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Home maintenance rites of spring

Spring is springing, but have you begun compiling a to-do-list to honor its arrival? With blooming trees, warmer weather, and budding allergies, there is a lot to do. Realtor’s Lauren Sieben offers a few to add to your list so that your home is ready for the season.

First, check for leaks and water damage. Now is the time to look around for stains and indications of seepage to prevent small leaks from growing into major headaches. “Walk around the house, and check the rubber seals or metal flashings around vents, flues, and chimneys,” says Sieben. When seals begin to crack or rust, water will start to seep into the home, and if not resolved right away, water damage can become your home’s new personal virus. Windows are the best place to start. “Dampness around the edges of windows or on window ledges and cracking are signs that window seals may be deteriorating,” says PURE Insurance senior vice president/risk management manager Jason Metzger. Time to contact a professional to inspect and fix any cracked materials around the chimney or outside vents if you suspect any. Price? Only about $100 for the inspection. And if your windows are still under warranty, you should be able to get busted seals fixed for free.

Outdoor spaces need scrutinizing right now as well. Look for trees or foliage that appear to be hugging your house or nearby power lines. Sieben says these can pose risks, including bug infestations and foundation issues from the tree roots getting too close to the house and becoming a fire hazard. While you’re at it, clean up the yard, getting rid of any dried-up bushes or dead plants. A tree inspection is also in order to identify both hidden and visible health issues and weaknesses that could make a tree more vulnerable to the strong winds or excessive rains of spring and summer storms.

Back inside the house, this is a great time of year to have a deep-cleaning done to your carpets. Sieben points out that with homes doubling as classrooms, offices, and rec rooms for another year during the pandemic, you might be surprised just how much brown water gets produced by a carpet cleaning machine — gunk you breathe in every day. If you’re cleaning it yourself, spot clean by pre-testing it in an inconspicuous location and allow it to dry to test for colorfastness before using your solvent on the rest of the carpet. For a big job, hire professionals rather than renting a carpet cleaning machine from the hardware store.

It’s sump pump inspection time if that applies, but we won’t go into the smelly details. And it’s also time to flush your water heater. The liner in your tank expands and contracts, especially during the winter, if it is in an area that is not insulated. This expansion and contraction can cause sediment to break free, permitting gunk to build up. There are online tutorials on how to do this, outlining the steps to take and everything you’ll need, from a bucket to a garden hose.

Last but not least, spring is a good time to take a look at the fire extinguishers in your house. Sieben advises that experts agree that fire extinguishers be replaced every 10 to 15 years, as they tend to lose their charge. Simply check the tag that shows the last time the extinguisher received maintenance, and inspect the gauge to make sure it’s in the green.

Realtor, TBWS

"Home Owner", Seasonal