- Take a good look at the exterior of your chimney for signs of deterioration. Make sure the chimney cap is still there and in good shape and check out the siding around the chimney and make sure it’s all there and in good shape. If you have brick or stone grab some binoculars and take a close look at the grout joints and make sure that the joints are intact and in good shape.
- Since you have binoculars out walk around your house and check out your shingles. Make sure they aren’t cracked, buckled, loose, or even missing (we’ve had some crazy high wind in Central Ohio lately).
- Since you’re already walking around your house look at all the trim (gables, soffits, around windows) and the windows themselves. Look for missing caulk (that could let in water and cause rot), soft spots on the trim and windows (indicates rot), and missing paint.
- While you’re walking around your house looking at the trim also keep an eye open for low areas in the yard and especially around your foundation. All low areas (especially around the foundation) should be filled with compacted topsoil to help prevent basement water issues and eliminate low areas (pooling water) where insects can breed.
- Check for loose or leaky gutters. Bad drainage can lead to water in your basement or crawl space. Make sure all downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear of debris.
- Remove firewood stored near your house. It should be stored at least 18” off the ground and at least 2 feet from any structure.
- Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service will keep the system working at peak performance levels.
- Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms and test each one of them to make sure they are all functioning correctly (if one works it doesn’t necessarily mean all of them are working). According to the National Fire Protection Association an average of 1,450 fire deaths occur every year in homes with missing or non-functioning smoke alarms.
- Clean out your dryer vent. There are several companies that will do this for you or you can do it yourself with an electric (NEVER use gas-powered equipment inside your home) leaf blower. Just unhook your dryer from the duct, stick the business end of the ELECTRIC leaf blower into the duct, wrap a wet towel around the opening to keep lint from blocking back into the room, and turn on the blower. Again, DO NOT use a gas-powered leaf blower inside your home!
- Finally, before outside temperatures are regularly warm enough that we can enjoy having the windows open check your screens. In fact, I’m typing this in my home office and just looked out a window and noticed I have a torn screen. Most local hardware stores will replace screens (assuming the frame is in good condition) for a reasonable amount.
Spring seems to finally be here and with it brings about much-needed spring home maintenance including leaf-filled gutters, possible shingle issues, and HVAC maintenance. Following are 10 tips for spring:
This article is for general information purposes only. Rick Kelley Builders makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of any information contained herein.
Jeremy Kelley is a home builder and remodeler in the Columbus, OH area. He is an avid volunteer, family man, and knows the difference between your and you're.