Ready your home for warm weather and prevent water damage from snowmelt and spring showers by following our simple list of items to check and maintain around your home.
Just as it's important to clean your gutters before winter weather hits, it's equally crucial to check them afterward. Look for leftover snow and ice, and use melting tablets or salt to break down solid chunks. Watch the excess water run through the gutter system to make sure it drains properly and doesn't pool around the foundation of your home. Remove foliage and debris from the drainage path, and ensure downspouts are positioned so water flows easily away from your house.
As the snow on your roof melts, check for pooling water that could soak into the roof, attic or ceilings. Inspect loose or missing shingles and corresponding areas inside your home for water damage. Examine exterior vents and clear away any moss or materials that could cause clogs. Use a moss killer for lasting protection, if necessary.
Change your air filters, and check the cleanliness and functionality of your ducts, vents and entire HVAC system. Ductwork can be difficult to check, so you may want to hire professionals to inspect or clean your air ducts. To avoid blockages and clogging, clear debris and accumulated dust away from indoor and outdoor HVAC equipment, including vents and rooftop AC units.
Check your windows for cracks and your screens for tears. Look for flawed seals and peeling along the trim, and replace any faulty parts. If you have a basement window well, check or replace the water guard to protect against basement flooding. Rain water and dripping snowmelt can easily seep through tiny openings and damage surrounding walls and interior areas. Undetected and untreated water damage can lead to mold, so it's best to correct poor sealing in the first place with a simple window check.
Uncover any pipes you wrapped to keep warm during winter. Carefully investigate all exposed piping for cracks and damage. Look for evidence of dripping water in the surrounding areas. Turn on faucets and spigots and check for leaks along the length of the pipes.
Before the weather heats up, shovel any lingering snow at least 3-5 feet away from the base of your home. Then, examine your foundation and keep an eye out for cracks or pools of water from snowmelt. Caulk any and all cracks as soon as you find them to prevent water from seeping into your home, and redirect standing water away from the home.
Turn on the water to your outdoor spigots or sprinkler system, and reconnect the hoses you brought in for winter. Remove covers from plants and outdoor equipment. If you have a lawn or garden, now is the time to fertilize the soil to ensure healthy growth in the spring. Check your grill and other appliances to ensure the parts still function properly. Inspect your patio or deck flooring for rotting boards, and replace any you find. Then, pull the patio furniture from storage so you and your loved ones can fully enjoy the warm weather. If you find evidence of water damage in or around your home after winter, take photos and call your insurance agent immediately to start the claims process. Water damage requires quick remediation to prevent extensive, expensive repairs and harmful mold growth. After speaking with your insurance agent, call the experts at ServiceMaster Restore for a full water damage remediation plan that will keep your home safe and sound for many seasons to come.