Spring has arrived and you are surely ready to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather! After a season of being cooped up inside, you may be eager to venture out away from the house. So, before you head out for warm-weather activities and vacations, set aside a day or two to restore your home from winter damage and prepare it for the warm season. At Turnkey Homes LLC, we recommend performing these spring maintenance tasks for your Wisconsin home.
Outside Inspection and Maintenance
Start with a trip around the outside of your home to look for damage done to the house by cycles of freezing and thawing. Inspect the exterior caulking, siding, and trim. Replace any missing caulk and damaged siding or trim. Repaint these sections to ensure the areas are weather-tight. If you see peeling paint, this is a signal that there may be a water infiltration issue that needs repair. Look for gaps and cracks in the house’s foundation where water can settle and potentially damage the structure.
When you prepared your home for winter last year, you may have turned off the outside faucets and sprinkler system. This is the time to re-open them, reconnect hoses, check the water flow, and test the sprinkler system. After running the faucets, turn them off and check to be sure they are not dripping. Even a small, steady drip can lead to damage to your property and a costly water bill during the summer months.
Examine your home’s exterior for proper water drainage, including flower beds and landscaping. Be on the lookout for any water build-up around the house’s foundation. Check for settling issues created by the harsh winter weather such as pockets in the soil. Fill in those pockets and holes with topsoil. Make sure the land has a positive pitch to drain water away from the house.
Roof and Gutters
Next, it’s time to inspect the roof to check for leaks and see how it fared during the winter months. Examine the health of the shingles, looking for ones that are loose, damaged, or missing. Damaged shingles will be curled, chipped, or broken. Replace damaged shingles and repair leaks now so that your roof will be ready to handle the coming rainstorms.
If your roof had icicles and ice dams during winter, now is the time to address it. An ice dam is an ice build-up on the eaves of sloped roofs of heated buildings that results from melting snow under a snowpack reaching the eave and freezing there. Dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to leak into your house. Water damage leads to peeling paint, warped floors, mold and mildew, and stained, sagging ceilings. But by sealing air leaks, checking roof vents, and adding insulation, you can keep the ice dams off your home.
Lastly, clean out gutters and downspouts to remove debris or blockages so that water easily flows through them. Check to confirm that all parts are still securely attached to the house and ready to handle heavy rainfall.
Next, it’s time to prepare your air conditioner for summer use. The first warm front is not the time to discover that the A/C is not working. Install a new air filter to maximize the airflow and reduce energy demands. Mark your calendar to replace the air filter once a month during the season. If you had turned off the A/C water shutoff valve when prepping it for winter, remember to turn it back on now.
Consider having the system checked and cleaned by an HVAC professional to confirm it is working properly and efficiently. These preventive maintenance services will keep your A/C unit in good condition for the summer, save on cooling costs, and reduce the possibility of a breakdown.
There is no need to cool a room that is not in use during the summer. Closing vents to those rooms allows cool air to distribute only to the rooms being used. For ceiling fans, change the rotation direction to counterclockwise, which will push air down to create a cool breeze. Examine the caulk and weatherstripping on all exterior doors and windows for winter damage. Small leaks increase cooling costs, so give windows and exterior doors a tighter seal with fresh caulk and weatherstripping.
Fireplace and Furnace
After months of heating your home, examine the condition of the furnace or fireplace and clean them now instead of waiting until next winter. For the furnace, replace dirty filters with clean ones now so that the dirt does not sit in your home all summer. The same goes for the chimney – clean it out to remove soot build-up. Remove ashes from the fireplace to prevent them from finding their way around your home.
For a gas fireplace, turn off the pilot light during the months it is not being used. This will save you money and reduce energy consumption. Refer to the fireplace owner’s manual on how to safely turn the pilot light off and on.
Turnkey Homes LLC offers many professional services in addition to home building and remodeling. Contact us today to find out how we can help you. Call us today at (920) 470-4315 or contact us at turnkeyhomesllc.com/contact-us.