Mar 3 | Posted by Barry Cohen

The long awaited and much anticipated first day of spring is officially just around the corner, but of course as Canadians we know that “official” spring and real spring can be and often are two different things.  Either way, the extra hour of daylight is always a welcome sign and you can use that time to get a head start on your spring clean up – so that when the really nice weather does arrive, you will be ready to get out the patio furniture and enjoy your yard.

It’s a sad reality, but old man winter has been wreaking havoc with your home’s exterior for the past couple of months.  The freeze/melt cycles are particularly damaging to outdoor surfaces like roofs, eavestroughs, downspouts and siding.  Walkways take a beating and interlock can easily shift and even crack.  Here are a few tips to get your home ready now so you can relax and enjoy a long pool and barbecue season.

Gutters & Downspouts

Whether you did this last fall, or not, your gutters and downspouts likely need some care after the build up of ice and snow. Haul out your ladder and inspect the roofline gutters and make sure nothing is blocking water flow.  While you are up there check your shingles and roof for damage.   If you aren’t comfortable being on a two-storey ladder, check with contractors who offer this service.

Fix Cracks

Do a visual inspection around the perimeter of your home’s foundation looking for cracks, and make sure the ground around the foundation hasn’t been subject to erosion and is still sloping away from your home.  Check walkways and patios for cracks and fill them as soon as possible before the spring rain.

Windows & Doors

Cracks in caulking or damaged weather-stripping can let water and even critters into your home.  Scrape off any old caulking and reseal around windows and doors.  Old weather-stripping can allow drafts in and increase your energy bills – remove any worn or damaged weather-stripping and replace.

Air Conditioning 

Don’t wait til the first hot summer day to have you’re a/c unit cleaned and inspected.  Now is the perfect time to contact your service provider, it’s their down season and you will have the work completed long before your need it.  Annual inspection by a certified professional before you turn it on for the season is not only a good safety practice, but will also prolong the life of the unit.

Outdoor Faucets And Lights

It’s wise to make sure your outdoor faucets, receptacles and lighting is not damaged.  Check your hoses for dry rot.  If you have a gas barbecue that hasn’t been used since last year give that a good once over and fill your propane tanks.

While you are taking care of spring business, take the time to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and give them a test to make sure they work.  Change the filter in your furnace and check your dryer hose for lint buildup.  If you have a fireplace have it cleaned every second year unless you use it a lot and then annually would be a safer choice.

The summer always seems to fly by and if you take care of spring maintenance now, taking advantage of that extra hour of daylight you’ll be glad you did when the nice summer weather arrives.