Spring Maintenance

My father always told me an ounce of prevention was worth a pound of cure. Once again I guess the old man was right. This Spring, take these steps to make sure your home recovers from the damage of winter and keep the headaches away.

Outside

1. Roof
Prevent leaks by visually checking for harm from snow or ice; you will need to replace any cracked or missing shingles. If you don’t know how, call JP Carroll in West Hartford at 860-586-8857 and they will do it for you – ask them what you should look for next time.

2. Gutters
They are there for a reason, but when they get filled with all the garbage winter collects they don’t work properly. Keep the water out of your home by cleaning those gutters out. Make sure there are no leaks, and the downspouts are facing away from your home. If you don’t want to spend your weekend up on a ladder scooping trash, we are happy to do it for you. Call us at 860-651-0574.

3. Trees
These beauties become the pets of your property, and it’s heartbreaking when they die. Check to see if there’s any sign of rot or injury. Call Precision Tree Experts in East Granby at 860-651-3437 and they will help you out if there’s a problem; they’ll also remove anything dead that may fall on your home or car.

4. Lawn Equipment
Soon the whir of the snow blower will be replaced by the hum of the lawn mower. Save yourself and get your mower and other lawn equipment tuned up now.

5. Walkways and Driveways
All that temperature change and snow and ice can destroy walks and drives. Get those cracks and broken surfaces repaired to keep a safe, level walking ground and prevent greater damage. For walkways call LandTek Landscape Construction in Simsbury at 860-651-7324 or for your driveway try Armorseal in Simsbury at 860-651-9191.

6. Firewood
Move the firewood away from your house. It should be at least 2 feet from your home and at least 18 inches off the ground. Damp wood can be a breeding ground for insects including termites.

Inside

*Photo and decorating idea by songbirdblog.com

1. Fire Extinguishers
Check your fire extinguishers. Do it right now; I’ll wait. Do not wait until you need it to discover it doesn’t work. The pressure gauge should be in the ‘green’ range, and it should look like it’s in good condition with all seals intact. If you don’t have one or if it’s not in the green, go to your local hardware store and buy it right now.

2. Dryers
Clogged dryer vents can not only make your dryer ineffective, but it can also cause a fire. You’ll need a ‘dryer vent cleaning brush kit’ and a vacuum with a hose. Use the brushes and then the vacuum to clean the lint trap and the lint trap housing cavity. Then pull out the dryer and disconnect the duct into sections. Use your brush kit to clean out each piece. Reassemble and return the dryer. If you’d prefer we can do this for you, just give us a call at 860-651-0574 – there’s a discount for this service for our members.

3. Air Conditioners
It’s hard to believe but soon we will be complaining about the heat, and the cold will seem so far away. Make sure your system has been inspected and tuned up. Keep those filters changed regularly, they are there to keep that dirt out of your lungs and can’t do it if they are filthy. Valley Air Conditioning in Simsbury are great – 860-658-0371.

4. Smoke Detectors & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If you didn’t do this when you set your clocks ahead, do it now. Be sure that the sensors are getting power by pressing and holding the test button until you hear the alarm. If you don’t make a sound, change the batteries or call an electrician if it’s hardwired. You also want to check that they will detect smoke or carbon monoxide. For the smoke detector, you can do this by lighting a few matches near the detector. For the carbon monoxide, you can do this by holding a lit cigarette near the detector, and it should read a higher amount of the gas.

5. Clean and Inspect Your Chimney
If you haven’t had it done yet this year, do it now. Just like an oil change, it needs to be done regularly to keep the system running properly. Schedule your cleaning by calling 860-651-0574 or click here to schedule online.