Spring cleaning your way to a safer home.

As soon as the snow melts and the temperatures warm up, our attention turns to that long list of maintenance to-do items that we’ve been thinking about all winter long.  We’ve put together a list of common maintenance and safety items to consider when working around the house.

Here are the 5 places you need to “spring clean” this season to ensure your home is safe:

LIVING AREA

Ensure the fire extinguisher in your kitchen is in serviceable condition. The arrow on the gauge should point within the green.

YARD
  • Inspect sidewalks and patios for heaving that would present a trip hazard.
  • Trim trees and bushes close to the home to prevent damage to siding. As they grow, branches can end up working their way under siding and into soffits.  Opening up the area around the home increases ventilation and reduces the occurrence of moss and mold on shaded parts of the home.
  • Trim back trees to ensure summer storms don’t cause branches to come crashing down. Consider removing larger trees near the home that show signs of distress or illness.
  • Inspect furnace and dryer vents for blockages and accumulations. Vents pipes without louvers or screens are susceptible to birds and rodents building nests.
  • Ensure gutter downspouts are attached and directing water away from the foundation.
ROOF
  • Inspect shingles, flashing, and gutters for damage from the winter.
  • Re-caulk dried up seals around roof penetrations to prevent leaks.
  • Ensure fireplace and wood burner chimneys have a spark arrestor/drip cap. This ensures sparks are kept in, and wildlife is kept out.
GARAGE
  • Inspect extension cords for damage. If the cord is damaged, discard and replace.
  • Discard of old containers of chemicals. Over time some chemicals will begin leaking from their container.  Check with your local municipality on proper disposal methods.
  • Ensure the fire extinguisher in your garage is in serviceable condition. The arrow on the gauge should point within the green.
BASEMENT
  • Inspect basement walls and floors for signs of leaks, cracks, or bulging as a sign of water pressure in the surrounding soil.
  • How old is your sump pump? If it’s older than 10 years and is regularly kicking on, or is older than 20 years without much regular use, consider replacing.  Look for a sump pump with battery backup.
  • Do you have an area in the South West corner of the home that could be used for protection in the event of a tornado warning?

Find more tips like these visit our learning center.