Spring Maintenance Check List: Ensure a Worry-Free Season

Posted by Scott Mise | 02.28.2014

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Spring isn’t officially here but it’s warming up nicely! Here is a quick list of things-to-do this spring that will ensure a worry-free season when it comes to your comfort.

Have your central air-conditioning unit checked by a licensed professional.
Replace the filter in the forced-air system. Clean debris from condenser or heat pump located outside.

Set thermostats to adjust for weather changes.

Caulk open joints
Particularly around windows and doors.

Daylight Savings Time begins.
Honor the occasion by replacing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Inspect screens
Both house and vent screens to attic or crawl space, for tears and bent frames.

Clean window screens.
Lay them flat on a picnic table or a pair of sawhorses and scrub them with a soft bristle brush and a mild detergent solution. Rinse with a garden hose and allow to dry thoroughly.

Inspect outdoor structures for deterioration
Especially for signs of rot. Use a small awl to probe posts, railings and window sills for soft spots. If you find any, plan to replace or repair them when the weather turns fair.

Prepare for the outdoor cooking season
By inspecting gas grills. Remove cooking grills and thoroughly clean them with soapy water and a brush with brass bristles. Remove accumulated grease from lava rocks and ceramic briquettes by turning them over and igniting the burners. Allow 10 minutes on high heat to clean the briquettes.

Inspect garden hoses for leaks
Make temporary repairs with electrical tape. Pry out old washers and replace them. Don’t leave hoses connected to outdoor spigots until the danger of frost is completely over.

Inspect the crawl space or basement
After it rains for water accumulation or excessive moisture. Look for signs of water damage on the subfloor and joists beneath bathrooms, the kitchen and laundry. Find and fix leaks now or pay the price later.

Shut off the water to the washing machine
Remove the water supply hoses and examine them and the washers. Replace worn and damaged ones.

Check fire extinguishers
To make sure they are not outdated, have lost pressure or are damaged.

Check all weather stripping
Around doors and windows for wear, damage or loss of flexibility. Replace material that is no longer blocking air.

Clean your garbage disposal
Grind two trays of ice cubes made from a mixture of one cup white vinegar to one gallon of water.

Review the contents of your medicine cabinets
And throw away dated prescriptions and over-the counter medicines. Be sure all medicines are out of the reach of children or contained in a cabinet equipped with childproof locks.

Celebrate spring by cleaning the garage.
Hold a yard sale, or organize a community yard sale with neighbors. Dispose of paint thinners, household cleaners and pesticides properly. Contact your city’s department of public works to find out the next scheduled collection of hazardous materials.

Clean the refrigerator
Inside and out, with mild detergent. Remove all trays and shelves, wash, and allow to dry thoroughly before replacing them. Remove old ice from ice making tray.

After heavy rains, inspect your basement walls
For signs of moisture. If you detect wetness, run a portable dehumidifier. If condition persists, consult a waterproofing contractor.

Check to make sure your sump pump works
Properly by pouring water into the pump silo to raise the float and activate the motor. More about sump pumps…

Test the pressure and temperature relief valve
On your water heater by opening it and allowing some water to flow out. If little or no water flows out or it doesn’t shut off, replace it. Bad valves can cause explosions.

Spring is a good time to build a doghouse.
Make sure to provide adequate roof ventilation to allow hot air to escape. And don’t use pressure treated wood in any area where your dog might chew it.

Clean gutters.
Inspect gutters to ensure all spikes, straps and clips are tightly fastened. Use a garden hose to flush debris from downspouts. Make sure downspouts or splash backs direct water at least three feet away from the foundation.

Wash windows
Inside and out, using a solution made from three tablespoons of non-sudsy ammonia to 1 gallon of water. Don’t work in the direct sun — the solution will dry too fast and streak. To clean windows with real (not removable) grills, use a hacksaw to cut a squeegee so it fits the windowpanes exactly.

Remove mineral deposits
From faucet aerators and shower heads by soaking parts in white vinegar and scrubbing with an old toothbrush.

Dust ceiling fan blades.