Say goodbye to winter! The days are getting longer, and the temperatures are warming up. While you are eager to get outside to enjoy the spring weather, set aside time to check your home for damage and prepare it for summertime weather. Consider tackling spring preventative maintenance projects now so that you don’t have to worry about the possibility of inconvenient, costly disasters later.
To get Long Islanders ready for summer, United Water Restoration Long Island has compiled a list of spring maintenance tips for homeowners. Some of these undertakings can be done by a do-it-yourselfer (if you have the know-how); several should be handled by a licensed and insured professional.
1. Clean Gutters & Downspouts
Clogged gutters and downspouts can ultimately lead to structural water damage. Clean your home’s drainage system by removing leaves, twigs, and other debris so that water runoff from your roof doesn’t seep into your walls or basement. Reattach or consider replacing any broken or sagging sections. Make sure your downspouts are directing water away from your home and that outdoor drains are clear. One option is to install gutter system guards to keep obstructions from returning.
2. Service Air Conditioner System
Air conditioner season is right around the corner. Just as you tuned up your furnace for winter, it’s time to get your HVAC unit ready for summer. Check that all electrical connections are tight, refrigerant lines are insulated, and entry points into your home are sealed. Replace your air filters and give your AC system a test run. Troubleshoot problems and locate and repair refrigerant leaks before the first hot day arrives. If it isn’t blowing cool air, the air conditioning may need a recharge. Maintaining your HVAC system will help keep it performing at its best all summer.
3. Clean Air Ducts & Vents
If you didn’t have your HVAC ductwork cleaned last fall, now is a great time to have it done. Especially before you crank up your home air conditioning system. HVAC system cleaning has many benefits. Dirt and dust buildup can lead to poor indoor air quality and reduce airflow. The contaminants and air pollutants may harm occupants, particularly those with asthma and/or allergies. One pollutant you can find in a dirty air duct and vent is mold. Don’t forget to also have lint and debris removed from your dryer vents.
4. Seal Window & Door Drafts
Weatherproof and insulate drafty windows, doors, and window air conditioners to prevent the escape of cool indoor air and keep out the summer heat and humidity. Airflow through cracks and crevices can lead to moisture and mold growing conditions. Sealing your windows and door frames and preventing drafts will keep your home cooler while lowering energy costs. Replace old or damaged door or window frames and repair or replace caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors. Add dirty windows and screens to your spring cleaning list and swap out any broken glass.
5. Inspect Roof & Chimney
Wintry weather can take a toll on your roof and chimney. Take a walk around to visually inspect your roof for signs of leaks and missing, loose, or damaged shingles or flashings. Have broken or warped roofing materials repaired and gaps and cracks sealed. Schedule your end-of-season fireplace and chimney cleaning and inspection. Ensure the masonry, chimney cap, crown, and flashing are in good shape. Make necessary repairs, and waterproof your chimney to protect your home from water damage this summer.
6. Repair Leaky Pipes & Faucets
Check your property for pipe leaks, clogged drains, and faucet drips. Look for signs of water beneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks and examine the washing machine and dishwasher hoses for moisture, cracks, or bulges. Make sure all pipe and hose connections are properly sealed. Address any indoor or outdoor problems you find and fix damaged plumbing parts or fixtures. Homes with water leaks waste 90 gallons or more per day. Repairing leaks will conserve water and save homeowners nearly 10% on their household water bills.
7. Inspect Attic, Basement, & Crawl Space
Ensure your attic, basement, and crawl space are moisture-free. Dampness is a sign of inadequate insulation and/or ventilation. A buildup of warm, moist air can cause problems because insulation, wood frames, rafters, and roof sheathing are susceptible to water and mold damage. If you notice water marks, dark stains, wood rot, or musty odors, there’s a good chance it is due to a moisture problem. Vulnerable materials and insulation should be dry and intact. To control hot weather condensation in these spaces, seal air leaks, improve insulation and ventilation, and make sure vents are working correctly. Make certain the attic fan is working and if needed, use a dehumidifier to remove excess humidity from your basement.
8. Look for Signs of Termites & Pests
Termites swarm in the spring and expand their colonies during the summer. Termite infestations can go undetected for years and cause significant structural property damage. Search for visible signs of damaged wood throughout your home, including walls, baseboards, door and window frames, and inside of closets and cabinets. Inspect the exterior of your home for mud tunnels, cracks in the foundation, broken termite wings, and damaged wooden deck posts or steps. Hearing gnawing, scratching, scurrying, or other noises? Rodents, birds, raccoons, squirrels, or other critters could be hiding in your chimney, attic, basement, or crawl space. Insect pests are attracted to the dark, quiet, and damp conditions in these environments. Routine inspections, regular house maintenance, controlling the condensation, sealing cracks, holes, and openings, and keeping things clean can help keep your home pest-free this summer.
9. Fix Cracks & Inspect Foundation
Winter weather can be tough on hardscaping materials. Walk around the perimeter of your home to check for cracks on steps, walkways, and the driveway. To avoid tripping hazards, fill any openings and replace hardscape materials such as bricks, bluestone, and concrete that are beyond repair. Also, be on the lookout for cracks and bulges on foundation walls. Cracked foundations may lead to issues with frames, roofs, doors, and windows and could lead to leaks in basement walls. Small cracks can be sealed. If you find a large crack, it’s a good idea to have it looked at by a professional. Larger cracks could be related to soils, drainage issues, plumbing leaks, tree roots, or engineering. Cracking and bulging walls indicate a structural problem and are cause for concern.
10. Trim Trees & Low-Hanging Branches
Preventively prune and trim low-hanging overgrown branches on your property to reduce the risk of storm damage. Safely remove any dead, dying, or diseased trees, branches, and limbs. Severe summer storms can cause weak trees and branches to fall on your roof, car, and utility lines. People’s safety is also at risk. Even a brief thunderstorm with high winds can snap branches and uproot trees.
11. Get Sprinkler System Ready
It’s time to start up your lawn irrigation system and give it a springtime check. Slowly turn on the system’s main shutoff valve inside your home and the outdoor shutoff valves on the vacuum breaker. Close the vacuum breaker’s test cocks, and tighten the bleeder cap if your shutoff valve has one. Test each sprinkler zone to make sure the sprinkler heads are functioning and make sure no leaks are coming from the vacuum breaker, valves, piping, and bleeder cap. Once damaged sprinkler heads are replaced, nozzles are adjusted, and issues are corrected, program your lawn sprinkler system timer (controller). Review your municipality’s summer watering schedule and restrictions for outdoor water use.
12. Replace Smoke/CO2 Alarm Batteries
When Daylight Saving Time begins, replace the batteries in your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide (CO2) detectors or upgrade to a 10-year sealed battery alarm. Functioning smoke and CO2 alarms save lives; smoke detectors reduce the risk of dying in a fire by 50%. Regularly test your alarms to ensure they are working. Furthermore, inspect your fire extinguisher(s) and review your household’s fire evacuation plan.
If you find signs of water damage or visible mold growth in your Long Island home while going through this spring maintenance checklist or need your ductwork professionally cleaned, give United Water Restoration a call today, at (631) 494-4764. We were voted the best restoration company on Long Island!
Require other professional maintenance services to help complete your spring projects? We’re happy to recommend one of our many trusted partners, including licensed plumbing, HVAC, roofing, and chimney contractors.
Get Immediate Help (631) 494-4764