Is Your Home Ready for Spring? Our Checklist Can Help
By Brianna Jensen
Is your home ready for spring? It’s an exciting time of year, but it’s also a time to get things done. While spring cleaning is common, there are actually a few other things you should do to keep your home safe as the seasons change.
The checklist below can help you make sure your home is ready for spring weather, inside and out.
Indoor spring maintenance
1. Replace batteries
Start by checking the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms—it’s crucial that they work if there is an emergency. While you’re at it, spring is a great time to check other batteries around your home. For example, if you have wireless equipment for your home security system, make sure it has fresh batteries.
2. Make sure you’re breathing clean air
Spring is allergy season for a lot of people, and while you can’t control what is in the air outside, there are a lot of things you can do about the air in your home.
· Invest in a HEPA air purifier (HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air. HEPA air filters are especially good at eliminating small particles from the air in your home)
· Replace the HVAC filters in your home. We suggest replacing them at the beginning of each season, but if you have pets or are prone to allergies, you should replace them more frequently. We also suggest cleaning your filters in between replacements so they’re more effective. (It will keep the air cleaner and make your air conditioning and heating systems more efficient.)
· Consider getting an air quality monitor.
3. Clean out the dryer vent
The vent behind your dryer can become a fire hazard if it isn’t cleaned out often. Take a few moments during your spring cleaning to make sure the vent is clear.
4. Check your medicine cabinet and first aid kits
Spring often follows flu season, so it’s a good time to make sure your medicine cabinet and first aid kits are restocked.
· Properly dispose of any expired medicine. At best, it’s less effective, and at worst it can be dangerous.
· Replace medication that has been used up—especially basics like cold medicine, fever reducers, and painkillers.
· Stock up on bandages and antibacterial ointment. (This is particularly useful if you’ve got kids who will be out having adventures that could result in scraped knees and elbows.)
5. Check for mold
Mold can build up in cold, dark, damp places around your home. Spring is a smart time to inspect your house. We recommend checking areas where there’s less ventilation and areas where moisture accumulates. Just be sure to wear a mask and gloves while you’re inspecting your house. If you find mold, we suggest calling a local professional since there could be mold you can’t see on your own, and they can completely eliminate the problem.
Spend some time this spring inspecting places in your home you don’t normally check during routine cleaning.
· Underneath your kitchen sink
· The attic
· The basement
· The area around your water heater and furnace
· Near vents (for example, behind your dryer)
Outdoor spring maintenance
1. Check your roof for weather damage
Winter can be hard on your roof, especially if you live in an area that gets heavy snowfall. As spring approaches, check your roof for missing or broken shingles and replace them as needed.
2. Clean gutters and downspouts
Clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to water damage. Spend some time making sure your gutters and downspouts are clear and pointed in the right direction so water can flow away from your home.
3. Secure your home’s entrances
Spring is a great time to reevaluate your home security. Check all the entrances to your home and make sure they’re secure.
· Check your windows to make sure the screens are still intact and that the locks work well.
· Install outdoor security cameras and motion sensor lights near your doors, especially back entrances that aren’t as visible to the public.
· Swap out old garage door codes for new ones.
4. Secure window wells and crawl spaces
As the weather warms up and your family spends more time outside, you’ll want to make sure your yard is safe for kids and pets. Keep them out of window wells or crawl spaces (for example, the space underneath a porch) with a simple, sturdy covering.
5. Check your fence for winter storm damage
Winter weather can also be hard on fences. Check yours to make sure there aren’t any gaps and that any locks or gates are secure.
The checklist above is a great way to make sure your home is safe for spring, but every home is a little different so you might have different priorities.