Outdoor Spring Cleaning for Safety
Spring is in the air, and even if it hasn’t quite arrived in your neighborhood, now is the time to begin planning your tasks. While most associate spring cleaning with dusting, mopping or vacuuming, and opening windows, there are many outdoor spring cleaning and maintenance tasks that can make your home a safer place. In the article below, you’ll find five major home maintenance tasks that can increase the safety and comfort of your dwelling space, as well as an explanation of why everyone should do them.
1. On Top of Things
Whether you live in the land of ice and snow or make your home in warmer climates, checking your roof for damage and potential weakness is essential. Spring is also the best time to do this. Over the winter, ice dams can accumulate in attic spaces, shingles or roofing tiles can work loose or become damaged, and leaks can develop. Leaks pose two threats to home safety—they can encourage mold to grow in places, such as between walls or in insulation, and they can damage your home’s electrical wiring, which can lead to fires or short circuits. If you can’t or don’t feel comfortable accessing your roof, call in a home inspector who will walk on the roof or use an aerial drone to inspect it.
2. Clear Out the Gutters
Even those who live in warm climates or don’t have large trees nearby will want to clean their gutters in the spring for several reasons. First, you’ll be getting it out of the way and won’t need to do it in the summer, when it’s hot. Second, if you don’t regularly clean your gutters, dirt and debris will clog the downspouts. The gutter material isn’t bulletproof, and excess sediment or windblown materials take their toll on its integrity over time. Also check for any damage to eaves, siding or other building materials, and the soffit. Over time, minor problems can develop into severe issues.
3. Room With a View
Trim hedges and landscaping that obscure windows. There are several reasons to maintain a clear line of sight with this spring cleaning task. First, untended landscaping up against the sides of the house invites the wild neighbors to move closer, which can pose difficulties that require a wildlife specialist’s intervention. Second, plants, while beneficial, can also damage the fabric of your home and send roots down into essential pipes or wires running away from the house. Third, security experts advise that dense shrubs around doors and windows invite humans with poor intentions to lurk nearby.
4. Filters, Chimneys, and Vents
As the first warm weather of the year arrives, it’s a good time to clean vents, replace or clean air filters clogged with winter’s dust and debris, and inspect furnaces and HVAC units. If you have a fireplace that sees use during the winter, schedule a routine cleaning. It’s also a great time to make sure lint hasn’t built up around the dryer vent. By maintaining the integrity of these systems, you’ll improve your respiratory health and ensure that no future problems arise via clogging, buildup, or malfunction.
5. Repair Walkways and Driveways
If you live in an area that receives substantial amounts of snow or a region with a dramatic freeze-thaw cycle, repairing concrete and stone walkways around your home is a must. As the soil beneath the concrete expands and contracts, new installations will flex. However, as materials age, they lose much of their plasticity and can create dangerous tripping hazards. Driveways are subject to the same forces, but cracks often go unrepaired for years, allowing water to infiltrate and make matters worse. Spring is an ideal time to apply an ounce of prevention to this problem.
Whether you’re still waiting for spring to arrive or have already set out your new garden plants, these spring cleaning tasks are essential for home safety and security. Along with other maintenance, they can help you keep your home a healthy and happy place to live.