As we prepare to shed the last trappings of winter and herald in the glorious months of spring, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is right around the corner. Much more than a kickoff to spring home maintenance or giving up an hour of sleep, DST has an interesting history. Erroneously credited to Benjamin Franklin by many historians, it was actually an Englishman named William Willett who came up with the idea to “save” daylight by changing the time. First adopted by Germany after WWI to conserve electricity, it wasn’t until 1918 that the United States of America adopted DST to much controversy. Ultimately, it was the passage of the Uniform Time Act in 1966 which standardized DST for all of the United States excluding Hawaii and Arizona. With such a rich history, DST is the right time to tackle your spring maintenance checklist!
What To Do
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The Interior of the House
- Change the Clocks – Set all the clocks in the home 1-hour ahead. This includes alarm clocks, appliance clocks, and wall clocks.
- Inspect Plumbing– All the plumbing in your home, from toilets to sinks, needs to be inspected to identify potential issues.
- Garbage Disposal Maintenance– Keep things running smoothly by de-greasing your garbage disposal bi-annually. A simple degreasing cleaner poured down the garbage disposal should do the trick. To sharpen the blades, pour a cup of ice cubes down the garbage disposal and process.
- Clean Exhaust Fans – Dust gathers fast on exhaust fans and can inhibit their effectiveness. Use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove dust efficiently.
- Deep Clean Your Home– If chaos has run free in your home over the winter, now’s the time to rehome items that don’t belong and toss away everything that is broken. What’s left behind can be donated to a local charity.
- Clean Refrigerator Coils– To keep your energy bill low and make sure your refrigerator stays cold, clean the coils on the back bi-annually.
- Wipe Down Blinds– A simple soap and water solution is all you need to remove built-up dust and grime. Use a special blind window duster to make the job easier.
- Wash Windows– Use a streak-free glass cleaner to wash the interior and exterior of all your windows.
- Repair Broken Appliances– Now’s the perfect time to either repair or replace broken appliances. Since repairs can be costly, it’s typically cheaper to buy a new product.
- Change Smoke and Co2 Detector Batteries– It’s a good idea to schedule important battery changes around the DST schedule, which arrives twice a year. Follow our handy guide here.
- Replace HVAC Filters– Changing your HVAC filters in the run-up to spring will help your unit run efficiently. An added bonus is that you will also lower your electric consumption and improve air quality indoors.
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The Exterior of the House
- Roof Inspection – It’s a good idea to inspect the roof to identify missing shingles or any other damage that needs repairing well before those “April showers” arrive.
- Inspect Seals Around Doors and Windows– The cold winter weather can crack door and window seals, which can raise your cooling bill in the summer and cause unexpected leaks when it rains. Replace as needed.
- Clear Out the Gutters– Removing leaves and other debris from gutters is a critical task to allow the free flow of rainwater away from your roof. Cleaning out the gutters can help avoid costly water damage.
- Cleaning Downspouts – Check your downspouts for clogs to ensure that water flows freely from the gutters and is dispersed efficiently to the ground.
- Termite Inspection– Inspect the exterior of your property and look for termite swarms or tiny holes in wood that the tiny insects have already bore into. Contact a termite professional immediately to limit potential damage.
- Reseal Woodwork– Wooden decks, fences, and other wooden surfaces can take a beating during the frigid winter months. Reseal wooden surfaces to increase longevity and improve their appearance.
- Inspection and Repair Outdoor Surfaces– Check driveways, walkways, and stairs to identify cracks before they worsen. Purchase patching materials based on whether the surface is made from concrete, asphalt or even stucco.
- Inspect Exterior Paint– Observe the exterior paint of your home to locate cracks or peeling paint. By making small touch-ups as needed, you can avoid the expense of having to repaint the entire house.
- Repair Damaged Window and Door Screens– Airborne pests can be kept at bay by making sure that your first line of defense, window and door screens, are free from holes and that the frames are not warped. Replace any screens that are damaged beyond repair, as many flying pests carry disease.
- Pest Prevention– Pests come in all shapes, sizes and have a variety of ways to infiltrate the home. Get off to a running start with pest prevention by making sure that any cracks, crevices or other entryways to your foundation are properly sealed. In addition, pests like mice and squirrels can enter via your roofline. Take precautions to make sure windows are shut tightly and there are no accessible holes in the roof.
- Check Water Irrigation System– It’s vital to check your water irrigation system to make sure that it is in proper working order to hydrate shrubs, bushes, and other outdoor plants. Patch or replace it as needed.
- Start Planning Your Summer Garden– Spring is the perfect time to start planning your summer garden, use a planting calendar to determine the best fruits and vegetables to plant right now and every month of the year! A year-round garden is an excellent way to cut down on your monthly food budget.
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Take your spring home maintenance to the next level with additional tasks that are crucial for the safety and well being of your family.
- Replenish Emergency Kit – Chances are, you or your family members have dipped into your emergency kit from time to time over the past several months. Take inventory and replenish depleted items as needed. It should include a first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, medicine and any other items you might need in an emergency.
- Inspect Fire Extinguishers– Every home should have a fire extinguisher. If you already have one or more, perform a simple inspection to avoid potential issues in the event of an emergency.
- Renew Family Emergency Plans– Now’s the time to make sure that your family is prepared for an emergency. Go over emergency plans such as fire drills, storm preparedness, 911 emergency protocols and whatever else you deem relevant to give your family the tools needed to handle unexpected eventualities.
- Car Maintenance– Replace worn out front and rear wiper blades. Have your tires inspected, rotated and balanced by a licensed professional. Schedule an oil change and a full fluids check to make sure that your car is in tip-top shape for the rainy spring weather.
We also have helpful information on the real costs of home ownership as well as the top maintenance tasks for your home.
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