Homeowners Spring Thaw Checklist
Despite another few inches of snow and some ice falling last night, the calendar has flipped to March, which means rising temperatures and Spring just around the corner. MAC Builders wants you to be be sure to protect your biggest investment: your home, by checking for any problems or concerns that may have arisen with another cold winter here at the Jersey Shore.
Spring is an ideal time to inspect in and around your home for wear and tear and safety hazards. From cracked foundations to clogged gutters to worn shingles, improperly maintained homes can lead to expensive repairs down the road – and many of those repairs are not covered by your homeowners insurance.
Below are tips to help you conduct home exterior maintenance and reduce safety hazards.
- Clear gutters and downspouts. Repair leaks and loose gutters, and make sure water can flow off your roof and away from your foundation and basement windows, at least six feet. Direct the flow toward the street or backyard.
- Check the roof. Look for worn, curled or missing shingles and replace them.
- Repair loose or damaged siding.
- Examine soffit boards (horizontal surfaces under eaves).
- Make sure your sump pump and/or back flow valves are working properly.
- Clear drainage ditches and culverts. Remove all debris to keep water flowing into sewers.
- After the danger of frost has passed, re-open the valves to outside hose connections to avoid pipes freezing and bursting.
- Make sure the land around your home slopes away from the foundation. Also, check that your sidewalks, patios, decks and driveway haven’t shifted to cause water to drain back towards your house.
- Have a professional inspect your air conditioning system.
- Make sure sprinkler heads are directed away from the house to prevent water build-up near foundation walls.
- Remove clutter from storage areas to reduce fire hazards.
- Examine decks, porches and balconies for weak or broken railings and posts. Railings should be spaced no more than four inches apart to prevent children from slipping through.
- Caulk and reseal window and door flashing, seals or weather stripping.
- Check the attic for moisture and surface discoloration.
- Check fire extinguishers in your kitchen and garage to make sure they are full and work properly.
- Install special outlets equipped with ground-fault circuit interrupters when outdoor electrical outlets are located near water sources.
- Be sure exterior walls are well painted and sealed.
- Inspect your lawn for rocks or other objects that could be launched from your lawnmower and injure others or damage property.
- Plan ahead when you’re remodeling to minimize damage should you have a basement flood in the future. Install ceramic tile and other impermeable finishes to minimize damage and make cleanup easier. Choose furniture with legs that keep the fabric away from the floor. If you need carpeting, consider using area rugs, which are easier to remove and clean or replace in case of a flood.
Water damage claims are on the rise. With the combination of snow melting and rain falling, spring is typically the wettest time of year. Avoid flooding issues in your home by following this spring maintenance checklist.