“Spring cleaning” – a phrase we’re all aware of, but may not super excited about. And look, we get it; it can be overwhelming to think of all the things you need to do around the house when you have other commitments in life. But that’s where we come in. Whether you’re thinking of selling or just want to get your house ready for warmer weather, we have your spring house maintenance checklist locked and loaded. All you have to do is get off your butt and make it happen. Read on to “spring” (ha!) into action.
1. CHECK YOUR GUTTERS FOR DEBRIS AND ICE DAMMING
It’s important to get out the ol’ ladder and clear your gutters of any junk that may have built up over the winter. With spring comes rain, and you want to make sure your gutters are functioning properly so you don’t get stuck with a bigger problem on your hands.
Also, this is Michigan, so ice damming is a thing. If you have internal leakage from an ice dam, fight the enemy from the inside with a targeted dose of cold air from a box fan. This should freeze the water and stop the leaking in no time.
2. MAKE SURE DOWNSPOUTS ARE EXTENDED 6 FEET AWAY FROM HOUSE
Yes, it’s exciting that the ice and snow is finally melting, but make sure that your downspouts are extended about 6 feet from the home. This will prevent any melting ice (aka “water”) from getting too close to the foundation and potentially leaking into the home.
3. INSPECT ROOF FOR LOOSE/MISSING SHINGLES
It might be wise to make sure your roof isn’t missing or has loose shingles, so when the rain comes you don’t get any leakage in the house. Not feeling confident about getting up on the roof? Don’t sweat. Fill out this form and get our list of preferred vendors (featuring some great roofers!) and we’ll hook you up!
4. CHECK CAULK SEEMS AROUND WINDOWS/DOORS
Michigan winters can be brutal. So much so that the wild weather can effect parts of the home we don’t even think about, like the caulking around your windows and doors. Don’t let too much time pass before checking and re-caulking if necessary. It’s going to warm up, sure, but we’ve all seen snow storms in April before. Do your re-caulking now to keep the warm air in and the cold air out!
5. ENSURE GROUND HAS POSITIVE SLOPE AWAY FROM HOME
This one might be a bit more involved, but once the ice and snow start to melt and the April showers start, you’re going to be surrounded by water, mud and muck. It’s just how it goes. So take a look and ensure that the ground your foundation has a positive slope. A negative slope can cause water to leak into your foundation, which – if you have one – can cause your basement to flood. If you do experience water coming in the foundation and you don’t want to address this yourself, give us a call at 248-834-3030 and we’ll hook you up with a professional that can help.
6. CLEAN OUT YOUR DRYER VENT
Not to scare you, but dryer duct fires are a real thing. Experts say to clean yours out twice a year, so before you start doing more laundry in the warmer months we recommend you take care of it now. Simply disconnect your dryer from the transition line and take it outside to clean it. If you have a leaf blower, bring it inside and force air through your dryer vent to blow the lint out. Done!
7. CHECK BATTERIES IN SMOKE DETECTORS
This one is easy. Check that ll the smoke detectors in your house have a fresh set of batteries inside, and get into the habit of replacing them at least once a year. If your detector is chirping at you, it’s time to swamp ‘em out.
8. CHANGE YOUR FURNACE FILTER
Did you know that your furnace filter should be cleaned or changed every 90 days? Well, we Googled it and that’s what the Internet told us, so it must be true. For real though, the filter has a dirty job collecting dust, hair and other crud. Too much of this stuff restrict airflow – which you’ll want to make sure isn’t happening when you need to warm the house on those cool spring nights.
9. GET AIR CONDITIONING SERVICE SCHEDULED
As the weather warms, it’s inevitable that you’re going to give your air conditioner a workout soon. Use the springtime to schedule a maintenance check to make sure everything is in working order before things get gross and humid. Not sure who to reach out to? Give us a call and we can connect you to a preferred HVAC partners who will help you stay cool this spring and summer.
10. DRAIN SEDIMENT FROM HOT WATER TANK
Did you know that clearing the sediment from your hot water tank will help improve its lifespan and efficiency? It’s true! First, turn of the water heater, then turn off the cold water valve and let the water cool. Attach a drain or garden hose to the drain valve on the side of the tank and place the end of the hose in a bucket or drain. Turn on a faucet or two to remove a vacuum in your plumbing. Finally, start draining the tank by turning on the drain valve. Presto! No sediment.
11. CHECK HOSE BIBS FOR LEAKS
After a winter of intense cold, ice storms and snow showers, it’s understandable if your hose bib cracks. A cracked hose bib, if not caught early enough, can result in potential water damage and mold inside the home. A simple way to test if you have a crack is by holding your hand or thumb over the spigot and turning the water on. If you can hold all the water in, then there is damage somewhere. If water comes out, then you’re in the clear. If you’re all wet, don’t fret; we can hook you up with the best plumbers in town just by filling out this form.
12. CLEAN REFRIGERATOR COILS
Have you ever dropped something and have it roll under your fridge, only to look under there and see all kinds of horrifying things? Yeah, us too. Experts say you should clean your refrigerator’s coils at least once a year. This will help increase efficiency by 30%. All you have to do is unplug the fridge and carefully brush or vacuum the the coils; next time you reach for a drink you may be shocked at how much colder it is!
13. TEND TO YOUR ATTIC
Winter is cold. Houses are warm. Animals live outside. But sometimes they want to live inside your house, and often times the attic is a way in. So take a minute to make sure you don’t have uninvited guests chilling up there. If you need an exterminator, we can connect you with the best. Also, don’t forget to check the ventilation and insulation while you’re up there. There’s no need to waste money because of a poorly insulated attic.