. Residue runs the risk of becoming mold.
- Check your outdoor water system to make sure that faucets, pipes, and sprinkler systems are in working order.
- Inspect exterior woodwork and repair any damage. Be sure to reseal it if the finish is faded or worn out.
- Make sure your home’s trim and siding aren’t damaged from wet and icy weather. Replace any rotten siding, trim, and mortar.
- If your house has a chimney, inspect it for damage or vegetation growth, which can be signs of water infiltration.
- Clean gutters and downspouts by getting rid of and leaves or waste that accumulated during the winter.
- Also clean your roof wherever you see any built-up debris.
- Check your roof shingles to make sure they aren’t clawing or curling. Work with a professional to fix any damage as needed.
If you’re taking on any of these projects, you’ll likely need to use a ladder at some point. Though using a ladder might seem like a no-brainer, the sad reality is that every year in the United States, there are more than 164,00 ladder-related ER visits and 300 deaths .
Avoid disaster by following these ladder safety tips:
- Choose the right ladder for the type of job you want to do. Make sure the ladder extends three feet above the point you’ll be offloading.
- Before you set up the ladder, make sure the rungs are secured and free of slippery materials. Follow any manufacturer’s instructions for specific safety usage tips.
- When using an extension ladder, place the ladder in the right location before you start to climb. Make sure the tops of both rails make firm contact with the wall and that both legs are placed firmly on the ground. Never place a ladder on top of other objects. Set the base of the ladder one foot from the wall for every three feet of ladder height.
- Always keep three limbs in contact with the ladder, whether that’s two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot.
- Always have a spotter standing by who can help you hold the ladder, so it doesn’t shift and endanger you. However, there should never be two people on the same ladder at the same time.
- Never move a ladder if a person or equipment is on the ladder.
- Never stand on the top cap of the ladder because this can cause you to fall backward.
- Always look for and avoid electrical hazards. Look around for overhead power lines or exposed electrical equipment.
Taking on some basic home maintenance projects plays an important role in preserving your home and avoiding costly repairs. The preventive measures not only save you money but help keep you comfortable and safe.
The spring is also a good time to reach out to your broker and review any policies you have in place to help protect your home from natural weather events that happen outside of winter, like floods or hurricanes.
Learn more about how our Private Client team can help protect you now and in the future.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and was generated from information provided to BKS from the client and/or third-party sources. Therefore, BKS makes no warranty or representation(s) as to the accuracy or appropriateness of the data and/or the analysis herein. This information is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your tax, legal and accounting advisors for those services.