As the snow begins to melt, a homeowner should prepare his/her springtime to-do list. Beyond your lawn-maintenance basics, there are a number of must-do tasks that are often overlooked but incredibly important — especially if you’re considering listing your home this selling season or you would like to keep your house's value up.
We all know that gutters are designed to whisk away spring showers and melting snow but they do much more than divert drops — they protect foundations from moisture damage and prevent basement floods. Dig out tree debris and check for cracks and loose screws to ensure proper drainage, and if you’re not up for the task, hire a professional because putting up a couple hundred bucks upfront could save you thousands in future damage.
As front-yard trees begin to sprout leaves after a long cold winter, It's the time to cut back the branches that have failed to fully bloom. Additionally, make sure nothing green and growing is touching the foundations, exterior walls or roof. Plants can introduce moisture into a structure, which encourages rot, and they create handy walkways for rodents and wood-eating pests.
As new insulating materials are coming to market each year, it’s a good idea to revisit your home’s insulation strategies on a regular basis. Insulating water pipes and the water heater is an energy-saving must in temperature-fluctuating climates but it’s also smart to assess the age of your home’s insulation and if it needs a “top up” to improve energy efficiently throughout the house.
After putting your heating system through its paces over the winter, it’s now to time to turn it down, take stock and make sure it’s in tippy-top condition for next fall. Check vent filters and air ducts and replace or clean them as needed — forced air needs to circulate freely for it to heat or cool as effectively as possible.
Ice storms, snow storms and wind storms, winters can throw a lot at a roof so it’s always a prudent to give it a detailed once-over when the temperatures begin to rise. Look out for cracks that need resealing, peeling shingles that need refitting, moss that needs removing and mould that needs addressing. Getting everything shipshape now will save you a lot of hassle and money.
Test your Smoke Detector
Now’s a great time to cycle through every room and test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Change batteries as needed and install any alarms you’ve been meaning to put up now — this is not an “I’ll do it later” task because these tech geniuses could save your life.
The air gets so cold and dry in Canada that it can literally crack walls, and that can spell disaster for the moisture barrier in your home when the winter ice begins to thaw. Inspect all exterior walls and use an appropriate sealant on any visible cracks. (Making sure air isn’t escaping — except through the proper air-exchange channels — is extra important with the all the air conditioning that will be used in the months ahead.)