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Spring Maintenance Tips

Winter weather can cause damage to buildings that may not be noticeable until the Spring months. Because of this, it is important to be proactive in order to protect the building year-round. The tips outlines below provide some examples of what should be inspected during the spring months.

Start by Inspecting Your Roof

You're going to need a roof that's in good shape to combat the coming stormy days. So, the first thing you should do when it gets warm enough is go out and inspect your roof.

Winter weather can create many roof problems, so there are a lot of things to watch out for.

Inspecting from the Ground

The first step is to walk around your roof and give it a visual inspection from the ground. As you survey your roof, note any areas that look alarming and are worth a closer inspection. These will be the areas you check out when you get up on the ladder.

Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Are any shingles cracked, curling or missing?
  • Is any debris, such as leaves or algae, collecting in
    spots on the roof?
  • Do you notice any missing or loose flashings around
    your pipes or vents?

Inspecting on a Ladder

After looking at the whole roof from the ground, climb up on a ladder and do a closer inspection.

For asphalt roofs, look to see if the layer of asphalt granules is wearing away so that you can see the felt material underneath. A sure sign this is happening is if you notice the granules collecting in your gutters.

Next, examine the flashing around your pipes, vents and skylights. Note any cracks or space between the structures and the flashing. These can lead to leaks and serious damage to the roof, so you'll want to get those repaired as soon as possible.

You should also remove any debris collecting on the roof while you're up there. Doing so is crucial to keep water from collecting on the roof and causing mold and decay.

Finally, look for signs of leaks. If you notice any wet spots on the insulation, this is a sign your roof is leaking and will need to be replaced.

Check for Leaks and Water Damage

Between winter storms and spring showers, this is a key time to check for water damage and prevent small leaks from growing into a major headache.

DIY: Walk around the building and check the rubber seals or metal flashings around vents, flues, and chimneys.

When these seals begin to crack or rust, water will start to seep into the building. If this issue isn't resolved right away, you may experience mold and water damage.

You should also check window seals to see if any need to be replaced. Dampness around the edges of windows or on window ledges and cracking are signs that window seals may be deteriorating.

Flush Your Water Heater

If you have not been flushing your water heater yearly, now is a great time to start. The liner in your tank expands and contracts, especially during the winter, if it is in an area that is not insulated. This expansion and contraction can cause sediment to break free. Over time, gunk builds up in the water heater, and you need to flush it out
periodically to keep it running smoothly.

Replace Fire Extinguishers and Check Sprinkler Systems

Spring is a good time to check the fire extinguishers. It is recommended that fire extinguishers are replaced every 10 to 15 years, as they tend to lose their charge.

DIY: Check the tag that shows the last time the extinguisher received maintenance and inspect the gauge to make sure it's in the green. The pin should also pop back up when pushed down, to signal that the extinguisher still has the right amount of pressure, should
you need to use it.

Other important tasks include, testing your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms - including any sprinkler systems.

Tend to the Outdoors

Now is the time to tend to your outdoor space, including any trees or foliage that are looming a little too close to the building or power lines. These trees can pose risks, including infestation of bugs and foundation issues from the tree roots getting too close to the building and becoming a fire hazard. It is also important to remove any rotting or dead trees as well as litter or debris from the premises, in order to ensure a safer space.

Make sure that any potholes or deterioration in parking lots is addressed as well.

Check Gutters and Downspouts

During the fall and winter months, gutters and downspouts can get cluttered and clogged with debris, but when the spring rains arrive, they need to be clear so that excess water can flow freely off of and away from the building instead of leaking into it.

You can make sure your drainage systems are up to the challenges of the spring by:

  • Clearing the gutters and downspouts - Remove dead leaves, branches, twigs, and anything else that may be clogging the gutters and downspouts.
  • Gutters and downspouts take quite a beating during the winter, so check for areas where they're sagging or broken. These can cause wooden eaves and trim to rot, which can lead to leaks and infestations. You should also check for holes and missing sections.

Check On Your Sump Pump

April showers bring May flowers-and flooding, if your sump pump fails. It's easy for sump pumps to fail during severe storms, so it's crucial to test yours quarterly to check for any concerns or backup.

DIY: Keep your sump pump clean and free of rocks and debris to keep it working properly. Test the pump, by pouring water into the basin and watching the pump activate.

Maintain Your HVAC

It is recommended to check and maintain the HVAC quarterly. Check the air conditioning units as well to ensure that they are working properly. This provides an ample amount of time to address any repairs necessary prior to the summer months. Reduce the amount of allergens and dust in the building by replacing air filters.