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Spring Maintenance Tips

Doesn’t it feel like Spring is in the air? With all of this wonderful sunshine, maybe you’ve been spending more time outdoors and recently noticed moss growing rampantly on your roof. Perhaps you’ve been looking to Learn more about your options to tackle this. Perhaps you’ve already consulted with a roofing company for help and advice. Or perhaps that’s why you’re here reading this site now.

Certain home maintenance tasks should be completed each season to prevent structural damage, save energy, and keep all your home’s systems running properly. Here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind. By the way, if you choose to enlist the help of a professional contractor, then be sure to visit Bella Casa’s list of referred vendors.

• Tackle vegetation while it’s still small. Spring is the best time to trim back shrubs and bushes that are close to the house. For trees, only do light pruning at this time of year, trimming back selectively at the branch tips (you’ll want to remove large branches and do major pruning only in the fall). Be sure to keep vines off the house. “If you like wisteria, give it a trellis,” Katen says. Some vines may be attractive, but they can do costly damage to the exterior surface of your house by holding in moisture that causes rot, introducing insects, or even rooting into the mortar between bricks.

• Follow up on moss treatments for your roof. Assuming you applied anti-moss treatments in the fall, spring is a good time to touch up the job, says Jim Katen of Benchmark Inspection Services in Gaston, Ore. Remove any remaining moss with a garden hose and a whisk broom. Whatever you do, don’t use a pressure washer, Katen says; it’s much too powerful and can damage the shingles and force water underneath them, where moisture can rot sheathing and roof joists.

• Inspect the roof and chimney. Now is a good time to look for shingles that are missing, brittle, curled, or damaged. For safety, wait for dependably dry weather before walking on a roofing surface, or stand on the ground and examine the roof through binoculars. If minor repairs are necessary, expect to pay a roofing contractor $100–$350. They could help ensure all guidelines from the government regarding roof safety systems are implemented and carry out maintenance on it, accordingly.

• Check gutters. Even if you cleaned your gutters in the fall, they’ll likely need another once-over in spring. Be sure to check for areas where the gutters may have pulled away from the house, and for bent or twisted spots that allow water to puddle. You can usually make minor repairs to gutters yourself for $50 or less by adjusting brackets, gently hammering out bent spots, and replacing any damaged sections.

• Schedule your biannual HVAC check. In preparation for the cooling season, have your HVAC professional (like DUCTZ of Birmingham) come for your air conditioner’s spring tune-up; expect to pay $50–$100. Ask him about the maintenance checklist he uses; it should include checking thermostats and controls, checking the refrigerant level, tightening connections, lubricating any moving parts, checking the condensate drain, and cleaning the coils and blower.

Duct cleaning, while it probably won’t hurt anything, is not necessary; be wary of contractors who want to coat the inside of the ducts with antimicrobial agents, as research has not proven the effectiveness of this method and any chemicals used in your ducts will likely become airborne. Make sure your air filters are changed, and inspect and vacuum out all your floor registers. Also, ask the technicians to check for fire hazards and other safety risks.

• Flush your water heater. Sediment builds up in your water heater over time, particularly if you have hard water. This can compromise the heater’s efficiency and shorten its lifespan. Once a year, flush your water heater by attaching a garden or heater hose to the valve at the bottom of the tank (if you have a gas heater, be sure to turn the burner to the “pilot” setting first). Run the hose to the floor drain or outside the house and open the valve. Keep the water running through the heater until it runs clear. If you want professional help with your water heater and other plumbing appliances and infrastructure in your home, you may well want to reach out to the likes of TDT Plumbing so that you can make use of their expert services to keep your home running well.

• Check your GFCIs. A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protects you from fatal electrical shocks by shutting off the power whenever a disturbance in current is detected. They’re the electrical outlets with two buttons in the middle (“test” and “reset”) that should be present anywhere water and electricity can mix: kitchens, bathrooms, basements, garages, and the exterior of the house. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends monthly testing, which you’re more likely to remember if you make it part of your spring routine.

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