Winter has departed and spring is officially here. It is time to check your home for damage and prepare for the warm weather ahead!
After a long winter there are a few maintenance items we should do to “tune up” our home’s major systems and features. Doing so doesn’t just maintain your home’s property value – it also helps prevent bigger breakdowns and future repairs.
“There’s no better way to preserve the value of your home than with regular, consistent maintenance. So every time the seasons change, make sure you do a thorough check of your house – inside and out – to make sure you’re keeping it in tiptop shape,” – Scott McGillivray.
Here are 7 seasonal maintenance tips worth your attention:
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning- One of the most important systems in your home. HVAC is responsible for the regulation of heat, airflow, ventilation, and air conditioning. These systems incorporate filters and when filters are clogged, less clean air flows through your home which can lead to breakdowns and expensive repairs.
Furnace filters are easily replaced and should be done often – this will ensure your furnace continues to work at its best. Your environment can impact the frequency in which you should change your filter. Pets and living near construction can lead to an overflow of dust and debris calling for more frequent changes.
Humidifier filters- a clean filter means a happy filter, and a happy filter provides essential moisture to our homes. As the weather turns, make sure to clean your humidifier pad. The preferred method is to clean old scale and crust off the humidifier with a descaler. This can be found at your local hardware store.
Clean, wash or replace your HRV filter- Heat recovery ventilation systems increase the indoor air quality of your home by pushing stale air out and brining fresh air in. When the system isn’t cleaned, debris can transfer into the air that is entering your home. You can clean you filter monthly by sliding it out from its tracks, giving it a good vacuum and then and washing it in warm soapy water. Disposable filters should be replaced every 4 months.
Clean debris from your window wells – Your window well serves an important role, it provides an escape from the basement of your home, in case of fire or other emergencies. Within your window well is a built-in drainage system. If the drainage system is blocked or clogged by debris, you could end up with an unfortunate case of water buildup or flooding. It’s a good idea to regularly check your window wells for garbage, leaves, twigs or even toys!
Clean debris from your eavestrough – A proper eavestrough system plays an important role in your home’s drainage system. Eavestroughs allow the flow of rainwater and melted snow into your downspouts and away from your home’s foundation. This protects your home from potential water damage.
If debris gets in the way of proper drainage, water can start to pool and cause your roof to rot. If using a ladder to clean your eavestroughs, make sure to follow proper ladder etiquette by having a spotter or a ladder stabilizer to prevent you from falling. Once you have successfully cleaned the debris, don’t forget to put your downspouts down!
Check your sump pump operation – A flooded basement is a nightmare! Thankfully, your sump pump helps protect your home from heavy rain and rising water. Its main purpose is to pump and send water away from your home and place where it will not cause any problems – usually into a neighborhood drain. Sump pumps help with groundwater, but they can also come in handy if your basement ever floods. The easiest way to ensure your sump pump operation is working, is to fill a bucket with water and dump it into the sump basin, fill it up until the float level is reached. If your sump does not start up, you might have a problem.
Lastly check to see if any grade has settled around your foundation. Now that your eavestroughs and window wells are clear of debris, your downspouts are in place, and sump pump is operating, we recommend you do a quick check to ensure your grading hasn’t settled. Grading plays an imperative role in determining where the water on your property ends up.
The goal is to have all water landing on your roof and property to drain away from your home. Water only runs downhill, so ideally your grade should have a gradual drop about every foot or so. If you find your grading isn’t sloped enough, or worse yet, sloping towards your home, you can add soil next to your foundation and slope it away from the house. In this scenario it also may be a good idea to hire a landscape company to help.
When you’re caught up on your maintenance, all that is left to do is bring out the BBQ, deck furniture and enjoy the warm weather!