In Ontario we’ve gotten a lovely taste of Spring with high temperatures this April and the promise of better weather to come. With the coming seasonal change there are many home maintenance projects you can do now, which will lessen any claims problems in the future. The old adage, an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure certainly applies. Here are seven tips for your home spring chores:
1. Take some time to walk around your home and note areas that might need some fixing. Make sure older trees haven’t deteriorated to the point they may drop sizable branches or fall over onto your neighbour’s house. Damaged, weak trees represent a liability hazard and clearing them ensures no future injuries.
2. Checking your foundation walls for cracks, signs of moisture or leaks is a great way to ensure the spring rains don’t flood your basement. Insurance companies typically have exclusions for water seeping through foundation walls. If you fix the cracks you’ll have lessen the possibility of a flooded basement in the future.
3. This winter we had a lot of freeze-thaw cycles and examining your roof for worn, curled or missing shingles helps to remove the possibility of leaks in the summer. A spring thunderstorm with high winds could blow off loose shingles and cause leaks into your attic. If it’s time for a complete roof replacement get estimates from a few reputable roofing companies.
4. While you’re looking at the roof why not check your eave troughs and downspouts. Make sure they are unobstructed and that water flows away from your home’s foundation.
5. If you have a sump pump, test it. We can be inundated with torrential rain storms in Ontario so make sure your sump pump is in good working order. Backup generators, secondary sump pumps, and back-flow valves will also ensure water goes where you want, not where you don’t. While the chance of severe ice rain causing power outages lessens as we move more into spring, there can be power outages caused by high winds that could affect the function of your sump pump.
6. We all know home heating and cooling costs have gone up over the past few years, and will likely continue. Have a home heating company check your furnace and air conditioning units to make sure they’re in good order.
7. This is a good time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. There have been too many deaths because the carbon monoxide alarm didn’t get that new battery. A simple check can avoid a serious injury or premature death such as this sad 2012 CBC story from the Yukon describes.
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Thanks for reading.