How did your home fare in the winter weather? Things like extreme cold, snow, wind, and ice can all take their toll on your house, making it important to thoroughly evaluate both its interior and exterior as the seasons change. With spring right around the corner, we’re thinking ahead to spring cleaning and home maintenance. Here’s a helpful list of projects to tackle, both inside and outside of your home, to help you prepare for the warmer weather!
- Clean or replace HVAC filters
It’s important to clean and replace your HVAC filters throughout the year, and the end of winter is a great time to do this. Dirty filters force your heat, ventilation, and air conditioner systems to work harder, making is less efficient and potentially increasing your utility bills. Dirty filters are also less effective, filtering less contaminants from the air in your home.
- Clean windows and repair screens
After a long winter, it’s likely that dirt and debris have built up on your windows. Take the time to wash your windows and screens with warm, soapy water. Make sure to repair any holes or other damages to window screens as well, especially if you like to leave your windows open during the summer.
- Check seals around windows and doors
Winter cold and wind can deteriorate the caulk and seals of your windows and doors. Inspect all doors and windows and re-apply caulk if needed. This will help to reduce your A/C bill in the summer and prevent water from seeping into your home on rainy days.
- Replace the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors
While you’re cleaning the house, take the time to check all of your smoke and CO detectors. You should be checking these once a month, and replacing the batteries once or twice a year.
- Examine the roof
This is one of the most important things to do when checking your home. Look for things like missing, buckled, or otherwise damaged shingles. If you see any, call a licensed and insured roofing expert to perform repairs.
- Check and clean gutters and downspout
Gutters and downspouts divert rainwater away from your roof and home, which is especially important when April showers begin. Make sure all gutters are secure and unimpeded by debris. If your gutters seem damaged from the winter weather, make sure to replace them now.
- Clean decks and other outdoor surfaces
Give your deck and other outdoor spaces a good cleaning before using them. A pressure washer comes in handy to make this job easier. Don’t forget to look for things like loose boards or nails.
- Fix and fill cracks in your walkway and driveway
Fluctuating temperatures can cause your walkways and driveways to crack during the winter months. Reduce liability by filling these cracks as soon as possible in order to prevent trips and falls on your property.
- Check outdoor faucets
Now that spring is here, you’ll want to get started on gardening. If you turned outdoor faucets off to prevent frozen pipes in the winter, open them back up and check that they are all working properly.
- Trim tree and shrub overgrowth
Give the plants and trees on your property a once over. If built up snow and ice weakened any tree branches, make sure to trim them, especially if there is a danger that they could fall on your home or car.
Perform a Home Inventory
Spring cleaning presents the perfect opportunity to complete a home inventory. A home inventory not only helps you keep track of all of your belongings, which can help you make sure you have enough personal property coverage, but it also is a valuable tool if you ever need to file a home insurance claim.
To complete a full home inventory, walk through every room in your home and record all of your belongings. Be organized by starting from one end and going floor to floor — don’t forget rooms like basements, attics, closets or any outside storage spaces. Create a record of your possessions by making a list and detailing the monetary value of the items when possible. It’s helpful to take photographs or video of your belongings for visual proof of what you own. Keep any receipts or records if you have them.
If you have more questions about protecting your home, we work with over 500 independent insurance agents who are ready to help! Visit our website to connect with a local agent near you: bit.ly/QuincyFindAgent.