When springtime rolls around in Illinois, almost everyone thinks of cleaning. That’s fine (we probably all need to do a little more of that, after all), but there’s something even more important to keep in mind: home maintenance.
So, when it’s time to set your clocks ahead for daylight-saving time and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, give your home a checkup, too. Here are some suggestions from the Department of Housing and Urban Development:
Interior and appliances
- Check the basement and/or crawlspace for any signs of standing water or dripping.
- Pull your dryer out and clean the exhaust hose and vent (lint found here is a common cause of house fires).
- Vacuum refrigerator/freezer coils for efficiency.
- Clean exhaust fan outlets and screens.
- Check all air filters and replace, if necessary.
Roof, siding, windows
- Check for damage to your roof and have a professional inspection, if necessary.
- Go into the attic. If there is visible moisture or discoloration, your roof might be leaking.
- Examine the paint on your siding and trim. If it is peeling, you might need new paint to protect against the effects of weather.
- Check for leaks around window and door sills. Improving your seals can lower your energy bills.
Yard and exterior
- Check for signs of rodents and other pests.
- Clean debris from gutters and downspouts, and make sure they are draining away from the home.
- Trim overhanging tree branches and shrubs.
Remember, winter weather can cause significant damage that is easy to spot, but it often results in wear and tear that homeowners can miss if they aren’t looking closely. It’s well worth it to spend a little time on home maintenance this spring, so that wear and tear doesn’t turn into something more serious.