Spring Home Maintenance (Part 1)

Posted on Posted in General

 

(Photo from melissacanfield.com)
(Photo from melissacanfield.com)

Spring has sprung! As you are feeling energized with the promise of beautiful days, the moderate weather is the perfect time for you to do a seasonal home inspection to see if every part of your home is in good condition and make sure it’s ready for the warmer days ahead. Here is a simple spring home maintenance guide that you can use to assess your home. This article is the first of two parts and will deal with checking your home’s interior.

INDOOR MAINTENANCE

General cleaning. Spring is a good time to clean areas inside the house which are often neglected such as the tops of cabinets, window casings, ceiling fans, upholstered furniture, and carpets. After the moisture-laden winter months, mold and mildew may have started to breed as well as other allergens. Cleaning your house and furniture thoroughly will ensure that you are living in a healthy space.

Launder or dry clean fabric drapes and window shades. Use a damp cloth to clean vinyl or PVC blinds. Vacuum carpets, upholstered furniture and mattresses. Dust shelves, tables, and all wooden furniture and polish them, too while you’re at it.

Presumably, you spent most of your time in the house during winter and took most of your meals in. Check your kitchen for grease residue and clean it with warm soap and water to remove all traces of oil and grime on your stove, range hoods, counters, and backsplash walls.

Don’t forget to check your bathrooms. Bathrooms are a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. While you’re cleaning the tiles, check for missing or cracked grout and replace them.

While cleaning around the house, check for leaks especially in the bathrooms and kitchens. Even small leaks can add up to thousands of gallons of water wasted. Check for leaking pipes or faucets as well as clogged drains. It is also a good idea to check around the dishwasher, the washing machine, and water heaters. If there is water or dampness present around these, it may be a sign of a potential or existing problem.

As you are cleaning inside your house, this is also the perfect time to time to organize. Dump things you no longer use in plastic bins or garbage bags for a garage sale in the summer or for donation.

General cleaning need not be done all in a day. Prioritize and decide which ones need your immediate attention. Then, you may plan ahead on when to do the others.

Fireplace. If you have a fireplace and used it a lot during winter for warmth, don’t forget to close your fireplace damper after the last fire to keep draft, rain, insects, and animals out of your home. The damper is a metal flap inside your fireplace that covers the opening to the chimney.

Smoke detectors. Check your smoke detectors if they are working properly. This should be done twice a year and it would be a good idea to change the batteries at the same time you adjust your clocks for daylight savings time.

Electrical systems. Inspect your fuse or circuit-breaker box for excessive wear or tripped breakers. Check all electrical cords for fraying and replace if necessary.

Air conditioning. Just as you checked your heater during fall, spring is the best time to check your air conditioning units to get it ready for the warmer days ahead. Check the filter and clean or change if necessary. Check hose connection for leaks and make sure the drain pans are draining freely. Spring is also a good time to have your air conditioning units serviced.

Attic. If you have an attic, check for insect or critter infestation. Check for leaks. Any discoloration, deterioration or dirt stain may indicate leak that has dried up. Also, check for mold. Mold usually takes the form of gray of black blotches similar to staining. To prevent mold growth, proper insulation and good ventilation are necessary.

Basement. Check these for possible water infiltration in your basement:

  1. Interior foundation wall cracks. All cracks present a safety risk. Regardless of size, any cracks with visible water leaking through or moisture discoloration should be immediately be checked out by a professional.
  2. Floor cracks. These may indicate a serious problem. It may be caused by soil erosion underneath or around the perimeter of your foundation and can compromise the integrity of your house. This needs immediate attention.
  3. Sump pump malfunction. If you have a sump pump installed, check to see if it’s working properly. Pour a pail of water into it and it should activate fairly quickly and pump the water through the pipe and safely redirect it outside the basement.
  4. Windows and window well drains. If there is a dark spot on the concrete wall or water dripping from the top of the wall after rainstorms, your basement windows may be the problem. A leaky basement window can cause damage and clogged window drains can fill up with water and flood the basement. Older windows and frames may need to be replaced due to damage or rotting. If you have window wells installed, make sure that they are also free from debris. Clogged window wells will allow water to pool and overflow.

If there are floor cracks or wall cracks in your basement, the best idea would be to call a professional. Westside Company is a waterproofing contractor in the Los Angeles area that can make a thorough inspection of your basement to assess for any damage and leaks that may put your basement at the risk of flooding or worse, damage the structural integrity of your home.

We have over two decades of experience in repairing waterproofing systems or reapplying waterproofing materials after they have worn out. We give a highly personalized customer experience and we have extensive experience of using a variety of waterproofing techniques. After evaluating your basement and its possible issues, we can give you the solution that best fits your needs. Give us a call now at 310 994 4626 or email us at westsidecompany@gmail.com and set up an appointment for a free basement inspection.

Watch out for part two of this two-part series of Spring Home Maintenance Guide which will deal with checking the exterior of your house.